Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving. Already?

I've spent the past two weeks holed up, writing furiously on the next Alafair book, trying to get the first 100 pages in some kind of order so I can send it to my editor for her approval sometime shortly after Thanksgiving. I barely check my email or Facebook or any other electronic media. My house is badly in need of a dusting and a sweep. Meals have been slap-dash affairs. I'm in a bit of a panic because I can't see how I'm going to get this all to come together. In other words, same-old same-old.

And – oh yeah! Thanksgiving is next week for us United Statesians!* This morning Don and I grabbed brunch at a salad buffet restaurant and discussed the menu for the first time this season. Thanksgiving has been something of a problem for us for the past several years since we (mainly he) has so many dietary restrictions. We've been vegetarian for the past thirty-five years, though I've relaxed my meatlessness a lot lately when I'm not at home. Sometimes it's just too much trouble to ask what is in the soup. On top of that, Don is supposed to avoid too many oxalates, so no greens, rhubarb, strawberries, beans or pumpkin. Since the cancer operation, no refined sugar or pure fruit juices, either, and certainly no artificial sweeteners. Stevia is all right, if it's pure stevia leaf and no dextrose.

Have you ever tried to make a non-pumpkin, non-sugar pumpkin pie? Believe it or not, it can be done. Don has become an expert stevia-sweetened pastry chef. He can make a "pumpkin" pie out of pureed butternut squash and stevia which I defy you to tell the difference between it and the real thing. It's the spices that make the pie, I think.

Substituting squash for pumpkin is no big deal, anyway. Ever tried sweet potato pie? My grandmother used to make pies out of the most unlikely ingredients. Whatever she had on hand. Apple cider vinegar pie tastes like apples. One of my favorites was her Ritz cracker pies. I haven't had that since...well, practically forever. The crackers dissolved into a pudding-like consistency. I don't know how she did it.

Speaking of family recipes, I contributed a recipe for my aunt Loreen's chocolate gravy, as well as a little writing and a little relationship advice, to a wonderful new cookbook edited by Lois Winston called Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing. The cookbook is available on Kobo, iTunes, Nook, and Amazon, in paper and as an ebook. You might come up with something new and fabulous for Thanksgiving. What could be better?
* Many years ago I was checking into a hotel in London, and in the space on the form where I was supposed to put my nationality, I wrote “American”. The clerk looked at it and said, "don't you think that's arrogant? What about Canadians and Mexicans? They're from the Americas, too." To which I replied, "What do you suggest? United Statesian?" Yes, he was rude, but dang it, I never forgot that, and now whether I say it or not, I think United Statesian every time.


Rick Blechta said...

Why not American, since Mexicans and Canadians don't have an issue with it? You could have just as easily asked him he would ever call himself a United Kingdomian — or maybe it could be simplified into Domian.

When people are rude to me, I sometimes remember to say a very abrupt, "Excuse me?" as in, "Did you just say what I thought you said?" If the person persists in being rude, I will then pull out my favourite line: "Have you always been this rude, or did you have to work at it?" And I say it pretty loudly. Never fails to shut ’em up!

Donis Casey said...

I was pretty irritated with the guy, Rick, and he certainly shut up. But I was young and not as aggressive as I am now, so I was proud of myself for coming up with that at the time.

Sybil Johnson said...

Your house sounds like mine right now. From now on I shall consider myself a UnitedStatesian!

Donis Casey said...

Solidarity, Sybil!