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Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude and Jello Salad

Happy Thanksgiving, CN! Hope you’re out there (in the US anyway) getting your turkey feast on.

If this is your first holiday post-fuckwit, do something nice for yourself today. Like enjoy all the pumpkin pie for breakfast you want.

If you’re sharing with kids, and its not your turn this year, pro-tip for next time: Host the Sunday before. That way you get to make your own memories, with your own people (who will be thrilled to not have to travel on a holiday week). And you get the first crack at holiday turkey novelty with the kids.

Speaking of turkey, Mr. CL has a holiday tradition of buying the largest ass turkey he can find, despite my protestations. It doesn’t matter if it’s just us or 14 people, there must be an obscene abundance of turkey and turkey leftovers. Do not DARE to suggest one of those pop-in-the-oven turkey breasts, or ordering a pre-made meal from a grocery story. THE COLOSSAL TURKEY FEAST WILL NOT BE DENIED.

Soo… On this holiday post, I thought we could go a couple ways.

1.) the traditional Tell Me What You’re Grateful For.


2.) Recipe swap.

I shall begin.

I’m grateful for good health, family, and friends. (I know, this is not original. But really, true connections with people and the stamina to get through life seem to be the essence of good fortune.)

I’m thankful that all three of our sons (Mr. CL has two and I have one) have launched into adulthood as kind, intellectually curious, self-supporting young men.

And I’m thankful for this community. Every day you guys cheer me up about the state of the world, with your humor and insight, and long comments of support for one another. Oh, and the snark, memes, and song parodies. The world is a better place because you’re in it. Thank you!!! Keep rocking the mighty, and telling me about it.

Now for… recipe swap!

Here is the Traditional Jello Salad that my mother serves everything Thanksgiving and Xmas. And now it’s my responsibility to make sure that gelatinous Midwestern foodstuffs appear at holidays.

1 box red jello (raspberry, cranberry… )

1 envelop of unflavored gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 can crushed pineapple

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 can mandarin orange slices, drained

Put unflavored gelation in bowl, soften with some cool water to soften, then add red jello and boiling water. Stir. Dump in the other cans. Stir. Refrigerate until set. You can also mold this in to shapes if you’re weird that way.

Happy Thanksgiving, CN!

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  • I’m so, so, so, so, so grateful for my health. And for healthcare innovations that kept and keep me here and thriving.

    For recipes, I’m going with 1/2 cranberry juice 1/2 Virgil’s (or other low sugar high spice) ginger ale/ginger beer, non alcoholic, for the best mocktail I’ve found. (I can’t physically tolerate alcohol, and this mocktail is tasty and also looks cocktailish enough in a glass that people don’t pepper me with overpersonal questions about why I’m not drinking alcohol with them, LOL!)

    Thanks, CL and CN, for all of your goodness. I wish you the best possible winter holidays with as many moments of love and peace as you can stand. ????

    • I’m keeping that recipe Amiisfree! I’ve got a mocktail recipe for you. Over ice, 2 oz. low cal Margarita Mix (Dr. Swami’s BoneDaddy) and fill the glass w/ a can of zero cal Strawberry Mango sparkling water (from Target, Good & Gather brand). Stir and serve with a straw. That’s the only flavor that makes this rock for me. It’s very floral-like smell and it hits just right with the tartness.
      …putting my duck in the oven right now. Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Thank you so, so, so much for reminding me of another thing to be grateful about: a holiday spent without people guzzling alcohol. Thanksgivings were always a nightmare for me with all the adults being drunk. My absolute worst memory is when I was about 12 and Mom forgot to turn the oven dial to the correct temperature. Hours later, the meat still wasn’t done, so she drunkenly tried to butcher a half-raw turkey and cook it on top of the stove. And then there were all the times Dad forced/literally strong-armed me to have a mixed drink—all the while with me repeating/pleading that I was a stroke survivor with poor balance, refracted vision, and partial blindness, and that I NEVER drank alcohol even before all the brain damage. Nope, I was harangued until I accepted a cocktail, smiled with hate in my eyes, faked taking a sip, and then abandoned the glass. This went on for YEARS until Mom died and then Dad got to the point that he no longer metabolizes alcohol properly and HE feels ill from drinking it. No wonder it has taken me a decade of being single (after divorce from not one but TWO lying, cheating jerks) to gain enough perspective to see how majorly screwed up my family was.

        Enjoying my peaceful day, sitting by the fire, just finished my bowl of mildly-Thai inspired chicken-and-peanut butter soup with asian dumplings. No television, no drunks—just me in my peaceful home that’s mine, all mine.

      • A fellow duck lover! *raises glass of sparkling apple juice to you*

        I’m thankful that my future Thanksgivings will be all roasted duck because I’m getting my ducks lined up right now!

    • C r a n b r r r I e s i n P o r t w i n e
      Best ever-
      Follow the package directions on fresh cranberries-except:
      where it says Waater- – use Port wine;
      where it says Sugar use brown sugar.
      Cook on top of stove as directed.
      Add 1/2 -3/4 cup pecan halves for the last five minutes.
      Can be made two days ahead, heat before serving.
      Wonderful on thanksgiving but also serve all year with roast chicken.

  • Grateful that my wife got called off at 5:10 this morning from working as a critical care nurse in the ICU in our local hospital. This means that we can sit on the love seat together in front of the fireplace this AM because 80% of our County is vaccinated and Covid is currently under control. Last year at this time she and others were being crushed by the physical and emotional weight. Making plans for the day as we drink coffee. Family Thanksgiving gathering will be Saturday.
    Wishing you all good health!

    • I’m so happy your wife got called off! I am an ICU nurse too and I know how happy I was when I got this 5:00am calls, especially on a holiday! Stay blessed!

