Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Your Pink Bear must be out of order," said the Wizard: "for, this time at least, his machinery has caused him to make an untrue statement." -- from "The Lost Princess of Oz









As a child I devoured books. I read them with as much enthusiasm as I gave to playing or to eating. I seemed to need to read, and did so for hours, every day. I was a fast reader, I still am, and burned my way through a book a day. I thought it was great if a book was really thick, and might last a week. Being the child of bohemian parents I was not allowed to watch much television, and of course there were no computers or cell phones to distract me.


  When I was 8, 9, and 10 years old I lived with my mother in my stepfather's wooden house truck. We drove all over the United States, stopping at craft fairs and Renaissance art fairs throughout the country. We traveled from the west coast to the east coast, from Mexico to Canada.

My parents sold their handmade jewelry (stepdad) and clothing (mom) to tourists, and I didn't go to school. I had a lot of time on my hands in those days, and usually spent them exploring whatever town, or forest, or river we happened to be camping next to, and by reading.

My stepfather is a collector. Our house was a handcrafted rolling museum of his collections of turn of the century brass fittings, crystal bud vases, art nouveau glass kerosine lamps, colored glass automotive dashboard parts, leaded glass windows, antique glass beaded curtains, and even a cast iron pot-bellied stove that glowed red in the winter. It was a beautiful home, and it also held his collection of  L.Frank Baum's wonderful Oz books.


 Those twelve or so books, all very early hard-bound editions, became my best friends during the three years we lived in the house truck. I read and re-read them at least six times each. Dorothy and Ozma, Betsy and Trot and I were all fast friends, and went on adventures together, even though I was alone in the house truck. J.R. Niell's fantastic, amazing, delightful illustrations took me away to an elegant, art-nouveau world of magic and chivalry and where sweetness always beat out the dark forces. Funny, brave, and endlessly creative, these stories from 1908 are a gentle voice from another world, and helped me cope with our own real-life journey into the unknown.


  Dorothy's adventurous journeys weren't the only thing I shared with the books. Strangely enough, although I was living in a time 150 years later my own home closely resembled that of the time period. My stepfather and mother's taste ran to the Victorian, and I read these beautiful books sitting on velvet cushions by the light of a stained glass kerosine lamps. When it was time for bed, I crawled up my oak steps into my little wooden loft over the kitchen area below, and slept under a vintage quilt and with a large skylight just above my head. I would lay there listening to the night that was right outside my little loft, and dream of meeting Ozma.

 When I grew up, the books were sold. I was saddened by the news, but then I got a job at one of the most wonderful bookstores in the world, Powell's Books. In those magical, hallowed halls I had access to the most obscure and interesting out-of-print used books anywhere on the globe.

Over the next three years I kept a close eye on the "Middle Readers 'B'" section in the children's room. There, L.Frank Baum's (and later Ruth Plumly Thompson's) books were shelved, and once in a while a slightly battered early edition like the ones in the house truck would appear. I never appreciated my employee's discount more than when I could use it to rebuild the collection. Now my own bookshelves proudly display my own collection of these magical books, and I pick them up all the time to get inspiration!

I am still soothed by the graceful illustrations of JR Neil, and the echoes of the voices of L.Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson. May their spirits be thanked by the heartfelt gratitude of all of the children they comforted and inspired.


 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Virtual Stroll


Is it laziness, is it boredom, is it simply evolution? I seem to have given up good ol' blogspot.com like I gave up dairy products ten years ago. Effortlessly, shamelessly.
But it does needle me at times, remembering this once-fun and now-neglected forum, and I think, what's your problem, douchebag? Get off your ass and write!

But I do write, of course, just elsewhere. I am writing a book, as a matter of fact.
I have spent five and half years blogging here, and now my attention is distracted by the likes of tumblr, pinterest, and of course facebook. It doesn't help that these things are a large part of my job, promoting the fabulous boutique Melange that I work for. It's also very addictive, like this blog used to be, the social network sites have become the greatest way to self-publish. (Remember those old college classes, "Desktop Publishing" where you learned how to xerox, and cut and paste?) Now you can create your own gorgeous online magazine with a few clicks and downloads. You can film an award-winning documentary on your phone! You can record a full rock-band which is really only you, and release a single, all from your computer, by yourself. Crazy!

Whether I'm deluding myself that I'm riding the wave of the future, or whether writing in smaller sound bites is just easier, I'm obviously not here very often. Please DO visit me, however at my new favorite virtual place, tumblr, and check out my job's blog "me in melange" which I write with my coworkers.

