Apparently I was worried– I have been lucky enough these past few nights to be able to sleep long enough to dream. I have had random short dreams now and again since Bekytt was born, but nothing like I did when I was pregnant. Was it just me or is it normal to have the craziest dreams when you are pregnant? My dreams made no sense back then. I could never figure out a rhyme or reason why a high school boyfriend would randomly show up and not even play a significant role in the dream. I won’t even try to explain them, just know they were crazy. However, the other night I must have had one long dream because I woke up in a panic that I missed Thanksgiving. At least this dream could be interpreted.
This year I decided to visit my family in Ohio in October instead of over the holidays because we didn’t want to have to travel with Bekytt when the weather was bad. We decided we would have the holidays at our place and anyone who could make it was welcome. We love our new condo and I love entertaining, so it was a perfect way for us to celebrate. I have been wanting to sit down and come up with the menu, make a grocery list, and set up a plan for the days leading up to Turkey Day (or Tofurkey Day for those vegans out there), but our days have been busy and we just hadn’t gotten to it yet. In my dream, my dad wanted to know why he wasn’t invited and I realized at 3 pm on Thanksgiving that I had not prepared a single thing. I freaked out and went to the grocery store in a panic thinking “this can’t be right. Today is Wednesday.” Lorali Gilmore was there to hug me as tears streamed down my face and I desperately tried to find what was left in the store. In real life, my husband has been telling me to pick up our turkey Tuesday for this exact reason. I guess you can pre-order a turkey and the store still may run out and not have one for you? This doesn’t seem right, but I’m sure it could happen. So the dream made sense to me from the standpoint I was already worried about ruining Thanksgiving.
For those of you who have known me a while, I am fairly new to the whole meat eating thing. I was a strict vegetarian for a long time. My main reason was I couldn’t help but think about what I was eating while eating it and I felt so guilty that even though I knew I could never kill an animal for food, I was eating it anyway. It was like I didn’t deserve to eat something I was against in my heart. If I did not believe strong enough to pull the trigger of a gun and kill an animal for my benefit, than I thought I didn’t deserve to eat meat. If I cared that much about an animal’s life, how could I possibly be eating the meat another prepared for me? So I chose not to eat it. Then when I went away for Army training (LDAC at the time) at Ft. Lewis, I had almost no choice but to eat the chicken. I distinctly remember training harder than I ever had before and eating very little. The Army doesn’t care much to make alternative protein sources for those who choose not to eat meat, so I found myself living on salads and potatoes before we entered field training. Once we did and we were living on MRE’s, the calories were more dense, but vegetarian meals were hard to find and still lacked protein. I remember losing so much weight I could see my first three ribs. Gross. So gross. So my awesome battle buddies convinced me that the chicken in an MRE wasn’t real anyway and that I could eat it. They never once ridiculed or made fun of me, they just supported me the entire way through it. I’m not sure how I got so lucky to have such an awesome squad that year, but they saved me from what felt like starvation.
From then on I was able to eat some chicken, turkey and fish back and forth, and for some reason felt ok with this decision for the most part, but it wasn’t until meeting Kyle that I started to eat more varieties. Then came Bekytt and I just knew I had to eat meat for him. I don’t know what shifted in me, but all of a sudden it was like I was eating to sustain his health and well being and my preferences didn’t matter any more. I have always believed that humans were made to eat a variety of meats, vegetables and fruits. As Greg Glassman states “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” I do believe that meat is the best source of protein for us, but it doesn’t mean it is easy for me to consume if I think about it too much. Yet, I have enjoyed eating meat these past few months and I believe it is helping give Bekytt what he needs from my milk. However, cooking a turkey? That is a different story.
I have done this one time in my life. It was when I was in MN and I was part of a CSA that raised turkeys. I knew they were treated and killed humanely and I knew they were antibiotic free, so I decided to give it a try. I hosted a Friendsgiving, drank plenty of Bailey’s and coffee that morning, invited my partner at the time over, and decided we could do it. And we did. We used a recipe from a case of Leinenkugel’s and it somehow turned out amazing. We had so many friends and neighbors come over throughout the day and they were all well fed. This year, our Thanksgiving menu is gluten and dairy free so I had to forgo the beer brine, but I did find something that should be rather simple and delicious from Family Circle. I have hopes it will turn out well and I am thankful that Millers in Verona sells the Bailey’s Almande so I can still sip that while sticking my hand inside of a turkey. Everything is planned, Woodman’s is prepping our grocery order that we will simply just pick up. Whole foods WILL have our turkey and cooking/food prep will start Wednesday just to be sure, and Bekytt will be attached to me likely the entire time. I always thought as a mom I’d magically turn into a good planner. I may still be a work in progress, but hopefully tonight I won’t have Lorali Gilmore comfort me as I cry into her arms about missing Thanksgiving. –Kathryn Kraft, MPT