It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is already Thanksgiving. Tomorrow will be my first Thanksgiving without my grandpa, and the second Thanksgiving without my other grandpa. My throat tightens just thinking about it. Nothing quite fills the gap that they’ve left. No one is capable of filling their shoes or making our family feel as whole as it once was. These past few days have been filled with nostalgic stirrings as I wandered through my backyard, reminisced about past Thanksgivings, or drove past my grandpa’s favorite places. It’s strange how I still half expect him to walk through the front door with that distinct laugh of his. I suppose that we miss our lost loved ones the most during the holiday season.
For this post I will begin with what I’m most thankful for, and I only have one thing on my list. I’m mostly just thankful for all of the years and memories that I’ve had with my grandfathers. I’m thankful for all that they’ve taught me about life and more. Today especially I remembered a special trait that both my grandpas possessed. They were both men who lived in the present and relished every moment. They thrived off of family gatherings and spending time with friends. They always had smiles on their faces and never hesitated to show their gratitude for when the entire family was together for the holidays.
I want to live just like them.
All too often we are working so hard to attain something in our future that we forget to appreciate the small moments that our lives comprise of. We don’t notice tiny gestures of kindness and aren’t mindful about what we’re doing. Moments pass us by. And before we know it, another year has passed and we wonder where the time has gone.
I want to be more mindful about what I’m doing and be more appreciative towards the mere fact that I’m alive and living. I can feel love, joy, and pain. What more could I ask for?
These past few days I’ve been living slowly, if that makes any sense. I’ve been making time to spend with family, new friends, and childhood friends. I’ve gone on walks, inhaled fresh air, and absorbed the scenery. I took my time with cooking and paying more attention to details I would’ve otherwise missed, like how a brussels sprout can look as pretty as a flower.
Today I cooked a warm brussels sprouts salad for my Friendsgiving dinner with some of my oldest friends. I am working on this blog post as I await their arrival (knowing them, they’ll most likely trickle in past 6 o’ clock).
The brussels sprouts salad will hopefully make all you b. sprout haters into b. sprout lovers. It’s warm, soft, savory, and flavorful. It’s the perfect healthy salad dish to balance all of the other indulging Thanksgiving dishes.
- About 35 brussels sprouts (stem chopped)
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 10 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic minced
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 tsp salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: croutons or parmesan cheese to top
- Chop the brussels sprouts into 6 equal slices after de-stemming them. Keep the leaves that fall off so that you can cook with them later.
- In a small bowl, add the red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp salt, garlic, and shallot. Let it sit for at least 45 minutes.
- In a large pot, heat the 4 Tbsp olive oil. Add the sliced onions and cook them until they've browned. Add the brussels sprouts. Sprinkle a tsp of salt over the brussels sprouts and cook them over medium-high heat until they've softened and turned a vibrant green. You may need to add some water or more oil to help it keep cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Slowly pour the dressing over the brussels sprouts. Pour half of the dressing first. Mix the salad so that it's evenly coated with the dressing. Try a piece of brussels sprout. If you feel like it needs more dressing, add more.
Brussels sprouts are healthy for you because they contain antioxidants, fiber, and a plethora of vitamins. Basically, do I need to tell you that it’s important to eat your vegetables and enjoy them? They keep your body functioning as smoothly as possible.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m going to be tuning out until Sunday as I will be living mindfully with my family and friends. Eat well and enjoy your loved ones!