I will still post on this blog, however sporadically, so keep it bookmarked just for a lark!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The REAL Dowager Countess



 May I present Lady Ruca Rios.
 Do not look her directly in the eye, for though she is covered in fluffy fur, she has a spine of steel and teeth like needles.
21 years old and still able to rip open the skin of your hand if you deign to pet her in the wrong way.
Over the last two decades my husband and I have nearly perfected the art of petting her ladyship, and it is a rare day that we shed any blood.

Amazingly, I first got Ruca in 1991 when she was only 6 weeks old, and I was a mere 26! Some punker  had a mama cat that had kittens (big surprise), and there were 3 left if I wanted one. When I got to his punker pad, it was a mess. Broken glass on the floor, dirty mattress, etc. It was a tough choice, not wanting to leave any of the cats in that place, but I was assured that all of the kittens and the mama were spoken for. So....I chose Ruca. A tiny, fluffy tabby cat with big green eyes. And my best bud ever since!

She is a one-person cat, very shy around others, except for Greg. He finally won her over after about 15 years of relentless wooing. She is an extremely picky cat, about everything. I love her dearly, savage quirks and all, and we've both been fortunate that she has never been sick, and still shows no signs of slowing down! 

Ruca has moved with me many times, and suffered the indignities of having to share her house with another cat (truly the finest lady I've ever met, Miss Lulu), and three dogs over the years. Dizzy the Darling Hound, Emma the obsessive-compulsive Border Collie, and now Faye, idiot savante with an angel face. But also a cat-killer.

Faye, though a sleepy-eyed darling dodo with velvety lips, will also snatch a cat quicker than you can say RUN CAT, and shake it like a rag doll. This has  happened twice. As I watched helplessly in sheer horror, screaming to DROP IT FAYE, she snatched two cats from the bushes and shook them so hard, I was convinced they would be dead, or mortally maimed. But they were neither! Both cats seemed perfectly fine after this brutal treatment, and both ran away, hissing over their shoulders. Unbelievable. And completely traumatizing for me.

However, Faye would never dare attack Ruca. The Grand Dame can make Faye cower with one penetrating glare. If Ruca evens looks hard in Faye's direction the dog will instantly turn her cheek, and politely pretend that she does not exist. Ruca will walk by, swishing her glamorous tail like a fan snapping in Faye's face, as is her right of course, and Faye will blink benignly at the wall.

I don't blame her, really. It's Ruca's world, and we just live in it.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Friday, December 30, 2011

Urbi et Orbi

sunset over Disneyland
 "Urbi et Orbi" is Latin for "to the city and to the world" which was the title for the Pope's Christmas message this year. On this ever-shrinking planet it is an apt title for any communication from any individual. One is as close as the other. A single tweet is global, no? This little blog may be one person's perspective, but publishing it on the internet is a message to the world.
  We Rioses got out of town this christmas. We are fresh back from our holiday exploring some urbi et orbi, Palm Springs and Disneyland in particular. And, may I say that a healthy dose of California desert does a body good!
  Not to say that we didn't get our fill of the Northwest Christmas thing before we left. Christmas just doesn't seem like christmas without frosty pine trees and cozy white lights, hot toddies and dinner at the Sapphire Hotel. We just did all that a bit early! Personally, I began the xmas season in October. I don't really care for halloween, (so tacky!), so I pretty much ignored it and decorated the house for "fall" instead. No cheesy gourds or corn stalks here, however, Cora and I made candle lanterns (see previous post), and gathered acorns. We cued up Pandora with the "Bing Crosby Holiday" station, and got our yule on before thanksgiving even hit the stands. I love Oregon during the holidays, and this fall was particularly spectacular. There were plenty of sunny, frosty walks to be had throughout November! Faye and I soaked it all up, walking miles over Mt. Tabor, and throughout southeast Portland with Bing and Frank crooning away in our ears.

