OK. So first a recipe (and yes, I’ve posted it before. Get off my back! This is a reminder for you, K?) Rather than the dish of warm, cooked carrots that I have personally never been a fan of :(, consider this gorgeous, carrot slaw as an alternative! Not only will it be gobble-gobbled up in a jiffy, it can be prepared one or two days in advance. In fact, it tastes better when prepared in advance. So, like, you might want to prepare it in advance. I’m just sayin’.
Michelle’s Carrot Slaw
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound grated carrots, or 1-1/3 pounds carrots, peeled and grated (if you wash them well, don’t have to peel)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from one lemon
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from one orange (or a splash of orange juice)
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- a little bundle of green onion, white and green parts, diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
Bake walnuts at 350 for about 5-7 minutes. Set aside. Throw remaining ingredients into a bowl and toss it up a bit. This salad will keep well in the fridge for a few days, but don’t add the walnuts until you’re ready to eat.
And now for those thoughts I mentioned. I L-O-V-E Thanksgiving. Since food, family and friends are my favorite things in the whole universe, this coming Thursday is tailor made for moi. No shopping for gifts, decorations can be minimal or maximal, depending on your mood, and then you just gather with a bunch of people you love (or have to tolerate for a few hours, whatever) and eat delicious food. OK. Yes. And drink wine. Ahhh….
My recipe for Thanksgiving sanity is as follows: Welcome to everyone who wants to join us + it’s potluck so what are you gonna bring? + eat around 2:00 so there’s time to really enjoy the meal, take a walk or relax before dessert later in the day + do something un-American and really savor the day. Take some time to talk, at least for a moment, to everyone at the gathering. Don’t worry about stuff at work that still needs to get done and for heaven’s sake don’t worry about Black Friday. Shut the world out, if you can, for that one afternoon and make like Jim Morrison, man… reeee-laxxx…
A note on my pot-luck notion. I take pot-lucks very seriously. There will be 35 people at my house (Please don’t rain! Please! Please! Please!) this year for Thanksgiving and there ain’t no way I’m making all the food. And why should I? My grandma always said, “If you want to make someone feel like family, they have to contribute something.” I’m making the turkey and this carrot slaw. My guests are bringing dressing, potatoes, multiple vegetables, sweet potatoes, wine, pies, everything we need, really, for this to work. I don’t just assign ornamental after-thoughts like dinner rolls to my guests (now the guy who’s bringing dinner rolls is scratching his head… It’s OK. He’s bringing other things too.) On Thursday ALL my guests are family and I’m counting on them to not blow it. I’m not worried. They always rise to the occasion. That’s what loving families do.
Final words: save your turkey carcass! My family’s post-Thanksgiving tradition is turkey tortilla soup… which I will not be thinking about yet on Thursday.