Category Archives: holidays

With food, every day is a Good Friday for meatless eaters

Growing up, I remember wondering what was so “good” about Good Friday.

I couldn’t eat meat, and Good Friday always happened to fall on a Friday (funny how that works), which meant Pizza Friday, which meant no pepperoni, which meant WHY EVEN HAVE PIZZA.

No meat on Good Friday became a carryover family tradition from older generations in the family who were far more religious than my family.

Fast forward a few decades to a time when I no longer eat meat on any day of the year.

I laugh thinking of how I felt so put out that I couldn’t have pepperoni pizza or chicken tenders.

Not having meat with a meal was unthinkable then.

Want a salad? No bacon. WHY HAVE SALAD!

A burger? No way! WHAT IS THE POINT OF LIFE!

So I recall a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese pizza — two otherwise excellent options EXCEPT WHEN MEAT WAS NOT AN OPTION!

What a minor sacrifice it was for that short period. It’s similar to how I see those who forgo something for Lent. A huge deal is made for something such as coffee or pop or candy.

Today, I only consider meatless options — of which there are plenty to choose from — for meals.

37 things: Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping

This post is part of my attempt to post daily between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That means, if my math is correct, I will have offered 37 different topics about my favorite time of the year. Learn more about 37 Things for the Holidays.

This is the second post in this series. This will discuss Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping.

I’ve never understood the need to rush to a store, wait in long lines and drop cash on something that probably isn’t worth the hassle anyway.

Sure, I’m guilty of traveling to three different Targets for a Nintendo 3DS XL a few years back and to three different Best Buys for a video game, but I didn’t wait in any lines and only traveled to so many stores because inventory counts were incorrect!

So the Black Friday and, as of the last few years, Thanksgiving night shopping experiences have no “wow” factor for me.

That doesn’t mean I ignore the experience. I never got up early on Black Friday.

But — and many of you will complain — I do enjoy going to the stores on Thanksgiving after dinner.

It’s an escape from family, which I think is why everybody really goes shopping that night!

But for me, it’s also a chance to just watch people go nuts for the latest TV or get lost in a bunch of so-called “doorbuster” deals.

While TV news sometimes plays up the hype of the shopping hysteria, there is plenty of research and stories to prove that many of the “deals” advertised on Thanksgiving and Black Friday are not deals at all.

I noticed this Thanksgiving night in Target. In a huge cardboard display of video games was a bunch of “Mario Maker” games for Wii U. I poked around looking for the display prices to discover the Thanksgiving/Black Friday price was $59.99, which is what I thought the original price was.

At the same time on Amazon, the price was $54.99, slashed from the regular price of $59.99.

I headed back to the electronics department to find the sticker untouched in the display of games. The price? $59.99.

So there was no deal after all. Just a ploy.

DVDs were $4 or $6 and $10 for complete seasons. But those $4 and $6 DVDs had no bells and whistles. (And who buys DVDs these days, anyway?)

I did buy an ornament at Macy’s. It’s a Spode Christmas tree. I got it for a little more than $10 with tax. Macy’s claimed it was 65 percent off the original price. But we all know Macy’s never sells things for that “original” sticker price.

So was my purchase a good deal?

I’m going to keep watching the price just to see. I’m willing to bet the ornament typically is sold for anywhere from $13 to $18.

If that’s the case, then I didn’t really save 65 percent.

37 things: Thanksgiving food

This post is part of my attempt to post daily between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That means, if my math is correct, I will have offered 37 different topics about my favorite time of the year. Learn more about 37 Things for the Holidays.

My first post talks about Thanksgiving food.

I like to tell people I gave up eating meat cold turkey.

But the reality is that it took many months. While I officially mark May 2012 as the period in my life when I went meatless, it is November 2011 where the quest began.

It was the first Thanksgiving in, I assume, all of my life where I did not consume one piece of turkey — or any meat product! There was enough commotion at the table for nobody to really notice, but my mother asked me later if I had any turkey and I told her I had not.

Instead, I chose to savor the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and more.

Though I enjoy good tofu, I’ve yet to experience a tofurkey. I considered making tofu this year, but my mom made pasta for me.

While turkey is the focus of Thanksgiving tables, there are a number of people who I’ve encountered over the years who either don’t have turkey or whose side dishes are not traditional (at least to what I think of).

Last week, a friend told me she enjoys macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving — a dish I could eat daily.

Later on Thanksgiving, I ventured to Sheetz (of course!) after visiting Target and Macy’s and discovered a number of people ordering MTOs. They could have been college or high school students just looking for something to do, but some of them seemed to have been coming from work and picking up a quick, late-night bite.

If I could choose my own Thanksgiving dinner menu, I’d likely stick with mashed potatoes, green been casserole, macaroni and cheese, maybe some cornbread and a pasta dish. Someone else can bring the turkey!