No, not to my brother’s, my sister’s or even my mom’s. We’re going out to a real “sit down while they refill your drinks and take care of you” restaurant.
Is it weird that someone who preaches self-reliance, encourages you to have a garden, and highlights those who homestead is going out for Thanksgiving? Does it make me less authentic?
Let me tell you the story about how and why we’re going out for Thanksgiving. It’s NOT because I don’t know how to cook a Turkey! I’ve cooked many in my day, even on Thanksgiving. For those that still need a killer recipe this one has NEVER failed me. I even have a special cooler so I can keep my Turkey in the brine just a bit longer than the recipe recommends. Then there are other ways that I’ve developed to cook a turkey.
Yup, you read that correctly, that I have developed. That’s part of what I do for a living. I work on recipes and get them just right, then I share them with you here on the blog or in our paid eCourse membership.
And I LOVE my job. I love experimenting in the kitchen until I get something just right. I love sharing with you guys and getting feedback like I get here in our Facebook group. You have to be a member of Self Reliant School to join but it’s super easy. You can go here to become a member and at the moment we do have a FREE level membership.
One year, not too long ago…
I was doing all my Thanksgiving preps. Yes, I have a sister, brother, and mother and they all help, but I’m the food person. I’m the one that makes the food. If you’re that person in your family you know what I mean. I know there are some families where that task is passed down and shared. It’s just not so in my family. That’s why I’m so passionate about teaching my boys traditional skills.
My husband, who works really hard (I bet your spouse works hard too.), wanted to spend Thanksgiving Day with me and the kids. I told him that I had to cook because it was Thanksgiving! Yes, I make things ahead of time. Yes, I plan far in advance. Yes, he helps me in the kitchen. But you see my husband is a foodie. He loves food and he loves it just right, especially on Thanksgiving. Most women would think this is a curse, and I used to. But it really has helped me be a better cook and recipe developer.
Wanting to have the best of both worlds he suggested we go out for Thanksgiving. There is a local restaurant that completely changes their menu for Thanksgiving and welcomes everyone with open arms. I have to admit this particular year I was exhausted and someone else cooking sounded great, so I reluctantly agreed.
The food was really good! Would mine be better? Maybe, but maybe not. It really was better than I expected. We had just the right amount of leftovers and most of all I spent the entire day focused on my boys and my husband. We even spent the afternoon planning out our Christmas season.
So you know what?
We’ve been going out for a few years now to this same little restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s becoming a tradition.
I shared this new tradition with a friend the other day. Inadvertently and unintentionally the word “authentic” came up.
We talked it through because it got us both thinking.
Does going out on Thanksgiving make me a less authentic self-reliance blogger?
Does this mean I’m not practicing what I preach?
I have a good sized food storage, I buy local ingredients when I can, I support local farmers and others who do (like local restaurants). I know how to can, dehydrate, ferment, and freeze food safely. I find a natural solution to medical problems and use them when it’s possible. I have a garden and am teaching my sons all of this.
So, I’m going to say the answer is NO!
You do not have to practice every traditional skill ALL the time, every day! Our ancestors had to, there were no other options. We are blessed! We have options.
We have the option to plant tulips!
I’m not a fan of tulips. Their story is so sad. They come up, bloom and then fall apart. To me having them in my yard is pointless. Give me some lettuce or broccoli and the space is so much better used. (Daffodils are a little different, their determination inspires me…but truth be told, I don’t have them in my yard either).
There are people who LOVE Tulips and grow them each year! They have a garden in their backyard or they can fresh in-season food from the farmers market. Does my choice to grow something different make me a MORE authentic gardener or MORE authentically Self Reliant?
This self-reliance journey is about us as a community taking care of ourselves and each other. As a society, we’ve given that tradition over to government (in some cases foreign governments…) and corporations. My mission is to make you aware of that and inspire you to take the traditions back and pass them onto the next generation!
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing!
If you don’t bake your own bread, that’s ok! If you don’t garden, that’s ok! If you don’t can, that’s ok! If you don’t cook, that’s ok! If you don’t do any of these things, that’s OK! I’m so glad you’re here! Maybe we can inspire you to try one or two of these things and then we can have a discussion about the process and/or how doing some of them can bring about change.
And for those of you who are trying to do it ALL, my message is simply this: don’t think you’re not self-reliant because you don’t do EVERYTHING traditionally (or what others think is traditional). If you are living a sustainable, clean, healthy life, and encouraging others to do the same then you are authentically self-reliant!
Whether you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year or enjoying someone else cooking it….
I hope your heart is full of joy when you go into your kitchen and that you are appreciated for all that you do! Most of all I hope that you take a few moments in the day to experience the pure joy of having family and friends close, then finally I hope you find just a moment to be thankful for everything that you’ve been given because that’s how you experience an authentic traditional Thanksgiving!