    • This just made me smile so much. That’s wonderful she got called off, that so much of your county is vaccinated, and that Covid is under control there! What a lovely morning. Wishing you good health as well. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I hate turkey and I have serious cooking-related emotional baggage, so I do get annoyed by the food-centeredness of this holiday HOWEVER, I am very thankful that we will see one of our 4 kids today.

    Col Greatly shares Mr CLs love of cooking tradition, so I will wash dishes and stuff in support of his efforts.

    Im also very thankful that life is giving me a season to live my dreams. Bad doesnt exist forever but neither does good, so Im appreciating every opportunity that this current season affords me. Ive planned a spring trip with my grandson which is a grandmas dream and I hope that neither plague nor disaster disrupts my schemes.

    Love to all Chumps, especially the new, hurting ones. It gets better.

    • He is known here as Col Greatguy but autocorrect messed up his name. He was Col Goodguy until he agreed to go to CLs book party with me in DC whereupon he was promoted to Greatness.

      His wife ran off to find greener pastures (that didnt exist). We married 14 years after their divorce and she is mad about it (I messed up there XH endless cake supply).

    • Dear Unicornomore,

      Love and hugs to you!

      Food/eating/cooking is a big part of my recovery story…let me know if you are interested in resources that have helped me at the same baggage claim…

      Food/eating/cooking is a daily practice for me….no anorexia or bulimia involved in my case….but my goal was to have a relationship with food that is sane, relaxed, happy joyous and free, about listening to my body and loving myself, and to delete the disordered indoctrination and dogma installed in my FOO.

      I don’t know if my food/eating/cooking-related trips to the baggage claim will ever cease entirely. I saw a new Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial that features a mom chasing her child around the house with a forkful of Mac and cheese while the child runs away yelling, “I’m not hungry!” OMG I want to strangle the ad exec and everyone else in the meeting that thought that was a good idea…..

      • Think that dysfunction where food is concerned will always be an issue for me. The women in my family always acted like food skills were #1 and if you didnt have those, you were shit (you could freaking cure cancer and it wouldn’t matter). I was also tormented for being a picky eater and at various times I was envied for being slim but at the same time I knew I would be summarily rejected if I weren’t. Lots of crazy shit. Then Cheater who capitalized on this and tormented me more.

        I bought Col Greatguy cooking lessons in Italy as a Christmas gift and he said he would only do it if I did it with him…the event is about 2 weeks away. This Florentine cooking school may have never met a more reluctant student than me.

        Im not sure that total wellness is possible in this area…Not Batshit Crazy may be as good as I get and that will be OK.

        • My biggest most helpful awareness is that when it comes to all things food, it’s daily practice rather than reaching some absolute goal of mastery where I never fall off the beam or make a misstep…like any great batter in baseball can attest to. Everybody strikes out, no one hits a home run every time they come to the plate. They don’t quit playing. They observe and make adjustments for the next time they’re up. Practice, not perfection.

      • Yes, I think it might help to dig deeper and uncover the wounds related to my emotional baggage around cooking as well. Do post the resources, Velvet Hammer. It’s been liberating to not cook like I used to, but I found I was feeling used even for doing minor cooking to help my nephews out while my bro takes their mom for chemo. I did make a big batch of food when I visited them but yeah, I was surprised that I felt negative emotions. To me, it’s from my 13 years of marriage to FW where I cooked upto 12 dishes a day to cater to food preferences for his parents, grandparents etc. I was in the kitchen most of my married life and I resent it. For a year after discovery I completely shut down cooking and lived on bone broth and takeaways. Much better now, but this was a good reminder for me to dig deeper and become more balanced, let go of the shit and give love and care to those who deserve it, especially me.

        • I’ve been interested to read the comments about baggage around food, and cooking in particular. I never learned much about cooking from my mother, who was a perfectionist and a homemaker. She saw cooking as part of her “job” and performed it above average if a bit unenthusiastically. And she could not stand her kids messing up her kitchen while “helping.”
          When I married at age 23, I knew little more than how to boil noodles. My husband fancied himself a great cook, and over the course of our 18-year marriage he would systematically undermine my confidence when it came to cooking.
          No matter what I made for our family dinners, he would walk in the door from work and turn up his nose. He “had a late lunch and wasn’t hungry” or he’d “eat some later.” Then 30 minutes later, he’d be in the kitchen cooking what he really wanted.
          Another funny thing was how I taught him how to make pizza from scratch. By the time our kids were teenagers, “his” pizza skills were legendary and he was feeding half the kids in the neighborhood. Major kibbles!
          By then, our kids had picked upon the hilarious family joke that “dad’s a kitchen genius and mom can’t boil water.”
          Needless to say, I internalized that along with every other devaluing message he was sending.
          It’s been over a decade now since I left him, and one of the joys of this new chapter of life has been discovering that I like to cook, and that I’m quite good at it. And being single has the added benefit of freedom to decide when and what I cook.
          I am grateful for my single life!

  • My entry to the Jello salad repertoire is “Under the Sea Salad,” whose main ingredients are lime jello, canned pears, and cream cheese. I am away from home looking out for my mother who is in assisted living, so I don’t have the recipe to hand, but you can google it–there are numerous entries. Under the Sea Salad was a staple on our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables when I was a child (I don’t remember having it at any other time), and I loved it. Under the Sea Salad says FOO Holiday to me, along with my beloved Auntie Kay’s mashed sweet potatoes with orange, served in a half of a hollowed out orange, and the pumpkin pies my mother made with no sugar (by mistake) when I was nine, which not only became a standing joke in the family, because my mother doesn’t care for pumpkin pie, so she was eating mince pie and enjoying it while the rest of us were side-eyeing each other, but was also responsible for my entry as a girl into Thanksgiving preparations, because I made the pumpkin pies from then on–and I will be putting a pumpkin pie in the oven in just a few minutes, to enjoy with the Chinese takeout that will be my cousin’s and my Thanksgiving feast this year. When I was together with my husband, I cooked the whole Thanksgiving meal for 40 years–and I’m actually enjoying paring all that prep down to just one pie this year.

