I remember the first time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner after I had become a full fledged fitness trainer. My dad had passed away six months before and I was now living in his home; the home we all went to for Thanksgiving. It only seemed appropriate for me to carry on the tradition and have the gang still come to Papa's.
Now, as a "trainer", it seemed fitting for me to plan my feast with care and avoid fats and sugars. I roasted a large turkey. My "skinny mashed potatoes" (made with chicken stock and not butter and cream) were more the consistency of vichyssoise. The gravy was de-fatted and defeated into a watery soup. The sweet potatoes where simply baked. (Ugh.) And I experimented with the stuffing and chose a sophisticated Shiitake mushroom number I found in an obscure cookbook. Little did I know, my family was horrified and left feeling our love but a bit deprived. They missed our family's traditional recipes and a full belly.
When I'd offered to host Thanksgiving again, my family found clever excuses to politely decline until I'd finally confronted them with "what's up, guys? Let's have it".
The truth hurt at first; they hated my "healthy" version of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and even though they were a bit overweight, felt Thanksgiving was just one of those feasts that should be enjoyed in it's purity of tradition and flavor. They, of course, were right and now I would never consider shirking on those old family recipes.
So, my sons are home from college and Randy is out buying a turkey for us to deep fry ( don't freak out, done properly, the bird doesn't absorb the oil and it is delicious, tender and juicy). My older sister will host our festivities and we will all bring our favorite Thanksgiving dish. We will sit as a family (with my sis's first little grand-baby girl!) and give thanks for our love, health and homes.
Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your traditions.