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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Skinny Mashed Potatoes and De-Fatted Gravy. Huhhh?

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.


  1. Debra,

    That's so funny that you mentioned your not-so-yummy-by-oh-so-healthy Thanksgiving past. One year, I made a low carb Thanksgiving at my in-laws. I made these low carb biscuits out of a box I bought on the Internet and my brother-in-law said, at the dinner table, "Oh my God! These are disgusting!" We all laughed and I had to agree that they were akin to cardboard.
    This year, it's stuffing with wheat bread, sourdough biscuits (freshed basked from that bakery on the square in Sonoma), pumpkin pie (homemade crust) and lots of mashed potatoes to go with the turkey. Carbs, schmarbs. It's Thanksgiving!

    I love you, my friend. Have a great Thanksgiving. Give the boys a hug for me.


  2. your story is too funny and reminds of when i started catering. i wanted to be a healthy caterer but it was met with a lot of dissaproval because people want to indulge at weddings, birthdays, etc. i quickly changed my menu!

    thanks for sharing your story. everyone coming tomorrow is a vegan so i'm safe.


  3. I so love "carb schmarbs" to death! Yep, we live and learn. As my boys would say, "Fo Sho!" (Whatever..) Love you my girl and Happy Thanksgiving to your wonderful family. I and we love you and them. We are thankful for you.

  4. Deb...what a great post! Enjoy your feast and your family. Happy Thanksgiving...and please pass the gravy. xxoo

  5. Hi Deb,

    Funny story...I guess you have to figure Thanksgiving is only one day and you can eat healthy the rest of the week! My sister-in-law usually makes the mashed potatoes & she puts so much butter in them I named them "heart attack potatoes". And now I have 1/2 a pumpkin cheesecake in the fridge that I have to get rid of. So I will be calling my daughter & her boyfriend today to come and get most of it!


  6. Where are you losing this 20-30 pounds *from* exactly? You must be super tall cuz I just can't see where you need to lose anywhere near that much!! What gives?! You look marvellous!!

  7. Ooops, that last comment was for Kaylee--Deb, if you lost 30 pounds you would no longer be visible ;-)