    May we of Chump Nation enjoy ourselves, one and all, in the ways and in the company of those that give us comfort, happiness, and satisfaction.

  • Good morning CN and happy thanksgiving.
    I’m struggling with gratitude this morning since I’m all alone and this is my DDay anniversary season— I was blissfully unaware of my freaks infidelity last year.
    I’m grateful for CL and CN. I could not have made it this far without you ( you are my lifelong friends, even though we’ve never met ). For all future chumps, next year I will save a spot at my table for you and tell you how awesome you are.

    Recipe— Brussel sprouts and vegan chorizo. Shallots or red onion. Cut it all up and cook it in a cast iron pan. The chorizo has spice but salt to taste. The sprouts are best when soft and heavenly browned. The vegetarian in your fam will love you.
    Greetings from the NYC

    • The first year/season is so hard! I so remember that first Thanksgiving two weeks after my divorce. I was bound and determined to carry on as usual, dammit!, and cooked the whole shebang meal for me and my adult son (then 30), but there was a moment when we were cleaning up that I couldn’t help myself and teared up.

      It really does get better. This is Thanksgiving #4 after the divorce for me, and as I wrote above, I have happily let go of the past and past expectations for myself, whether self imposed or imposed by my ex for all those years.

      Xioba, comfort yourself this year with the knowledge that your recipe for cast-iron roasted Brussel sprouts with vegan chorizo will spread far and wide throughout Chump Nation and we will be giving thanks to you for the recipe and sending our best wishes for what we know will be a better fuckwit-free future for you.

      • Thank you and happy thanksgiving.
        Sounds like you’re doing awesome so I appreciate the role modeling.

      • Yes. Olive oil too — forgot that :).

        The chorizo will stick, but that is why the cast iron. Scrape it off so the vegan gets extra iron.

    • It does get better. Give it time. Trust your heart while it mends.

      This is year 4 for me too. My kids are with her this year. Gets a little easier each time.

      And what Thanksgiving was for me back then feels like a different life. I now (kinda) wish I had stronger sentimental feelings for those days just to honor the past.

      But would I ever wish to go back to them? Nope.

      I’m grateful for my divorce.
      Im grateful she cheated – it made it so much easier to leave.
      I wouldn’t be here, happy, if it all didn’t happen.

      • Tall one,
        Thank you. I know exactly what you mean about being grateful she cheated but I can’t quite say the words yet.
        It’s like if I thank her and her FuckBuddy ( their texts to each other always started ‘Hey Buddy’ ) it’ll be failure on my part and I still have too much pride for failure. Even though in this case I won because I lost. I hope your holidays are awesome.

        • You didn’t fail! She failed! You had the courage to see the truth in front of you once it was revealed and to act–and that takes courage and strength, and yes, faith in yourself and your ability to recover, even when you feel as if you’ve been gutted.

    • XX, so sad that this season is still tender for you. I hope that life brings you a contented, happy season soon

  • I’m grateful for my God my beautiful kids, my fur babies, a boyfriend who loves me( and so far no red flags) and my many friends. I’m also very grateful for no contact.

    Not a big recipe person but my kids go crazy for my glazed carrots—more butter than any of us should eat melted into cooked carrots( the real deal not baby carrots) and golden sugar stir and simmer for a few minutes. I don’t measure just do it by eye and years of experience. Our thanksgiving was a while ago but Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow US chumps!!

  • So, on the Jello mold, we add one tart peeled chopped apple, one cup chopped walnut meats, leave out the mandarin slices, add one more box of orange jello to the red box instead of the unflavored, and cut the can of whole cran berries to 1/2 can.
    So delish.
    Serve with whipped cream.

    Hooray for fwfree Thanksgivings ????????????????

  • I’m grateful that the worst seems to be over. I’m 3,000 miles away from FW (three time zones) and yesterday I walked down to watch the “Inflation” … if you’re not from New York City, this is when they blow up all the balloon floats for the Thanksgiving parade. I think it’s actually more fun than the parade itself. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing a “Friendsgiving” with some great people I’ve met over the past year.

    Recipe: cauliflower, braised in lightly salted water, drained, and mashed with feta cheese, butter and as much garlic as you can stand. Serve with fresh ground pepper. Nobody needs to know how simple and effortless this recipe is, so you can tell them you slaved over a hot stove for hours.

  • My grandmother (Port Huron, Mich) was convinced I was trying to poison people by making salad dressing from scratch instead of using Wishbone from the bottle.

    (She grew up on a farm in Heartland where the only thing they ate which came from a store was sugar, coffee, and spices. I found her disdain for homemade salad dressing very curious).

    I’m going to combine the two challenges by announcing how grateful I am that the world is awash in recipes thanks to TV, the Internet, and the recent concepts of celebrity chefs and glorious coffee table cookbooks. (My latest crush is on Nigel Slater). I will probably never make anything from my French Laundry cookbook but it makes me happy to look at it. A Designer Showcase house I saw in San Francisco a few years ago featured A COOKBOOK LIBRARY off the kitchen, with comfy chairs and a desk for meal planning. I’m using the loft in my garage to create one now that I can do anything I want with MY house.

