Turkey-Free Thanksgiving & Other Updates

Wow, this week has rushed by. So much to do, so little time to write. Here is a quick update, then hopefully I can return to more regular posting. Hopefully. It’s a busy time of year.


Last Sunday, the day after the Native Foods Pre-Opening Party, I had to drive to San Diego to drop off the glider I had purchased for Nathan and Sarah. Their baby, my grandson, Samuel, is due any day now and I want them to have the glider in place when they bring him home. We had a nice visit, a lot of it spent walking to encourage Samuel to hurry up and be born. Sarah looks beautiful, feels pretty good, and is totally ready to have the pregnancy over with.

Thanksgiving vegan



I am thankful that my son has found such a wonderful woman, and that their baby boy will be here any day now. By the way, for my Paleo readers, Nathan and Sarah both follow a Paleo diet and have started a new blog, Rock Like Grok, to share their recipes as well as their new parenting adventures.

I finally decided on Tuesday that I would cook Thanksgiving dinner even though Nathan and Sarah wouldn’t be traveling for obvious reasons, so it would just be Alan, myself, and, briefly, my son David. It always sounds attractive to be taken out to dinner on a holiday instead of cooking a huge meal for three, but a Turkey-less, vegan Thanksgiving dinner is hard to come by around here unless you prepare it for yourself.

In any case, starting Tuesday I started shopping for everything I needed (along with about 99% of the local population!). My menu: cornbread stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. I decided to try Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Roast, not really necessary with all the scrumptious side dishes, but it appeals to the traditionalist in me. Fortunately, this year I didn’t have to hunt down the vegan marshmallows, I was able to go straight to Harvest Health Foods, where I finally found them last year.

Of course I was working Tuesday and Wednesday while doing all this. I managed to make the cranberry sauce on Tuesday evening, and planned to bake the pie on Wednesday after work. Best laid plans…

When I left work on Wednesday, I had to go with Alan to pick up the U-Haul truck that he needed to haul all the equipment for the Palm Springs Turkey Trot, which would be on Thursday morning. I wanted to pick up a few more things from the store, but first we needed to go to the high school to pick up some tables and chairs for the event.

Off track here for a moment. We almost had a dog rescuer moment at the U-Haul place again. Ironically, we were discussing how we found two stray dogs there a couple years ago as we were pulling up. At that moment we saw two (different) dogs, no collars of course, playing on the lawn. It’s a terrible place because it’s right next to a busy road. We tried to get them to come to us, but they ran away. At least we got them away from the road.

Alan drove the truck home while I finished my shopping. My plan was to go home and make my pumpkin pie. Instead, we had to head to Palm Springs, where we had early packet pick-up for the race. Palm Springs is about a 45 minute drive at that time of the afternoon. We spent a couple hours at the base of the Forever Marilyn statue, gave out a few t-shirts and goodie bags, signed up a few more people, and finally headed home, where I threw together a quick dinner. Even so, bedtime was a late (for us) 10:00, the night before we had to wake up at 2:30 to head back to Palm Springs for the race. (I actually slept until 3:00 since I didn’t have to be there quite as early as Alan.)


When I talk about “us” putting on the Turkey Trot, I really mean “him,” my husband. Alan started planning months ago, with help this year from a friend of ours, Molly (who puts on the Run for Ike). All I really do is find a few volunteers and work the “day of race;” coordinate the volunteer assignments, handle registration, answer questions. Alan, of course, is the race announcer and in charge of the music, so in addition to setting up the course, he is starting the race and there at the finish line to call in the runners. I did find the time to take a couple pictures.




We had a good crowd, about 700 runners, and everything went great. There was prize money this year, so we had some really fast runners (the winner’s time was 14:55!). This was our first year doing the Turkey Trot in Palm Springs (it’s been in Palm Desert for the last 13 years), but it was a great venue. The area around the Marilyn statue was perfect for registration and the award ceremony. We were done by around 10:00, spent a few minutes talking with the Sav-a-Pet volunteers (our race beneficiary). They adopted out three dogs! Success! Obviously I was busy if I didn’t think to take any dog pictures.

After we finished, I drove the car home, while Alan and one of our former cross country runners (long graduated, living in Long Beach, but always comes back to help), took the stuff back to the high school. I had a pie to bake! Though after it was done we had to hurry out to return the U-Haul (no roaming dogs this time, thank goodness).

Until a few years ago, my sister and I would spend our Thanksgiving together, in my kitchen, catching up, as we prepared dinner. Now she lives in Texas and can’t make it out until Christmas. So I did the cooking. You know what? There is just as much work cooking for three as there is for eight. Oh, in case you feel that Alan should have helped. He did, big time, by doing all the clean up. For me, that is the perfect trade off.

By the time we sat down to dinner, Alan and I were both exhausted. I was so tired I didn’t take any pictures of dinner, Alan was so tired he didn’t even have any dessert. Both are pretty prime examples of how tired we were. We did have some pie for breakfast though, and I managed a quick picture.


I had to work on Friday, but I got off fairly early and managed to remember to take a picture of my Thanksgiving sandwich:


I tried to finish this post on Saturday, but between my computer randomly turning off (hopefully getting a new one this week!), shopping (for myself…not quite ready for Christmas shopping yet), and a friend’s 40th birthday party, it didn’t get done. We had another early Sunday, waking up before 3:00 to drive to San Dimas, where Alan is announcing the Turkey Triathlon. Damn I’m a good wife! I’m finishing the post on my phone while he works (for the second time, having somehow lost all my new work when trying to upload).

It’s very pretty here at Bonelli park. I took a short run after it warmed up a bit and the race had started. It was quite a hilly run as it turned out, but fun anyway, even though I managed to take a tumble within the first two minutes.





Well, that’s how I spent my Thanksgiving week. How did you spend yours? I hope you were able to be with family, eat some great food, and maybe enjoy a fun family event like a turkey trot.

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  1. says

    mmm dinner sounds amazing!! I wish i would have done a turkey trot this year even thoug no one would go with me. I regret it. we had unseasonably warm tems here in ohio!!

  2. says

    This was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian and it was easier than I thought it might be. I can’t imagine trying to do a vegan Thanksgiving with relatives though, given all of the butter and cream that goes into their veggies. I made a healthy vegetarian stuffing (rice, quinoa, soy sausage, apples, dried cranberries, almonds, and spices), but I couldn’t have made it through on just that.
    Becki @Fight4Wellness recently posted…Ultimate Bootcamp Day 13My Profile

  3. says

    That looks like an exhausting but lovely Thanksgiving, Debbie. Naturally you had to have a race right in the middle of it! Pumpkin pie for breakfast sounds incredible – did you give up on gluten free for Thanksgiving?

    Sarah looks beautiful – I can’t wait to hear about your grandson.
    Kate recently posted…Holiday a DayMy Profile

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