Friday, November 28, 2008
As those of you who've read my blog before know, I'm not exactly Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen. (Or in the bedroom for that matter, if recent headlines are to be believed!)
Well, that all changed this week as I donned the Cath (Kidston apron) and for the first time since living in the US, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner.
Two other Brit families and the Mom/Mum household got together to celebrate this American holiday, complete with the traditional bird and all the trimmings.
I am thankful for the close friends we have made since living here - the other Brits and us who get together on days in the US calendar usually reserved for family time. With our families across the pond, we tend to search each other out and become 'family' for those days. It's really nice and means we aren't alone on these special holidays.
So this year there were 11 mouths to feed at my house for Thanksgiving. 'Eek!' said I after I offered to host. That's one big bird we need.
And one big bird I purchased, then had to Google, 'How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey' to ensure I didn't give my guests food poisoning.
The five small people had their own little table, next to ours, which Superdad (aka Him Downstairs) duly decorated with paper hats and stickers for the kids (all boys aged 2-5) to decorate whilst the bird crisped. They were happy chappies - dinner, crafts, a movie in PJs and a sleepover beckoned. (As you can predict, five little boys in one bedroom = not much sleep and plenty of giggling!)
I must admit, I was little apprehensive about cooking this holiday meal. When you're not exactly Delia Smith/Rachael Ray in the kitchen, taking on the task of cooking for 11, can bring you out in a mild 'glow' (OK, very clammy hands and a sweaty back. Nice.)
Too many peas? Not enough brocoli? How many roasties? How many minutes per pound? All that maths had me reaching for the Merlot.
Plus, this year there was the added worry of BlogToFit. Having been inspired by the two Daves and Tara to take my eating bull by the horns and wrestle myself free of its calorie inducing ways, I wasn't sure how I was going to cope with the red wine trying to seduce me and the banoffee pie screaming, 'Eat me, NOW!' Let alone being able to refuse the dripping butter glistening atop the green beans.
Thanksgiving was fast becoming a landslide into food temptation.
There was only one thing to do.
Take a break.
Have a day off.
After all, I've been really good all week. (No exorbitance with the cookies and only fruit munched after 7pm.)
Heck - a big roast won't kill me will it?
So, with the pressure off, I relaxed and enjoyed every last mouthful of my big bird and yummy dessert. I didn't beat myself up that it was a meal of excess, but congratulated myself for not having seconds. Although the table was bursting, I didn't eat myself into a coma and felt much better than I usually do after a holiday dinner. For that I thank BlofToFit. Without their inspiration and the support from the community of fellow bloggers who, like me, are attempting to take those all important small first steps into a healthier and fitter lifestyle, my Thanksgiving day would have been a calorific food mountain.
Instead, it was more of a gentle hill. And I'll all about an amiable stroll than arduous mountaineering.
I have to confess I did indulge in a post-dinner Magherita (err and a few gin and tonics.) Yes, I had the hangover I deserved. But those calories didn't count did they?
pic: cartoon by Rebekah Failla and Artie Romero