E Mālama I Ka `Āina, E Ola Pono (Cherish the land, live in health and harmony)
11.28.2013 80 °F
I always enjoy Thanksgiving because I make sure to take the time to reach out to loved ones and tell them how happy I am to have them in my life. While it takes more time than a generic Facebook status post, individual notes are made very easy by way of modern technology (ie: texts and Facebook wall posts). I got a lot of well-wishes responses but a lot of people asked for a report on how Thanksgiving works in Hawaii so here we go...
I started my Thanksgiving celebration by cooking collard greens the night before. Now if anyone knows me, they can confirm that collard greens are one of my all-time favorite holiday sides! I reached out to my bestie boo from high school for her mom's secret recipe because they're my favorite! Turns out, there wasn't much of a secret but her advice made me confident that my greens would be lovely! Everyone enjoyed them at dinner and I even have a little leftover for myself!
Thanksgiving Day kicked off with a nice Skype call with my family in Florida. It made me feel like I was there, seeing their smiling faces and cheerful outfits. So here is Difference #1: My Thanksgiving didn't include fancy outfits. We simply came as we were and loved each other just the same. I saw board shorts, no shirts, flip flops, jeans, collared shirts, and camo pants!
Difference #2: I enjoyed receiving my first ever Thanksgiving Day cards from family. I can't say I even knew there were such cards but it was nice to know my family was thinking of me during the kickoff of this holiday season.
I spent most of my morning after that spending quality time with my significant other. It's a new relationship and we already had our own Thanksgiving dinner plans so it was nice to enjoy each other's company before our busy days got started.
And then it was time for Difference #3: Working on an organic farm means fresh, fresh food which in turn means harvesting aka slaughtering fish! Can't say I'd ever done that for Thanksgiving but I'll add it to my list of valuable life skills I've learned on the farm. We harvested tilapia and Chinese catfish which is a gory job but boy, were they tasty! We grilled the tilapia and fried the catfish in cornmeal. MMM!!!
I decided to consciously do Difference #4: I took time to relax in the yard, just me and the dogs. I reflected on my choices that got me where I am today and how happy I am. I sent love to friends and family and took in the wonderful, warm weather we were having (sorry to all that are very cold right now but feel free to come visit Hawaii any time :-) ). I even treated myself to a little holiday cheer aka a Cherry Pepsi!
Afterward, I made phone and Skype calls with more loved ones then started getting ready for dinner. I chose to get dressed up (jean shorts, flip flops, and a nice top) so compared to what the rest of my family in Florida wore, I was underdressed but to my farmily, I was fancy dressed :-D
And now to discuss the food! We had a turkey, taro root, and Okinawa sweet potatoes (they have purple flesh and are very tasty!) cooked in the imu which is the traditional Hawaiian way of cooking underground. Everyone on the farm made their favorite dishes from home so we had sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, homemade dinner rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, pineapple stuffing, my greens, carrots and homemade veggie dip, farm fresh fish, fresh pineapple, tortillas from Spain which actually means omelet, and coconut water. And for dessert: made-from-scratch pumpkin pies and whipped cream!! We all shared what we're thankful for during dinner. All in all, it was wonderful and everyone is going to bed with full tummies and happy hearts.
Look at that view!
A closer look at our spread
I'd say my Thanksgiving was pleasantly different but still had the comforts of a typical Thanksgiving. As long as you spend time with loved ones, share great stories and beautiful food, you're enjoying this holiday the right way! I love my farmily more and more and, while I couldn't be with my actual family, they're the next best thing! Here's some of them (please note: I furthered my selfie addiction by incorporating Selfie Thanksgiving Day!)
Elko is like my big brother and then there's our beloved Pops who is like my grandfather!
Thanks to me, Benjamin got to experience his first selfie!
Our Current Farmily!
Hug the ones you love a little tighter this time and tell them you're thankful for them in your life!