    Check out Sam Sifton….his cookbooks are fun to read and his recipes are great.
    He is the author of The No Recipe Recipe Book, See You Sunday, and, totally on topic today, Thanksgiving.

    You can do anything you want for Thanksgiving. Be creative. Have fun. Have an escape plan ready for uncomfortable family situations. Rehearse saying NO and setting boundaries.

    I am grateful and make an effort to eat yummy food every day, so everyday is Thanksgiving for me. My daughter and I are making the raspberry hand pies from the Little Women book (the one that was published about the latest movie version).
    We are going on a hike.

    I have a very long gratitude list and peace of mind even though I am still in a lot of pain. All is well.

    Happy Thanksgiving…today and every day.

        • VH, thank you. I loved the film. Here in the UK we have no equivalent for Thanksgiving. Perhaps we should. We have embraced Black Friday with enthusiasm, which is, I think, a disappointment.

    • PS…

      Sam Sifton’s No Recipe Recipes book is a GREAT book for shell-shocked brain fogged chumps who may be cooking for one or for one + kids. The “recipes” are a short list of ingredients you probably have in the pantry or the fridge already. One brief paragraph on how to throw it together with a nice photo to inspire you. Quick, easy, simple, delicious. No brain or sophisticated culinary skills necessary. No measuring. Easy to riff off. I give it five stars.

      It got me out of my fast-food, eat out of a container/box, I’m-too-tired/depressed/impatient-to-cook -anything/besides-it’s-only-me-and- it-doesn’t-matter habits.

    • Wow, small world. My family is from Port Huron, MI too. That’s where my mom grew up and I went to school right next to Port Huron in Marysville.

  • I have been seeking the turkey cranberry pinwheel recipe my mom must have garnered from a box of bisquick/ocean spray cranberry, or campbell’s. Those were the main ingredients add leftover turkey and frozen vegetables for the yummiest pot pie.

  • I’m a lover of “happy accident” recipes. And one of the things that I absolutely gained after Mme YogaPants ran off with the milkman (stereotypes are a thing) was that I could cook whatever the heck I wanted. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and the creative process and I certainly eat healthier than I did when married.

    I accidentally bought Dulce de Leche instead of sweetened condensed milk for my Canadian Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and found this recipe. It’s dead easy to make, tastes delicious and makes a reasonable amount of servings.

    This weekend I’m going to be making roast pumpkin to use up the pie pumpkin that I had as a Halloween decoration. It’s tough cooking for 1 (or 2 when my son comes over) but it’s been something that has brought me a lot of joy and for that I’m thankful.


    • My solution to the Cooking For One (essentially, because my daughter is a little bird with a limited palate) is to cook and bring food to friends or (when the pandemic permits) have people over.

      One of the best restaurant experience I ever had was on a sailing trip in the Caribbean in 2006. We ate at a place on Tortola called Mrs. Scatliff’s. It was actually Mrs. Scatliff at her house. She was in her 90’s. They called you the day before to confirm your choices from the menu. She had several tables set up on her veranda. All the guests arrived at once and she went back into her kitchen and started cooking. She sang while she cooked (Haitian and Caribbean folk songs) and came out periodically to tell you a story about her life. Dessert was a mango from her tree in the yard. (I had goat, coconut chicken, plantains, conch).

      It was fantastic.

      In my Chumpdom I am going to be like a Mrs. Scatliff and invite my friends over for dinner when I want to cook something that would make enough for four.

  • I am grateful for you, Tracy. I am grateful for Chump Nation. I am grateful for connections I have made through this site. I am grateful to be divorced. I am grateful to be breathing the sweet cheater free air in my own home. I moved out of “Eggshell Manor” and that has made such a difference.

    Here is a recipe true to my Mid West Roots.

    Take you one can of sweetened condensed milk, one half cup cocoa powder, two tablespoons butter and dump all that in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Put it on a medium heat and stir frequently for about 25 minutes. Stir until your spoon leaves a trail right through to the bottom of the pan. Take it off the heat. Grab your smallest scoop or use two teaspoons to roll this deliciousness in your toppings of choice. I like shredded coconut. Place into mini-muffin liners for a fancy presentation. Make sure to sit down and scrape the pan clean, prepare for a food coma as this is just a sugar and chocolate rush.

    Happy Day, Chumps. You are all amazing and resilient. I salute you!!!

  • (changing my screen name, since someone else has “Falcon” in their username — plus this new moniker was bestowed upon me by Niece #2, so I wear it with pride 🙂

    So thankful for my family and friends, who even though they loved the FW too, didn’t even HESITATE to drop him as a friend and support the hell out of me when I was blindsided. My parents, sister, nieces, and a couple good friends were there for me every step of the 105 days from FW leaving me (for a girl 30 years younger than he), fixing up the house for sale, buying a new house, my dog dying, moving into the new house, losing cat, finding cat.

    I’m thankful for my cute little house that is ALL MINE. I can draw wieners on all the walls if I want to. (I DON’T want to, but I COULD if I wanted to)

    I’m thankful for a career that I not only love, but that supported me through the financial mess that was divorce/moving.

    I’m thankful for my kitties.

    I’m thankful for CN and all you fabulous Chumps! <3

    • Oh, and a recipe for Thanksgiving Pie:
      * go to grocery store
      * buy pie
      * eat pie

      (I’m not much of a chef, if you haven’t guessed 😀 )

      • Haha…

        Recipe for Thanksgiving Chocolate Chip Cookies:

        Go to McDonalds
        Buy a tote of cookies
        Put them on your own plate
        Be amazed when EVERYONE asks you for the recipe!