Merry Christmas!

view from atop Big Pink
December was just as beautiful, serene even -- this neighborhood is beyond lovely with its huge old homes and giant leafy trees. Greg, Cora and I had a special dinner on the top of Big Pink, 30 floors up, looking out over Portland. We saw the pink sunset turn to black, and all the lights of the city come on. We could even see the fanciful fairytale tents of Cavalia under the Fremont Bridge! When Christmas proper did actually roll around, I'd had my fill of a northwest holiday, and was ready to head south, to the desert...and to Disneyland!
  I love to pack. Traveling for me is serious business. I could never be someone who throws things in a bag and runs out the door. Once a long time ago when Greg and I were dating he brought a paper grocery bag as a carry-on. I was shocked!
Vacation Vision
  No, my vacation begins with packing. And personal preparation. I am at my best when I start a trip, legs shaved, toes painted. Only my favorite clothes, pjs, shoes, are packed. I bring simple jewelry to go with everything. I pack lightly because years of over-packing have taught me what not to bring. I just bought my first "expensive" suitcase. 89.00 at Target. It's beautiful. My carry-on, also from Target is a glossy black satchel that makes me feel urbane, but not ostentatious. It holds my purse, toiletries, and about ten pounds of fashion magazines which are my flight anxiety medication.

Goddess
  Because this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want, I will describe my going-home flight outfit. It embodies a style I've been wanting to rock for years, but only recently feel liberated enough to attempt: 1970's California girl. Not Marcia Brady, but more like Faye Dunnaway on the weekend in Malibu. I wore dark bell bottom high-waisted jeans, 2" heeled brown boots (they have an urban cowgirl look), a light-wash chambray denim shirt, untucked, tunic length, rolled sleeves. Hair parted in center, straightened. Long gold chain necklace. Light blue and smokey blue eyeshadow. I felt like a Charlie's Angel in LAX! It was awesome.

Rollerskating Disneyland Snowflake Girls
  But I digress. Ok. Disneyland. I have a thing about Disneyland. I never knew I had a thing about it until about 7 years ago, I mean I've been going there since I was a kid, but for some reason I really fell hard for it pretty recently! I know what it is, of course. It's the nostalgia. I don't think I could fall for any other park the same way, even Disneyworld, or epcot center, it's got to be Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The rides there are the REAL DEAL. Mary-freaking-Blair's original It's a Small World is there! The Sherman Brother's Tiki Room is there! The amazing Abraham Lincoln theater is there, with the awe-inspiring animatronic 1960's Lincoln figure himself! And the train, and the monorail, and the freaking Matterhorn! All original. I love it.

Hotel Lobby

our cozy beds with good lighting
looking down to the lobby
I especially love it when we can spend the night there. As a kid I never spent the night because we lived nearby in Santa Monica. We would top off an exhausting day with a grueling drive home on the freeway. Now though, Greg and I have twice coughed up the (many) sheckles it takes to book a room at a Disneyland hotel, knowing full well that we were entering a land of corporate consumerism masked as childhood happiness on a level that was too profound to comprehend, and we had a great time. This time we stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel, a place I've dreamed of staying since I first glimpsed it from the monorail about a decade ago. A huge, Arts and Crafts-style lodge situated just along the park, it's gorgeous from afar. The massive beamed architecture landscaped with pine trees ironically reminds me of home. It's like Timberline Lodge, but 20 times bigger! And weirdly new! The moment you enter the hotel your breath is taken away by the lobby. Giant boulders surround a cozy fireplace nook that seats ten. Towering wooden pillars support the ceiling six floors above. And it's Christmas! There's an 80-foot christmas tree covered in glittering gold and red gifts, sparkling acorns, red flowers and ribbon! There is pine garland everywhere, festooned with white lights and sparkling glass balls. It's incredible. Our room is great, the beds are like magical cozy ships with good lighting. Everything is so damned tasteful, I'm freaking out! A tasteful attack! Ok. Hard thought it is to drag our asses from this magic hotel palace, Disneyland awaits! Onward!





Tarzan's tree, my next home
about to get soaked
  It was a day of great fun and of lower back pain. The first thing I did was ride Splash Mountain, which is the greatest ride in the park, but I got completely soaked. I mean, completely. Hair-mashed-and-dripping-sitting-in-a-pool-jeans-stuck-to-skin-shoes-full-of-water-soaked. So I was wet all day and looked like shit, but I still had fun! I got separated from Greg and Cora for awhile when they stood in line for the Matterhorn, so I paddled around Tom Sawyer's island with the canoe guy and a bunch of strangers. I found the art gallery with Mary Blair's art in it, and I watched the Abraham Lincoln presentation for the first time. I fought the urge to wave back at Mary Poppins when she walked by with Burt. I love her. Also, I decided to model my next home on Tarzan's tree.

