Thx.

I really love Thanksgiving. Because taking a second to realize how much one has to be thankful for is just generally a good idea, no? No matter the day, week, or year(s) you’ve had, there is some good, and recognizing it can’t really hurt you in any way.

Here is some of the goodness I stopped to snapshot while home in NYC for a too-brief break.

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‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and my mama and I found ourselves pj-clad in the kitchen. I chopped up toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and apples as mix-ins for this wild rice stuffing:

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Complete with just one tablespoon of butter for good measure, of course. Above is the “stuffing” in all its flavorful glory (think sage, caramelized onions, and celery), pre-mix.

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Thanksgiving morning began as usual, with a trip to a friend’s perfectly-situated apartment that overlooks the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as the breathtaking Central Park foliage, beyond. Remember it from here? Oh, hi 2013.

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I perched myself on a windowsill with coffee and bagel in hand, thankful not to be swimming somewhere in the crowds below.

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Post-parade festivities always include a trip to my grandmother’s, where my family comes from far and wide (aka New York and New Jersey) to be together. The only rule? Potluck it out. Everyone brings food. And everyone brings tupperware (to fight over the leftovers after the meal). The scene pictured above is just the hors d’oeuvres table, complete with lentil and spinach / feta dips, cheese cubes, fresh-cut veggies, crackers, olives, onion jam, almonds, and roasted / spiced chickpeas.

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Unfortunately no bloggable shots were taken of either the main shabang or dessert, so the colorful table settings — note the chocolate turkeys at each spot — will have to suffice. A micro close-up of my finished wild rice stuffing is the best I could get. (I promise that wasn’t the only thing we ate for dinner…)

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All in all, it was a yummy and relaxed Thanksgiving that gave me the time to reflect on all that I am grateful for in this life. Special thanks to my astounding family + friends, who are the very reasons I feel so deeply fortunate.

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