I drove to my parents' house in Jonesboro, Arkansas on Wednesday after work. It's only an hour away from Memphis, so I got there just in time to grab some dinner. My mama and I wanted to eat something light since we knew we'd be pigging out on Thursday, so we stopped by the Truck Patch, Jonesboro's health food store, and hit the salad bar. I always go crazy on a pay-by-the-pound salad bar and wound up with a massive $11 salad. Oops. It was so good though — fried tofu, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, almonds, sunflower seeds, black beans, garbanzos, corn, peas, and so much more.
My dad made us some bloody marys after dinner, and I retired early since I needed to get up way early for a run. My marathon is next weekend, and I had a 5-mile training run scheduled for Thursday morning. Luckily, my runner friend Misti (who lives just outside Memphis) was back home in Jonesboro for the holiday too. I've known Misti since college when we both went to Arkansas State in Jonesboro, and we both moved to Memphis around the same time. So we go back at least 15 or 16 years. Anyway, her sister knew a group of 30 or so runners who do 10 miles every year on Thanksgiving. We joined up with them, but we only did 6 miles since I'm tapering (and I was only scheduled for 5). Misti wanted to go that extra mile since she's also in training for a half.
After our run, I went back to my parents' house to shower and have a small breakfast. The night before, at the Truck Patch, I picked up this Vanilla Spice Protein Coconut-milk by REBBL Herbs. So good! Definitely my new fave protein milk. I wish I could buy this in Memphis.
We also picked up some Ozery Bakery Cranberry Orange Morning Rounds and a small tub of Go Veggie Vegan Cream Cheese at the health food store. Perfect pre-Thanksgiving lunch, post-run breakfast snack.
We usually have our big meal for lunch rather than dinner. So around 1 p.m., we dug into a massive feast prepared by my mama. She makes everything vegan! Except they do have a turkey for them. I always bring some kind of vegan roast for me. This year, I got the Trader Joe's Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy, which is actually made by Gardein. It was excellent!
Mama makes the BEST Cornbread Dressin' in the world. Seriously. This is the highlight of Thanksgiving.
Her Hash Brown Casserole is the second best thing about Thanksgiving. Love this stuff. Shredded potatoes, Daiya cheddar, Tofutti sour cream, onions, lots of Earth Balance, and cornflake topping.
She tried a new recipe for Broccoli & Rice Casserole this year, and it was really yummy. This had creamed corn inside and panko crumbs on top.
Mama's Green Beans are amazing. She slow-cooks them for hours and adds olive oil and Liquid Smoke and a little sugar.
She was disappointed in her Dinner Rolls this year. She tried a new recipe and felt like they were too dense. But my daddy and I loved them. They were more like biscuits, but who doesn't love a biscuit?
She also tried a new recipe for the Cranberry Sauce, but this one was a definite winner. It had orange peel and orange marmalade, so it was tart and citrusy and sweet.
And she used my recipe for Poppyseed Coleslaw from Cookin' Crunk for our salad!
Some years, I get in the kitchen and help out by making a dish of my own. This year, I made Cauliflower Stuffing using this recipe. A coworker had sent me this recipe, and it sounded really good. Just cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, Earth Balance, herbs, and a little veggie broth. We all loved it (but my mushroom-hating dad said it would have been better without the mushrooms).
Here's my plate! So much goodness. Photographed outside for better light. Eaten inside because it's cold out there!
After dinner, it was pie time! My mama made an Upside Down Apple Pecan Pie this year. The pecan topping actually goes on the bottom of the pie pan, and then the pie is flipped out after baking and cooling. So pretty and really delicious.
After dinner, we took an ussie in front of the holiday tree. Sadly, my Granny had a cold and couldn't make it, so it was just my mom, dad, me, and Me-Maw.
And then my dad got this picture of the ladies!