As everyone is running around, trying to put the finishing touches on their holiday preparations, it is a good time to stop for a moment and remember what this time is all about. For many, it has simply been swept up in commercialism, only to be remembered for being the day before Black Friday,when everyone gets up at the crack of dawn and goes scurrying to the malls, and exactly one month before the Christmas holidays yet to come. Yikes! Just thinking about it makes me tired, no tryptophan induced turkey coma required!
Thanksgiving started out not as the busy extravaganza it has become, but instead as a time to reflect on all the special things in each of our lives that most of us too often take for granted. What are you thankful for this year? Friends, family, pets, wonderful food, the place that you live? Sometimes sitting across the table from the people that you care about most, sharing a meal can be enough. It is something that we should celebrate everyday.
When it comes to food, for most Americans, Thanksgiving would not be complete without the celebrated turkey. It has become a well known tradition for everybody to gather round the table, oohing and aahing as the perfectly cooked turkey is brought to the table — or so movies and Norman Rockwell paintings would have us believe. It is almost a certainty that turkey would most likely have been one of the last things to be served on the table at the first Thanksgiving, instead being passed over in favor of roast goose, oysters, lobster, squash, and corn. Cranberry sauce would have been unsweetened, due to a lack of sugar, and stuffing probably would have been made without bread. Along with many of the other recipes that we now know and love, how especially turkey even came to be associated with the Thanksgiving holiday is something of a mystery. Turkeys were revered by many influential people in American history, including Benjamin Franklin, nearly leading it to becoming the American national bird instead of the bald eagle. It is likely that turkeys, as a native species to the Americas became synonymous with the holidays simply due to their relative abundance and easy availability. No one really knows for sure. One fun article that explores the history of this subject, can be found on the food time line site here. In researching the history of Thanksgiving in general, we also came across a fascinating video, which can be viewed here.
If your Thanksgiving party is smaller, and does not really warrant the cooking of an entire turkey, this recipe is especially great, providing all of the flavor and atmosphere of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, without all the mess and hours of cooking time.
This recipe serves 4 people.
Cranberry-Apple Stuffed Turkey Breast:
- 4 organic turkey breast cutlets
- 1-1/2 cups of gluten free cranberry apple stuffing, find it here.
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup organic chicken stock
Carefully wash the turkey breast cutlets before cutting. With a sharp knife, create a slit in the side of each cutlet, until a small pocket is formed. Fill each turkey breast with spoonfuls of the stuffing mixture, making sure not to let too much of it fall out. Place in a baking dish, coating each piece lightly with the salt, pepper and dried thyme. Pour the chicken stock around the stuffed turkey breasts in the baking dish; it will slowly impart flavor and moisture as the meat cooks, and also prevent it from burning. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in center of the largest piece reads 190°F and the chicken stock is completely absorbed.
Remove from the oven, and serve with extra stuffing, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, a salad, or any of your favorite holiday side dishes.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Remember, this is the season to count your blessings, and celebrate the discovery of Self. Celebrate and enjoy the day.