Thanks to Quality Friends & Quality Ingredients

| November 29, 2009

Thanks to all who have shared your Thanksgiving meals! Now that it’s over and I have successfully gained several pounds, I thought I would share with my little Thanksgiving and how grateful I am not only for good friends, but also for companies that make quality ingredients free from hydrogenated oils and industrial processing.

Cake Mountain Man and our dear friends, L&P, came over for a “small” dinner with enough food to feed twelve. We ate, played board games, ate, played more. Even our ice skating (aka me falling) didn’t do much to cancel out the calories we consumed.

My certified organic turkey from Whole Foods cost 10x the amount of the discount turkey at a larger grocery store, but the quality, taste, and knowledge that it was raised humanely and heathily helped me to swallow the cost…and raised my continued ire that we as Americans have become too used to cheap, processed, industrial food. Anyways, I digress…

No company sponsored/paid for my use of anything – they don’t even know I used their products, but I wanted to share what ingredients I used to note that it is possible to put together meals that are organic and natural without ridiculous costs.

I love cooking for Thanksgiving – the planning and preparation is half the fun, and I adapted some fabulous recipes I found on some great sites:


I don’t remember eating or making a juicier turkey. I brined it for about 18 hours. During the first 30 minutes of baking, I freaked out at how brown the underside got, but realized it was to sear the juices in.


  • Saveur’s Rich Gravy: this takes a little while as you are making your own stock, but oh my gosh, the flavor and richness is beyond good. Just start it right after the turkey goes into the oven – you don’t need to really watch it while it simmers.



I baked them in muffin tins so that it would be easier to freeze and reheat them in single servings.



I’m not sure if I did this correctly as it didn’t set properly, but the taste sure was good! Not too sweet, just right.


L&P brought over the best green bean casserole I’ve ever had, butternut casserole with Grand Marnier, bread pudding, a bourbon pecan pie, and a pumpkin pie. I also had some fabulous Rofumo cheese (hickory-smoked) slathered with what may possibly be the best Seven Pepper Jelly from Foster’s Market.


Before you think me wealthy (trust me, I’m not!), I borrowed some things, like brining bags from L&P from Williams-Sonoma, which made life easier, and had some leftover Tracklement’s Cranberry Sauce with Port as a complement to turkey sandwiches the next day (the Foster’s pepper jelly also serves as an amazing accompaniment to leftover turkey).

I also stretched the dollar as far as possible by cooking down the carcass for some fabulous turkey stock, which I turned into a turkey-macaroni soup with homemade tomato sauce, mushrooms, celery, and salt and pepper.


Last but not least, I used Whole Food’s affordable, private-label 365 Organic Mayonnaise and Trader Joe’s Orange Flavored Cranberries to make a scrumptious turkey salad sandwich using leftover meat.


Eating healthy is not cheap, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. I am grateful for more healthy options when I cook, and I am grateful for friends with whom to share them.

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Category: Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Recipe Vault, Travel & Culture, US & Canada

About the Author (Author Profile)

With a flair for spontaneity, pizzazz, creative excellence and her own unique sense of aesthetic grace and perspective, we have our very dear friend, Belinda (or B, to some of us). Although an incredibly accomplished professional and career woman, B’s down-to-earth approach and demeanor transcends all scenarios, communities and people. She manifests, in her day-to-day, the essence of the word “Zomppa” as demonstrated by her extraordinary commitment to creating sustainable and positive change for us and future generations to come. She’s asked for a dog every year since she was five. Check out Belinda’s work on global education research and coaching: or more about her portfolio

Comments (5)

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  1. Jeanne says:

    Thank you for this post! I have the same opinion about the industrial food system, so I didn’t eat any turkey this year. It made me smile to see all the different options that you present, and I can tell that a lot of work and love went into your meal.

  2. I agree with you. Eating healthy is not cheap. But I’m glad that you find the way to save money. Like using the carcass to make macaroni soup and borrowing a brine bag. I’m all for saving money. Your turkey looks really good btw.

  3. Olive says:

    everything looks delish, I love the bird particularly and your corn bread looks moist.YUM! I’m glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family and friends.

    ..I’m with you too and cheap does cost more to eat healthy food these days and I really appreciate your helpful tips on how to save 🙂

  4. Ann says:

    Yum! That turkey salad looks delicious- think it’s about time I make myself another chicken salad(threw out the leftover turkey bits!)

  5. kristy says:

    Love the food you made! You’re so right, eating healthy is really expensive and it’s not easy too.