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Erika’s Thanksgiving Swindle

by Erika Nicole Kendall

The bird – pre-brine – and I won’t even be eating any of it. *insert sad face*

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been cooking all week. Slicing, chopping, pre-roasting, brining… all that. I’ve been cooking all week… just for today.

I’m tired, my feet hurt, but the people I love… who love to pig out and act a plum fool over some food… will get to enjoy themselves on delicious dishes…

…without knowing that I completely swindled them.

I baked scalloped potatoes, a mustard and turnip greens blend, roasted carrots, mashed yams, homemade cranberry sauce, a whole chicken (that I won’t be eating) with dressing, a whipped cream-frosted caramel cake and a chocolate creme pie… and I didn’t use more than a cup and a half of sugar and 3 tablespoons of salt in the entire meal. I might be completely out of herbs, and my kitchen might look like a disaster… but my family will be throwing down and will be (surprisingly) stuffed before they know it. A meal full of nothing but real ingredients? Yes. They shall be stuffed.

Maybe I’ll tell ’em after the fact that dinner was actually healthy. Maybe not. One thing’s for sure.. they certainly won’t notice it.

In the meantime, I’ll spend my free time today putting my feet up and posting a few of the recipes from my meal today. May not be useful today, but considering all of the family get-togethers taking place during the rest of the year, surely something will prove useful.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all… I’m thankful for a lot of things, but most of all, I’m thankful that you’re here and we’re all together helping each other. Y’all rock. Really.

P.S: Looking for My Personal Guide to Getting Through The Holidays?

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Stephanie November 25, 2010 - 9:28 PM

I am kind of excited to see the recipes. Thanks!!!!!

cjbrownsc November 26, 2010 - 9:19 PM

I was praying that you would post some of your recipes. Your menu sounded delicious!

Kait November 27, 2010 - 1:53 PM


First and foremost I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Secondly, I simply want to thank you (pun fully intended). For this first time in my life, I realized how much of my poor and unhealthy eating behaviors can be attributed to my family. I’d love to blame it on our Italian heritage, but having eaten true, well-made Italian, I cannot. As a vegetarian, my choices at family holidays basically boil down to somewhat wilting salad, bread, cheese, stuffed pastas, and sides that are smothered in butter, sugar, salt, or some combination of the three (even the canned peas are covered in butter!). Reading your holiday menu, my mouth was watering and I realized that regardless of whether it will offend anyone, I’ll be cooking some of your REAL recipes to bring to family gatherings from now on…no more wilted lettuce for this girl!

MANDA November 28, 2010 - 3:13 PM

I used your mac and cheese lite and it was SO good! Everyone loved it. I put a whole chicken in the slow cooker, good, but probably do it the regular way from now on. The only bad thing I had was some sausage stuffing. I can’t wait for the recipes either.

Marjorie November 29, 2010 - 2:49 AM

What did you put in your brine for the chicken? How long did you leave the chicken in the brine?

Erika November 29, 2010 - 9:59 AM

I’ll be posting the recipe for it this week. Just a few herbs, lots of salt and a ton of water for about a day or so.

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