Disneyland palm trees in the morning
view from the back of the canoe

We braved the crowds (lots of family men with HUGE tattoos on their necks! And smoking! Smoking in Disneyland!!), and made it to all of the things on our list. We saw the holiday parade which was pretty cheesy (believe it or not!), not at ALL like the excellent Lion King parade I saw there like 15 years ago (ouch). Later, after I'd retired to the loving arms of my magical hotel bed, Greg and Cora stayed up late to see the lightshow. Evidently it climaxes by having a giant dragon set the entire lake on fire. When Greg told me this I wondered, "what about the ducks?" There are a lot of ducks on that lake by day! How can you set the whole lake on fire and not even singe one duck?

  So....the morning you check out of a Disneyland hotel you feel a bit deflated. Once you leave that driveway, the magic is over and you are once again playing by the rules of the real world. The real freeway is just outside the gate. Sigh. But you throw your shoulders back and stick your chin out and close the door of the rental car, and you do what you have to do.
  We were heading south. Christmas Eve, on the I-10 hurtling toward Palm Springs. Cruising through Riverside, through the soft, tufted desert hills, past the eerie wind mills standing giant against the rising mountains. It's beautiful, and desolate. It doesn't feel like humans should be there, but it feels full of life. Ancient, hardy plants and small animals rule the landscape just beyond the reach of the sprinklers.
   I do love the desert and this was a great time to go. As different from our northwest pine trees and rain forest as you get, it is a welcome change to the spirit to see forests of palm trees and cactus, feel warm sunshine and smell the fresh december desert breezes. A different place than in the summer!


We spent Christmas with my dear mother-in-law, Ida at her house. We had a really lovely time being together, eating christmas dinner next to a crackling fire on the heated patio of a nice restaurant, tasty lemon-creme salmon and tangy white wine on our lips as we toasted the season. Giving thanks.



The next day we took a wonderful tour of the Moorten Botanical Gardens. I do love a good Botanical Garden, I must say. And this one was all cactus! Enormous prehistoric monster-cactus! Tiny, fuzzy hilarious little cactus! Mean, evil super-spiky gonna'-kill-you cactus! And one cactus that had a female-like form that was almost indecent! It was very interesting. Evidently the fellow that started the gardens was a friend of Walt Disney himself! He acted as a consultant for "Frontierland" at Disneyland! It's a Small World, indeed!
someone get her a robe!
  So, I packed again. Re-packing to return home is not nearly as exciting as packing to go, but you still try to be thoughtful so security goes smoothly at the airport. As previously described, I was feeling particularly glamorous in my Charlie's Angel on the weekend travel outfit, and comfortably passed three hours in the zoo that is gates 30-34 by reading fashion mags. (And tuning out that one shrieking little child beast.)
  Sadly for me, the flight home was especially bumpy. I get pretty freaked out by flying, and though I can distract myself with magazines, beer, and thoughts of celebrity get-aways, if there's enough turbulence, I sometimes quietly cry. So embarrassing! A few tears leaked out during our dramatic descent, but thank god we landed safely and I almost peed with relief. One eccentric cab driver later, we were collapsing into our dear Faye's excited kisses and tale wags, and locking the door behind us.
  Urbi et Orbi. And home again.  xo

 
 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life in the Goldilocks Zone


Here's a RATHER AMAZING DISCOVERY. Kepler 22b. A planet discovered in the "Goldilocks Zone"or the habitable zone near a sun-like star, that is a little more than two times the size of earth, has a surface temperature in the mid '70's and quite possibly could contain water and resources that sustain life. There could already be life there.
 Space exploration has always fascinated and frightened me. I love the beauty and mystery of space, and I relish the proof to humanity that it is absolutely inconsequential in the face of mother nature,but I fear our desperate need to inhabit other worlds, and laying waste to them as we have to our own magnificent planet.
   For magnificent it is. If we found even one single plant on another planet it would move us to exhilaration. But what of the plentitude of stunningly complex, sophisticated, brilliantly adapted species we already have? Some of the universe's most amazing creatures live right here. Some of the most colorful, impressive and truly wonderous displays of life are right in front of us! And we're killing them!
  I love space. I love the ocean. I am enchanted by large, uncharted, wild and completely natural environments. I feel to proud to be a bit of nature, myself, even if I do happen to be a stupid human. Whenever my time does come to rejoin the infinite, I will be grateful to have had my eyes open to the beauty of my world.
  here is a bit of one of my all-time favorite series, Planet Earth:



And here is an interesting editorial on the subject of a "new earth".

