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(not my photo)
So last year when I wrote a Turkey-day post I was day dreaming about how how different this year was going to be. I envisioned us raising and butchering our own Turkey and eating lots of items from our very own garden patch. I don’t even remember all of the idealizing that I did, but somewhere between then and now a lot of life lessons took place. I realized that raising your own meat is not very easy. Dispatching that meat is also not easy! Growing your family’s produce needs in your own backyard is not easy! Especially when you don’t start planting till June! 😉 And of course as you know, if you’ve been following us, we’ve had to deal with losses to our flocks, and shuffling around our dairy herd, and now the fiasco with getting the goats bred, and training our puppy to be a worthwhile member of our little farm, it’s all added up to a lot of time, a lot of learning, and some adjusting of ideals. 😉

That said, I didn’t want to fall into the same ol’ same ol’ trap for our Thanksgiving Day celebration. I did buy a frozen turkey, since we did not raise any, and I plan to cook it using the Pioneer Woman’s Brine method. I also did some digging online for other recipes that I could feel good about feeding my family that did not require the use of condensed soups and high fructose corn syrup ingredients.

The first is cranberry sauce! This is the easiest thin in the world to make and I feel like kicking myself for all the years I bought the gross canned stuff when it’s unbelievably simple to make on your own! I will show you that recipe tomorrow. (tease) But trust me, you’re going to want to plan it for your Turkey-day so go buy a bag of fresh cranberries! 😉

Next is Green Bean Casserole! Who doesn’t love this?! It’s a great side to a wonderful Thankgsiving meal, but the traditional stuff uses… junk ingredients. I’ll just say it! No condensed soups in this yummy dish! I’m going to try it this year, but you’ll have to wait for after our feast for the verdict, unless of course you chose to try it yourself. 😉

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/12/green-bean-casserole-the-real-food-way.html

Then we have stuffing. I don’t know why they call it that, no longer are we supposed to actually “stuff” the turkey since it causes all kinds of icky stuff to grow (yuck). But anyway, for my family this part of the dinner was usually supplied by those little boxes of dried up teeny bread cubes with powdered “seasoning” packets that were added to it… Honestly I don’t even want to think about how bad all of that is. Instead I’ll share with you this Quinoa Stuffing recipe! I’m excited to try this because it’ll be different for sure, but I think will make a very good replacement dish with a twist and be SO incredibly good for you too! Do it!

http://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/nutrition/quinoa-stuffing

On to desserts, folks! You CAN have your cake and eat it too and still be healthy, ya know? 😉 Or in this case pies!

I’ve never in my life tried a sweet potato pie, but this year that is going to change! Sweet potatoes have become a staple in our house! Usually however, we have them in a savory way. But something tells me that the pie version will be amazing!!

http://www.realfoodmoms.com/sweet-potato-pie/

Ever wish you could have the yumminess of Pecan Pie without the HFCS? (pppsssttt… that’s High Fructose Corn Syrup) I do! And the recipes, thankfully, are out there. This is the one I plan on trying, and yes, friends, I will be having at least 3 different pies at our Thanksgiving feast! 😉

http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/honey-pecan-pie-real-food-makeover

Then it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie, right? I plan on trying this recipe with the whipped eggs. Sounds like a fun little twist on things!

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/10/28/no-cans-healthy-pumpkin-pie-recipe-with-a-secret-ahem-twist/

We will probably also have clover rolls made with heirloom flour. I like to add a fresh fruit salad made with greek yogurt as a side as well. And pickles and olives will likely grace our table as well. Don’t worry, we’ll have more food than we can possibly eat. 🙂 But I feel better about falling short on my ideals as long as I know that I can still make real food choices even if I didn’t grow or raise it all myself!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your day is full of the things that make you most thankful!