        • Divorced Wine Aunt, several years ago when I had consistent problems posting comments, I had to change my moniker from ColdTurkey to eirene, because Tracy explained something about how the word “turkey” was sending up red flags because of nefarious international spammers (or something like that—obviously I’m not an in-the-know computerese-speaking user).

          Anyway, it hurt to abandon my chosen name (I had spent a great deal of time sweating, overheating, and trying to maintain consciousness in decidedly blisteringly hot Turkey), but I decided that the time had come to change my screen name to something more reflective of the person I was becoming, rather than continuing the association to my prior life. It all worked out for the best, and I’m curious: There has got to be a story behind your choosing Wine Aunt as your name. Also wondering why, for the past few days, everybody is able to refer to turkeys without getting sent to moderation.

  • Hahaha my son & I just had the cherry pie I baked last night! He said he was hoping it was going to be a breakfast pie & I said why not?
    I am thankful for a good year. It’s one year exactly since I told FW I was filing. The divorce process went smoothly since we had no minor children & was completed in July. The slightly embarrassing part is that it was 3 years ago, in 2018, that I came across CL. It took 2 years to get myself out of the shame of feeling like I was not worthy of respect or love or many good things. I certainly abused myself emotionally in addition to the FW doing so. I still read CL daily to keep my thinking straight. I also experience many “ah ha” moments. The blog has clued me in to possible behaviors that may have been going on. There was so much confusion regarding business trips, money, time spent away from the house, forgotten agreements, and kids being disappointed. I thought that everyone seemed to enjoy being with FW and that I was the crabby one, and who would I be friends with if I divorced? It took another year to build myself up and build a plan to get out.

    My favorite cranberry pie recipe that I make as soon as cranberries are in the store!
    Stir together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/4 tsp salt. Add 1 bag fresh cranberries & 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Stir in 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 beaten eggs, & 1 tsp almond extract. Bake in a 9” pie pan or 8” brownie pan at 350 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    • Mmmmmm … UpAndOut, one of my absolute favorite desserts ever! In New England, we know it as Nantucket Pie.

      • My version is a buttery cake filled with cranberries that eventually (in the heat of the oven) pop, and their juice gets incorporated into the batter. No pie crust, and the unleavened batter is very thick and gets spooned over the whole cranberry/nut mixture, so it ends up as a low, dense cake. One of my favorite recipes.

      • Having internet troubles today and have lost several posts…. Maybe eventually my long response to lee chump will makeit out of moderation, but the short answer is no, no pie crust, this is more of a thick, flat, unleavened cake that gets moist when the cranberries pop and release their juice. Absolutely delicious.

  • as a canadian chump i’ve already celebrated thanksgiving, but i’m thankful for my kids, my therapist, my friends, CL and CN, and my lawyer. it’s been a year since D-day and 8 months since my X moved out. soon the separation agreement will be signed and i can move on.

    as for a recipe, here’s a dulce de leche poke cake recipe that is delightful and has no calories:

    happy thanksgiving!

  • Turkey with oyster dressing. Grand Mariner and orange juice/peel in the cramberries. Sweet potatoes mashed with orange, banana, bay leaf. Pecan tarts and rum custard pumpkin pie. Tom & Jerrys while cooking and after dinner. Board games and a long walk on the shore. I am thankful for my son and husband, and being FW free–had two before him, plus he makes most of the Thanksgiving dinner. However, we’re doing it tomorrow. Our tradition is to go shopping the day after, get marked down turkeys, one for use and one for the freezer, and more importantly, avoid the crowds pre-Thanksgiving. We get to the store at 6 a.m. when it opens on Friday’s after Thanksgiving.

  • Happy Thanksgiving CL and CN!

    My mom makes the same jello salad… but I think she puts celery in hers? I’ll ask her…

    We celebrated last night and here is my world-famous, amazing turkey recipe, made by one of my daughters and her husband:

    1 turkey breast (with or without bones)
    1 stick of butter
    salt and pepper

    Cook on low in a crock pot for six or seven hours. (Or depending on the size of the turkey. CL will not be able to get hers into a crock pot!) (Don’t open the lid!) Perfect turkey, every time. Very moist. Falls off the bone. It’s so easy that you won’t think it will work, but it will!

    I’m kind of just thankful for everything this year. I’ve had a lot of setbacks: an injury to my knee, knee surgery, poisoned by chlorine gas (long story) had to move because my apartment had too many problems, had to sell my car, bank account at $0 most of the time, my daughter needed a place so she came to live with me in my one bedroom apartment…

    But so many things… I got another car, having my daughter here has been a blessing, we’re working on plans to make our lives better and she’s a wiz at all things tech, my knee has recovered, etc. etc. etc.

    I’m thankful because there’s so much to look forward to. I’m in school. She’s starting a new business. I’m working on a business to start.

    And I’ve found that the making of plans is part of the joy of the moment, when the moment finally arrives. So I’m quantifying the moment now, so I’ll recognize it when I’m in it… and allowing myself to enjoy every stage of the process. Like when you have a baby, you enjoy baby things. You’re not wanting an instant adult. You’re wanting to interact, have an input, create a relationship and enjoy each other, every step of the way. I’m creating a new life now, and I’m getting into it! Very thankful for each and every opportunity, each and every person, each and every plan, each and every thing.

  • I usually make cranberry apple pie with a ton of cinnamon and some allspice. I’m sugar free, so I sweeten with Splenda, Erythritol and enough honey to take away the artificial sweetener aftertaste. I also make gluten free crust, but I don’t use recipes, I make it up as I go along. I also do pumpkin, no cream added as I am dairy free as well. I make it not as sweet as a typical pumpkin pie and with more spice. Mace is expensive, but worth it. Most pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice contains little or no mace.

