Thankful for keto this evening. Our good friends Sharon and Jean started doing keto three whole months ago, and that inspired us to keep the meal almost totally low-carb and grain-free.
Jean is an active woman in her 80s. She's lost 27 pounds so far. “I've never been to stay on a diet before!” she said.
Her daughter Sharon added, “The last time she weighed what she does now, it was 1995.”
Sharon, meantime, is down 18 pounds.
They both looked great. Well, actually, it was hard to tell right at first, under their baggy clothes. I made them both take off their outer layers so I could see how they had changed! Sorry, I have no shame when it comes to seeing what a few months of eating great low-carb whole foods can do. “Our clothes are all too big,” said Jean, with a laugh.
Speaking of great food.
Donald smoked a turkey in the Brinkman he scored at the Seventh Day Adventist thrift store a month or so ago for just 5 bucks! Soaked applewood and a slow charcoal fire permeated the whole bird. So did the seasoning he put in the brine — salt, Costco seasoning mix, and generous branches trimmed from our sage and rosemary plants.
And then the appetizers. Cheese balls (softened cream cheese plus shredded cheese, the size of a softball) like my cousin made when we were teens, one rolled in paprika, the other in dried parsley, harvested from last summer's herb garden. For spreading the cheese on, we had a choices of sweet potato crackers (just one carb apiece, net), seaweed strips, parmesan Whisps (all three available at Costco) and even normal saltines for the non-keto followers. Red and green grapes.
And the sides! Asparagus rolled in extra virgin olive oil, dusted with fine salt, and quick roasted in the air fryer. Buttery, bright orange chunks of Flat White Boer, the pumpkin-looking squash we grew this summer (looks just like a pumpkin, but, well, flat and white) and Giant Musselburgh Leeks, from one of the bags of sliced leeks stuffed in the freezers. Like the asparagus, I tossed them around in some olive oil before blasting them in the air fryer. They also got a dusting of Donald's custom blend of seasoned salt. Cole slaw — we bought a bag of already-cut-up cole slaw stuff, and mixed with the dressing they give the recipe. Here's a handy hint. When a recipe says “light” — the cole slaw said to use 1/2 cup light mayo and 1/2 ciup light sour cream — just pretend that word isn't there. Fastest keto hack ever.
With all the satisfying sides, no one ever even mentioned stuffing. (Hint: there wasn't any.)
After dinner, Sharon and my son played the board game he invented a few days ago. It's a good one!
Eventually we had a little room for Sharon's pumpkin pie crumble — no-cal sweeneter, almond and pecan cust and crumble top. I peeled some tart Empire apples that were getting too shriveled to eat out of hand and baked them in a buttered tin, and topped them with meringue.
So, pretty darn close to a thoroughly keto menu.
The only thing missing from this Thanksgiving meal? That feeling of being stuffed, sleepy, and altogether out of it, just when you want to enjoy the company of family and friends.
So thankful for good friends, loving family, and all the bountiful resources we have to prepare and share healthful, delicious food.