Things to be Thankful for

By Brenna O’Dea

Thanksgiving may be over, but there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. The perfect stack of fluffy pancakes on a Sunday morning, a few moments of serenity in front of the fireplace on a chilly winter night, whatever happiness means to you, be grateful for that. Say thank you, say I love you, or say nothing at all and just give someone a hug. Soon enough there will be snow on the ground and a lil’ more love in the air. Maybe that’s because we will all be on sugar highs from Christmas cookies, but maybe it’s also because we have access to food, education, and best of all, food education. We have an opportunity to learn about where our food comes from, and a responsibility to share this knowledge with the little ones we love. We can give thanks for this knowledge, and in case you are hungrier for more than just food for thought, here are some yummier things to be thankful for this year…


TRUTH BOMB. I hate Thanksgiving food. Okay, maybe hate is a bit strong, but besides the cranberry sauce, my mouth does not water at the sight of that freshly carved turkey or perfectly mashed potatoes. Gravy gives me the willies, stuffing, whatever that stuff is…mushy bread…soggy celery…no comment. But hey, let’s look on the bright side, there are few foods that taste BETTER the day after the main meal, and Thanksgiving dinner is one of them. Forget the cold pizza for breakfast, try tossing some turkey in your morning eggs, or spreading some cranberry sauce across your toast instead of your everyday jam. And of course, best of all…the one…the only…Thanksgiving leftover SANDWICH. Savor every flavor in every bite. Everything is better between two slices of fluffy bread, right?

I hate to say it…but…MASON JARS

It happened. I joined the mason jar revolution and there is no turning back. Now, I am not a fully committed member. I do not think that ALL FOOD tastes better when served in a cute little jar, but come on, many foods definitely do. Mason jars are handy and they add a bit of flare to whatever you do. Tired of Tupperware? Store your snacks and leftovers in a fun new way, and we bet they will stay fresh just a bit longer with that tightly sealed lid. Ditch the plain old drinking glass. Try sipping in style from that mason jar. Tap water just got more interesting. And what better gift to give or receive than a giant jar of your favorite holiday cookies? (Just try making them with a few healthier substitutions this year!)

Good wine…and cheap wine

Admit it, some of us (most of us) would be none the wiser if you poured us a glass of Barefoot brand wine and told us it was Chateau Margaux. Okay…maybe it’s just me…but whether you are a wine snob or a mere occasional consumer, if you can find a good glass for a lower price, you’ll probably drink it up. Of course there are times when we want to splurge for a sip from the gods. Other times, we just need a lil’ something to warm us up on a blustery December evening. Or maybe you just want to add a splash (or two) to your favorite pasta dish. Take it from a millennial on a budget, there is NO SHAME in buying cheap wine and LOVING it. Love is love is love is love and as long as you are surrounded by family, friends, and holiday cheer…wine is wine is wine is wine.

Cheese…or butter…or cheese AND butter

As I learned from one of my favorite food writers, you do not, I repeat, do NOT have to choose between these two dairy delights. Dairy lovers rejoice, recent studies are restoring our faith in humanity. Cheese, and not just any cheese, FULL FAT CHEESE, is making a quick comeback, and it’s bringing along butter for the ride (grass fed of course). 2016 may have been a tough year for some, or all of us. Luckily the end is near, and you can count on cheese (and butter) to make the journey a lot smoother and tastier. Butter and cheese bring smiles to foodies young and old, and as long as you enjoy these babies in moderation, you can bask in their glorious goodness and enjoy the benefits of all the calcium, protein, B vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids that you could ever ask Santa for.

All other wholesome food…and of course, food education!

Yesterday was a special day. No, not Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, and unfortunately it is not Christmas yet. I am talking about GIVING TUESDAY!! (Basically Christmas for nonprofit organizations). A day devoted to supporting whatever cause you believe in, and showing that support in whatever way you can. No matter how you showed your support and how much you were able to give, we want to say THANK YOU for all that YOU DO to make our mission a reality. We could not teach our lessons or change children’s lives without your help. That is the honest truth. And here’s another honest truth, I AM HUNGRY. Dinnertime has arrived and I am grateful for THAT. So think about what YOU are thankful for, and dish out a little more love this holiday season, (and maybe a little more cheese and butter too).

(Image by flickr member Funmi Williams licensed under Creative Commons)

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