    The only nice thing my fw ever said about me to his schmoopie was that I’m a fantastic baker and cook. It figures it would be about what a useful appliance I am. He probably said it not to compliment me, but to make her insecure because she can’t cook, hoping she’d pick me dance a bit. I highly doubt she gave a damn.

    Happy T day to all.

  • I am eternally grateful to ChumpLady and Chump Nation…. I am also so very grateful for my Tribe: my family, my friends, therapist, and attorneys. People I could not have survived this hell without. (Hell still ongoing, but I’m still surviving). Thank you all. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Happy Thanksgiving to Chump Nation! ????. I have not posted in awhile, but I come here and read almost every day. It keeps me sane.
    I am grateful for CL, Mr. CL, and for all of my fellow chumps who continue to post so much good advice here.

    I am 3 years from Dday, still not divorced yet, but emotionally I am almost at Meh. The first Thanksgiving was definitely the most difficult. It gets less difficult every year. I took your advice and went no contact with cheater.

    I’m grateful for this website, without which I would not have known about the option to go no contact. And I would probably still be chumping along, getting my heart torn out, suffering anxiety, and feeling awful on a regular basis from staying in contact with cheater and trying to “be nice for the child”, while he did his bullshit image management. (“See, I’m not a bad person, we get along, wife appliance still talks to me”).
    Well, excuse me but, “Fuck that shit”. I took my power back. No contact has done wonders for my mental health. I highly recommend no contact if possible.

    I am grateful that on Thanksgiving I no longer have to get all dressed up, made up, hair done, looking good, while cheater glared at me and told me to hurry up, whilst silently judging me for no longer looking 27 years old, and drive an hour one way and an hour back, to hang around all day with people who I now believe knew all along that cheater was cheating on me!

    I’m grateful for the peace in my life. While child goes to visit the dark side today, I’m going to eat a slice of pie and drink coffee, in peace, in my pajamas, on my couch with my dogs.

    I’m grateful I have the day off from work and from exercise, and it feels glorious! I will resume the exercise tomorrow.

    I’m grateful that adult child in college came home and we had our Thanksgiving on Wednesday.
    We cooked whatever we wanted to, which child loved (!) bc child has an inability to tolerate/digest dairy and eggs. So everything on our table could be eaten, as opposed to Thursday’s meal with cheater’s side of the family, where everything is inedible bc it’s all slathered in butter or has eggs in it. ☹️ Plus, we did our meal first and so had the novelty of Thanksgiving. Cheater’s side will be the “runner up” second meal.

    We made a vegan pecan pie with no dairy and no eggs. Last year we made a vegan pecan pie using “just egg” egg substitute. It was too grainy and the taste was off.

    This year’s recipe came out MUCH better in terms of texture and taste. You would not even know it was vegan. It is on the Bob’s Red Mill website.
    I bought and used frozen pie crusts at Whole Foods that were gluten free and dairy and egg free. Here is the recipe for the filling. I added vanilla, bc that was not in their recipe.

    For the Pecan Filling:
    * 3 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal + 9 Tbl Water, allowed to sit until thick and gelatinous
    * 3/4 cup Dark Corn Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
    * 2/3 cup Sugar
    * 1/4 cup Vegan Margarine melted (I used Earth Balance)
    * 1 1/2 cups Pecans some chopped, some left whole for decoration if desired
    * 1 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. For the filling, combine all ingredients, stirring to combine. Fold in the chopped pecans at the end and pour into prepared pie crust. Lastly, top with whole pecans, if desired.
    2. Bake until dark, thick and bubbly, about 55-70 minutes. It will still be liquid-y until it cools. It will continue to set until it comes to room temperature. For a clean slice, refrigerate for one hour.
    3. Store in the refrigerator.

    I hope that any chumps who are having their first Thanksgiving after Dday will know that is ok to cry and feel angry/sad/upset sometimes. Hugs to all of you. Once the cheater is gone, with the passage of some time, you will feel better without being mentally tortured and constantly sabotaged. Once you get through the hard part in the beginning, you will come to appreciate your freedom. Truly, you will. Hang on and hang in there. ????

    • Oooh, yum! I use Bob’S Red Mill gluten free baking mix for crusts, plus I add finely ground pecans to the mix. You can’t roll them out, so I just press them into the pan. Using Coconut oil instead of butter or shortening in them makes them taste great.
      Everybody who’s tried them raves about my pie crusts, but damn, they are labor intensive.
      I’m gonna check out those Whole Foods crusts. Thanks.

      • You are welcome. The brand of frozen pie crust is called “Wholly Gluten Free” by Wholly Wholesome.

        And your homemade pie crusts sound delicious! ????

  • First, a big shout out to Indigenous people that have survived the cruelty of genocide, gaslighting, blameshifting and outright thievery on an unfathomable scale as we celebrate one of the most ironic of holidays. The pilgrims would have perished were it not for their kindness.

    I am preparing a turkey with all the trimmings…for myself! (There’s a chance I’ll have a couple of friends stop by later.) My kids are coming over tomorrow with some of their friends and I’ll bake another one. Hell yeah! I’m good. Sure there’s a little lingering bitterness toward my in-laws and former family as they gather to celebrate the joy of whitewashing and obfuscation but my kids are there and they know the truth.

    I’ll rock it with them tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Yes! This is why I do not celebrate Thanksgiving, other than making a few pies just because I like an excuse to eat pie. ????

  • Hey there Chump Nation, hope you’re all having a great Thanksgiving! So thankful to you all, Chump Lady, all my friends, family, therapist lawyer and above all my sweet kids!

