The joy of Thanksgiving isn’t found in the pursuit of perfection. The holiday becomes rewarding when we can find a path of renewed appreciation for this time-honored celebration that glorifies gratitude, as much as it does our collective history. 

Experiencing the best result comes from a gentle dance between safeguarding tradition and knowing how to SHAKE IT UP! Most important of all, the pleasure of your company means SO much more when you are cool, calm – and emotionally available. 

The first-ever “Feast of Thanks” was shared by the original pilgrims in 1621 following their successful harvest. In that perilous New World meeting, the conditions to support life was clearly uncertain. In honoring Thanksgiving today, customary observation typically skips acorns or squirrel, but what about your mom’s 23-ingredient sweet potato casserole recipe?  Is that a delete that could cause a rebellion? 

It seems we are experiencing an interesting change in the way Americans interpret gracious living. Not a revision or a correction, but a movement, a resurrection of civility. This is not surprising – Isn’t it clear we need an antidote to the rabid intensity of modern life? 

There is an art to living the good life, but in 2019 we are all overcommitted. On the flip side, the unmitigated pressure most of us face to get it all done gives far more power to the sweet, simple experiences we share over a good cup of coffee or a great glass of wine. Loving something delicious that someone else took the time to create for us is connecting. And taking the time to savor it, is enriching. 

Maybe creating a slightly less challenging menu could yield a more vibrant, happy holiday in your house. So, what to cook? 

How do we navigate all of this while remaining comfortably in control? 

Start off by skipping the brine in favor of a quick flavorful turkey rub. No basting, no constant vigilance, just leave the oven closed!

Turkey Rub

Combine the following in a bowl:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • one stick fully softened salted butter at room temp 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

Blend into a loose paste and rub all over the bird inside and out prior to placing it in a preheated oven. Double the recipe for a bigger bird.