I’d be lying if I said I was someone who makes a huge deal out of Thanksgiving. Not because “Oh, I’m over food” like most people tell themselves, but just because it was only my youngster and I for so many years, and after you spend enough time away from family you stop investing so heavily in the holidays. The only thing we really put effort into was her birthday… at which point I become the cake baking diva.

This year, that was different. Seeing as how I now live in a new city with my fiance’, and his mother is literally a sneeze away, this became “the opportunity for us to come together as a family.”

Let me translate that for you – that means “you get to cook for my mom.” Yay, I think?

So, it is written. I will be transporting my kit, my groceries, and my skills so that I can throw down that low down self-taught-know-how in NYC. Okay… let’s do this.

Aside from all the fun talk, when I asked what a “Clean Thanksgiving” looks like, I got a few people who made comments similar to “that doesn’t exist.” You sure about that? All it takes is avoiding processed foods and letting nature take care of you as it should. No stress… perhaps a lot of time, but easy on the struggle-life powdered mashed potatoes, though.

I was able to snap a few photos of the day with the new, official BGG2WL camera that will be taking all of our photos from here on out. Trust me… considering what I’ve got in store for the blog, you’ll be glad I’ve got it.

Anyway, once the tea started flowin’…

…it was time to get choppin’…

…and spicin’…

(the prelude to an amazing macaroni and cheese, yes indeed...)

…and dicin’…

…and before you know it, the kitchen starts smelling like a holiday. Cranberry sauce…

…macaroni and cheese…

…collard greens still cooking in the pot…

…and the chicken – not a single solitary person desired turkey on Thanksgiving, and thank goodness – complete with a pot full of dressing…

Let’s just say that there was plenty of food. I’m still getting used to keeping a camera on deck in the kitchen, so I didn’t get to photograph a couple of the dishes – namely my deep dish cinnamon apple pie – before they were ravaged. Either way, everyone was happy and I made a great impression on the future Mama-in-law. Those of you who’ve had to cook for your significant other’s family already know what kind of pressure that can be. One false move, and you’re getting invites to eat dinner at their house. Every. Night. Either that, or Mama’s showing up in your kitchen trying to “show you something.” Naw, I had to let her know that we’re good over here. (Kidding! Sorta. Ha!)

Everything that was in that kitchen was local and made from scratch, except the whole wheat macaroni noodles. Kept it pretty simple, kept it clean, kept it local and it worked out well.

Yes, clean Thanksgivings exist.

Now let me go put together these recipes before y’all beat me up!

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