    I am having a quiet day with my cat while the kiddos are celebrating with their dad. I baked a bunch of pies with my kids last weekend and celebrated early with friends. Today I had leftover pie and a crime novel for breakfast and planning on a nice hike in the beautiful CA hills that are literally in my backyard. And NOT cooking. I am done performing the perfect housewife bit. Later I will download the latest Just Dance on the game console and dance like nobody is watching because I can!

    Have a great day!

    • I’m on the beach in South Carolina today. By myself. It’s new and different and the sun is shining. Multi generational families are walking by the waves together, enjoying each other. Tonite I’ll have mustard greens and scallops with my sister who lives near the beach. We will eat homemade coconut cake for dessert. My family is very small now, we use to gather at my in laws for holidays. That’s over and done with. The year of firsts is not easy for sure. Focusing on what I really want hasn’t jelled yet, too early I suppose. Thank you all for connecting here on thanksgiving day. It has helped me feel less alone????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      • You’re not alone CC, none of us is. Smaller is good, as long as it is people who care about you and don’t make you feel alone in a crowded room. There are a lot of firsts, but then they are seconds and thirds and next thing you know they are your new family traditions, far more enjoyable than the previous ones.

        Have a wonderful day ((hugs)).

    • Oh and recipe? Bagged salad ????: open bag pour into bowl, drizzle a little bit of this, sprinkle a little bit of that, whatever strikes your fancy. Enjoy, and relax!

      That is literally what I had for dinner by the way…

  • Happy Thanksgiving CN! I don’t post often but I am so incredibly grateful for the wisdom and humor of this community.

    Due to various travel & scheduling issues, today is a quiet day with just one of my children. It may not be a big fancy dinner, but it is still so much better than the post DDay thanksgiving I endured in the futility of wreckonciliation. I enjoyed an early celebration dinner with my family last weekend, and also a lovely lunch with some dear friends earlier this week. The road to meh is sometimes bumpy (coparenting keeps me somewhat in contact with the idiot), but I am finding peace and healing along the way.

    • “the futility of wreckonciliation”

      Ahhh, yes! I am thankful to have escaped those stormy waters. While I seem to have washed ashore on a deserted island, anything is better than that time in my life. And I am extremely grateful that my little island is scenic and habitable! (And soon, I will have a kitten for company. “Commitment therapy,” as my sister joked to me.)

  • In honor of the Cranberry Sauce Shortage: cranberry sauce! Two pounds fresh cranberries, a handful of pomegranate seeds, a cut up pink lady apple, half a cup of vodka and two cups brown sugar. Simmer until you can stand a wooden spoon up in it. I am grateful for my beautiful, redheaded daughter who typed this for me because I finished the Pinot Noir by myself ( we needed room for the Bailey’s). I am also grateful for my third husband, who is cleaning up the dining room by himself while yelling about how tiny Legos are. The kids are all watching Star Wars except for my favorite child, who is typing this

  • Last night I was making the stuffing and my phone notifications for Facebook Messenger kept popping up- all from my lovely, wonderful support group. There are about 20 of us spread from Canada to Florida- all divorced (or soon to be), some because of betrayal. And I was so content in that moment — this happy conversation happening while I was prepping for today. It almost felt like they were there too.

    About two years before D-Day, on Thanksgiving, I remember asking my ex where the apple pie was. He turned around and in the most sneering and sarcastic voice imaginable said, “It is right in front of you!Why can’t you see it!?”

    He was just mean. (Never mind the sleeping around.)

    So I’m thankful for a life where there’s apple pie for the taking and for wonderful friends who are evidence of the fact that there is still so much good in the world. And I’m profoundly thankful for you, Tracy, and for all of CN.

    Recipe? We’re roasting the green beans this year, along with Brussels sprouts. Arrange on cookie sheet. Brush them with oil and then sprinkle on salt, pepper, and garlic powder. If you cut them, put them face down. Also, don’t let the Brussels sprouts touch. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425.

  • I am thankful to CN, CL, my beautiful dogs and new kitten, and my dear, compassionate small circle of friends. Four years out, I am not at Meh, not at Tuesday, but don’t have my head in a blender, and have truly grasped “Trust that they suck.” Thankful for progress.

    This isn’t a recipe but a cooking tip. If you are cooking a turkey, instead of trussing the opening closed OR leaving it untrussed so that the stuffing tumbles out, take one or two raw eggs and push them into the opening. They will hold the stuffing inside with no effort on your part. When you are done roasting, serve the bird with the eggs in place. You will make small children at your table clap and squeal with delight, provide teenagers with a super barfy moment, and give a chuckle to good friends. Also, you will now have a very nicely flavored roasted egg or two that you can crumble into the salad.

  • Those of you who are feeling lonely on your own, let my Thanksgiving today be a reminder of what you were lucky enough to escape.

    I’m still living with STBX and only a month away from moving into my new home. It’s been mostly peaceful but today of all days, naturally, FW chose to remind me of why it’s going to be good to get out of here. We were cooking the meal, and after I put the turkey into the pan, he snapped, “Okay, don’t help”, in a bossy and demeaning voice. He was annoyed that I had put the turkey in the pan before he’d had the chance to rinse it- not that he’d mentioned that in advance or anything. And not that talking like that to me would be okay even if he had mentioned it in advance. I told him not to speak to me that way (pointless, I know), then went to the bedroom to surf the Internet while he cooked on his own. After about 5 minutes he came in and said he wanted me to mix some ingredients. “You want me to help?” I pointedly asked him. “As long as you don’t fuck my shit up,” he answered.

    An otherwise lovely day dampened via his persistent need to be nasty and belittle me whenever things don’t go exactly how he wishes. It’s my birthday as well as Thanksgiving, so I guess in a weird way it’s a gift from him. A reminder of what I’m about to escape, so I won’t ever romanticize our life together after I’m out of here.

