November 25, 2012

After Thanksgiving Soup

It's Sunday after Thanksgiving, the perfect lazy day to reflect on a weekend spent with family and friends, and ending with an easy, hearty meal to fill our stomachs for back-to-school.

By 1 pm Thanksgiving day, I'd handed the kids off to my brother for some incredible summer weather playground time, picked up the toys off the floor, and even set up the tables and chairs for a party of 16 with a 4 o'clock reservation to feast.

With a mix of relief and dread, I sat down to several huge mounds of clean laundry covering two-thirds of my living room rug, and started folding, sorting, and putting away baskets of clothes that had forced me to send the kids to school in mismatched and ill-fitting outfits for the past week.  I pulled my Honey Baked Ham out of the oven by two, and with an hour to spare, I prepped my quick and easy allergy-friendly desserts--Semi-Homemade Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Apple Cranberry Crisp.  Soon after, the guests started arriving and pouring wine--the party had begun!

Regardless of how much help and support I have before and during these parties, it's hard to ever completely put my guard down and relax.  This year, most of the food was allergy-friendly and safe for my kids to eat, but you are never 100 percent sure, especially when you're hosting a potluck.  One unsafe ingredient in one dish is enough to send a food allergic person to the ER, which is definitely the last place anyone wants to be on Thanksgiving night.

But I managed to sit back with a glass of wine and take a bit of time to enjoy a few small moments and conversations from the evening.  And thankfully, tummies were full and satisfied without incident.  There may even have a been a dance performance and a bit of karaoke thrown in for some good old family fun.

It would've been nice to sleep in the next day, as there were still a couple of dishes in the sink and some crumbs to wipe up, but we had other plans.  We were off for an overnight in old Sacramento--via Amtrak--destination...the Polar Express!  All of the pre-made pasta, leftovers, cold cuts, bread, fruit, and snacks, and an in-room fridge and microwave allowed me to create a safe menu of foods for Tristan during our trip.  Perfectly sunny weather, hanging out with friends, and trains everywhere contributed to a memorable weekend.  Such fun!

Whew!  Finally today, a day of rest.  We are cleaning house and I have our after Thanksgiving Soup on the stove, with a ham hock base, Honey Baked Ham The Soup Solution Green Garden Soup Mix, potatoes, carrots, celery, fennel, and yellow onions.  Containing no dairy, egg, or nuts (note: does contain wheat and soy),* Honey Baked Ham not only allowed me to contribute a hands-off crowd pleasing Thanksgiving day main dish, it is giving me a--quite possibly even better--hearty and delicious soup for our Sunday night dinner.  Paired with a few other leftovers, including our desserts, we will feast again tonight with very little effort.  What fun things do you do with your Thanksgiving day leftovers?

The soup hit the spot--so delicious, I want to eat it for days.  Thank you Honey Baked Ham!

We hope all of our GAW families had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, and a little break from the norm.

*Honey Baked Ham's ingredient and allergen information is not published on their website.  Please contact them at 866-492-HAMS for specific questions and up-to-date ingredient information.


  1. Glad your turkey day went off w/out a hitch. That trip looks so fun; what a great idea for our ohana. My girls, 8 & 5, fold their own laundry. Good for them to do that at their age.

    1. Thanks! Yes, you must do the Sac trip while your little ones are still little!

      The kids help with the towels and socks, but yes, we need to expand their duties :). Happy Thanksgiving!