Our Small Family (Vegetarian) Thanksgiving

In my post about Healthy Thanksgiving Traditions, I mentioned that this would be the first time our Thanksgiving was just us.  It always used to be at my mom’s house. My brother and his girlfriend would stay for the weekend. My mom would cook the same thing every year – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. My dad would make the same joke – yelling “Grace” as he sat down and telling my mom “there I said ‘grace.’ Can I eat now?” We would all acknowledge his joke with the groan he came to expect. And so on.

This year was very, very different. Even before, our dinners may not have seemed large to some. But these year was even smaller. Determined not to have a sad, this-is-our-first-Thanksgiving-without-Mimi Thanksgiving, I decided to make it special. I implemented most of the traditions from my blog post. Some I had started in prior years, but I really tried to make it fun and family oriented.

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Turkey Trot
We started our day with a Turkey Trot. So we get there, stand in line for our bibs because I had signed up online, and when we get to the front I asked if we missed the kids run. He said no it hadn’t started yet, go wait by the playground. So we waited and we waited. There were a few other families there. But the run never started. We missed it while we were in line! Oh well. I just decided that we would make our own run up. So we ran around the park and finally to our car. We had our own version of a turkey trot. Whatever works right?!?
thanksgiving-run

Family Game Time
When we got home, the kids were eager to get on with the games! Memory was out so we started with that.
thanksgiving-game1-2thanksgiving-game

Then they played a few other games games together while I was cooking. And I’m pretty sure the TV came on (oh well) while I was cooking.

Just Being Silly
Then I told them to dress up anyway they wanted. They had about 3 minutes to get changed. So I ate Thanksgiving dinner with the White Witch (from the Chronicles of Narnia) and Kylo Ren (Star Wars, duh).
thanksgiving-dress

What do you eat at a vegetarian Thanksgiving?!?
I ended up making stuffed acorn squash (I used this recipe as my starting point. I did follow it fairly closely, making only a few adjustments I was sure would fit my kids’ tastes. Because the recipe looked pretty amazing on it’s own.)
thanksgiving-squash-1

Then to go with it I made mashed potatoes and carrots like my mom would’ve made (except the potatoes were vegan and the carrots were based on this recipe), brussel sprouts (one of our favorites), mac and cheese (all because of my son), stuffing (using veggie broth so it’s vegan), kale salad, and dinner rolls (made from crescent rolls, pinched together, spread with Earth Balance, and then sprinkled fairly heavily with an Italian seasoning blend, rolled, and cut, baked in a muffin tin – super loved). So the mac and cheese was the only thing that wasn’t vegan. Mac and Cheese, the kind out of a box, is my son’s favorite food. He asks for it for three meals a day, of course I don’t usually give in, but Thanksgiving is a special occasion. So it was mostly vegan considering I made it with almond milk and Earth Balance (because that’s just what I have) but I did use the little pack of cheese powder that comes with it.

So I cut some corners, but the ones I did suited everyone’s taste anyway. That’s why I did it. *wink*wink* Really though, it was my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner and everyone did each find something they loved at the table. So everyone was happy. Everyone had something they really enjoyed. I annoyed everyone by showing them that I stuffed the squash instead of the turkey.

vegetarian-thanksgiving-dinner
The positioning of the food in this picture is a little unfortunate. Why didn’t I notice that. The mac and cheese looks like the featured dish! The mac and cheese is not the featured dish! It might be one of the least featured dishes ever!

More Game Time/Togetherness
thanksgiving-game2

After dinner, while we were still at the table, I stuck sticky notes on everyone’s back. The sticky notes had Thanksgiving related words on them. The important thing is that you can’t know what is on your own back. So the kids chose my sticky note mine.
thanksgiving-game2-1

We stood up, showed the table our backs and then took turns asking yes or no questions and trying to guess what we had.

It is surprisingly hard. I watched my kids think of questions and tried to help (but I knew what they were), then came my turn.

We were going around the table asking 3 or 4 questions at a time, we weren’t to stringent on that. But you could choose to have a rule that you can only ask 1 question on your turn and then pass. We were just all like whatever. I mean we had just eaten an entire Thanksgiving dinner.

So anyways, my first two questions were easy. Am I an animal? No. Am I a food? No. I wrote the f***ing questions! What else is there? I thought to myself. I struggled through my next questions and few turns with the kids giving me the duh face that I undoubtedly was giving them during their first turns. Not so easy after all.
p.s the first round I was football.
The kids went rogue on the last round. Guess what I was? Surprisingly I guessed it the fastest. Predictable.

thanksgiving-family-game
The kids found the sticky notes and went rogue on the last round. Surprisingly (or not) I guessed mine the fastest that time.

 Just plain Silly
The night ended with them attempting to sleep under the bed.

thanksgiving-bedtime
I love you…or rock and roll

Yeah, it was less than half an hour before they were in their own beds.

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

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