  • One easy recipe for nutrition when I feel brain-dead or lazy. Microwave a sweet potato. Most microwaves have an easy “Potato” setting, or 2 – 4 minutes work. Sweet potatoes are higher in nutrients and lower in glycemic index. I get Organic sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or Safeway. Clean off skin, and then microwave. Satisfying.

    • A pat of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
      Or a little chunk of blue cheese/Roquefort/Stilton.
      Strive to eat the rainbow in veggies and fruit every day. I was taught roygbv (for red,orange,yellow,blue,violet) in art class. Some days I manage, others I don’t.

  • Just said good night to my brother and sister-in-law after hosting dinner for the three of us. Two years ago, he helped me move out of my marital home. We’ve hiked together every few weeks throughout the pandemic.

    I spend most of my time with old and new friends, but am SO grateful for the family who live the closest to me.

    I suspect FW and the OW are currently at the family gathering I attended for 30 years. The shared holidays were lovely with each household hosting a major holiday. I’m not at “meh”, but I didn’t cry today.

    Grateful for CL and CN – the only folks who really understand.

  • Here is a dish my kids demand and it comes from my mother.

    You can double this. I did and it easily fed 14 people today
    1 can beef consommé
    1 can water
    1/2 stick butter
    1 cube beef bouillon
    1 cup rice
    2 tbsp dried onion bits.

    Cook 25 minutes covered. Turn to lowest setting that willsimmer

  • I’m thankful that my son is doing so well. My stbx (my son’s father) committed suicide in September. My son and I are happy and peaceful. We are a family and we are complete.

    I’m thankful for my best friend, who stood by me and has been a great source of joy. At first we talked about my problems and my life. Now we talk about books, and good wine and food, festivals, and our families. After my husband’s suicide, she was the only one who offered to talk to me about things OTHER than “how are you doing?” and it was so refreshing and necessary.

    I’m thankful for my mom, who gave me a safe place to live for four years, who takes care of my son before and after school, and who never judged me even when I was being an idiot and trying to get back with my abusive husband. She supported me and was there. She listed to me rant and cry. She helped take care of me when I could barely get out of bed. She lent me the retainer for my attorney and allowed me to move forward.

    I’m thankful for my kick ass lawyer who ended up being a friend as well. She listened to me, told me straight up when I was being stupid, and commiserated with me. She taught me to lose the battle to win the war. She even sometimes took my frantic calls on weekends. During the time when I didn’t know what had happened to my stbx, she called me every day even though she was on vacation, to see what was going on and if I was okay.

    I’m thankful to finally have my own apartment where I can make a home for myself and my son.

    As much as I never wished harm to come to him, I’m thankful that my ex is gone. It’s over. I never have to suffer his abuse again. I don’t have to fight anymore. I no longer have the financial drain of an endless divorce. I have peace.

    I’m thankful I’m finally at Tuesday. I have reached “meh”. I decided to read the OW’s love letters to my husband (found when cleaning out his house), many written while we were still living together, and during our wreckonciliation, and frankly they just made me laugh (honestly, I am considering sending one of them to CL so everyone can have a laugh – the one where OW is suggesting that she and I could be friends and we could all be one big happy family, LOL). So over the top and ridiculous. So delusional. Not even the nude/lingerie photos he took of her bothered me. I got confirmation that the affair was sexual from the beginning, which I strongly suspected, and that was really all I was looking for. She found out the hard way that he was none of the things he pretended to be, and I was right all along. If I were her, I’d feel pretty darn foolish. But I honestly don’t give a shit about her anymore.

    The last four years have been the most difficult of my life, with more drama and pain and heartache and anger and fear than I ever thought I’d experience. At times I thought I wouldn’t survive . At best I thought I’d be miserable forever. And here I am on the other side. I’m happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. I would never have chosen to go through all the horrible experiences I have had, but I would not change the person that they have made me. I love the person I have become. My life is good and keeps getting better. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

  • My partner left me last Friday, so this is my first holiday alone. This was the good guy I was with 6.5 years after everything with the cheating ex-husband (dday with him was 2013 and I discover CL and CN shortly thereafter, thankfully. This community made all the difference to me!). There was no cheating this time around, but my partner’s departure was sudden and unilateral. Anyhow, I made some thanksgiving food yesterday as kind of an act of rebellion of being in this situation I find myself in. And I’m thankful to have an apartment, a sweet cat, and friends and family who are checking on me. And I’m thankful to know that if I could rebuild after cheating ex-h, I can rebuild after this. (Trusting again ever might be way tougher, but that’s a problem for later. Right now, it’s just day to day making it through.)

  • Congratulations to Claire, the Scottish deerhound who won “best in show” at the National Dog Show. The first to win two years in a row ! My Thanksgiving tradition is watching the releasing of the hounds whilst cooking and baking. Walk on doggies ! ????????

  • I’m thankful for _________ . Fill in the blank with whatever you like cause it’s all good!

  • New to this site. So VERY grateful I found it, and grateful for CL’s book. Have been lost in the pick me dance the last 10 months. What a waste of time! Starting to put my plan in place. 30 year marriage about to end. Have a wife suffering from limerence, carrying on an online affair with a man living overseas.

    • Welcome ! Go to the archives and read past blog posts and all the comments. Facebook and Reddit have support groups you can join. We’re cheering you on ! Good luck lining up the ???? ???? ????

      • Thank you! I’ve been reading all the blog posts and the comments. Like drinking from a firehose. Helped the scales fall from my eyes. Spent almost a year in chumpville.

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