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Merrie December

"When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash."




 Why, that's not Santa on the roof, it's my dear Mr. Rios!! Once again Greg has braved the shaky, almost-too-short ladder that rests precariously on a weak, almost-collapsing gutter to hang our Christmas lights! Hooray! Now, I must say we have the fanciest house on the block, which really isn't saying much as there are several rather squalid houses on our block, whose idea of christmas lights are a bleak, blinking green strobe light and a broken candy cane in the lawn.



Our tree this year is a monolith. It is awe-inspiringly large and a bit intimidating, actually. We actually stuffed this thing in the back of our car and then exhausted ourselves decorating it. We ran out of lights and ornaments! I do love this gorgeous tree, but I feel like letting it go back to the wild. It fills up an entire corner of our living room, and looks out of the little windows next to it like it's thinking about its herd.
   I can't help but think there might be some kind of Chris VanAllsburg moment with this tree, in the middle of the night. Perhaps it will silently levitate on Christmas Eve and then Tom Hanks will pop out and say "All Aboard for the North Pole!" or something like that.






Much delicious food has been cooked and consumed this season, and here are some photos to prove it. I have never made so much stuffing at one time before. The giant piles of chopped pecans and onions and mushrooms looked beautiful and succulent, and I had to make a photographic record of such bounty!


  I have also had the pleasure of watching two of the MOST WONDERFUL shows that I must recommend!!! First, the 2002 film "Nicholas Nickelby" which I had no idea existed and now am its number one fan! This film is not to be missed! The performances and art direction are impeccable, surprising, original!!!   This is a true interpretation of Dicken's work, showing both the detailed and dramatic personal quirks of the characters, but also the whimsy and dry humor in their portrayal. The language used is perfect, and the delivery is hilarious.






Jim Broadbent and Juliette Stevenson make the worst and most horrible evil villains I've ever seen, Jim Broadbent is one of my favorite actors ever.

Christopher Plummer is absolutely wonderful, and soooo handsome still! (But I have a weakness for top hats, I must admit.)

I almost coughed up my coffee when I saw in the credits that the actor who plays  Nicholas Nickelby himself is none other than Charlie Hunnan, the young Curt-Cobain look-a-alike who plays Jax in "Sons of Anarchy"!!!!   So now I am a HUGE FAN of this young man, because he has to 1. have the cojones to put aside a tough-guy image and play a darling, almost-christian, goody two shoes (who does have a righteous temper when provoked, it's true) and 2. have the chops to look good alongside the revered, great actors in this cast! I don't know if many young, handsome actors would be able to pull it off, or even recognize the great opportunity such a role really is, so kudos to Mr. Hunnan!
Here is a great trailer for the movie:



The other show I am currently enjoying is yet another English period piece called "Cranford". ( An aside: for those of you who may not know already, I am a complete English History Addict. I cannot get enough of the stories from the middle ages through the current Royal Family. Castles make me giddy. I love James Herriot,  the Sex Pistols,Watership Down and The Lord of the Rings. I also love Charles II, Harry Potter and Led Zeppelin. And Narnia.
I devour books about the Plague and the Great Fire of London in 1666. More on all of this later.)


"Cranford" is a series, is an absolute must-see, and is one of the best things I've ever seen from BBC. The writing is fantastic, the characters subtle and sensitive, and so tenderly funny! The acting is flawless, from Imelda Staunton's (Dolores Umbridge!) comic busybody Mrs. Pole, to the eerie, faded hauteur of Francesca Annis's Lady Ludlow. This is my favorite thing Judy Dench has ever done, she plays against type and is perfection as the mousey spinster Matilda Jenkins who lives in the shadow of her prim sister Deborah Jenkins played by another of my favorite actors ever, Eileen Atkins. Michael Gambon (Dumbledore!) stars also, as do so many other greats!!! The focus is not always on the characters, but also on the transitional time between an older age of aristocracy, and an industrial revolution that will forever change the face of the world. It is a time when greeting cards were considered vulgar, visits never lasted longer than 15 minutes, and eating a juicy orange was considered profane enough to remove oneself to the privacy of one's bedroom to do it! The horrors of the french revolution are not in the too-distant past, and when hearing news of the new railroad's depot coming to their small country town, Lady Ludlow bemoans the dangers of "moving the people about". "Cranford" is a beautiful piece of work that shows the struggles of the time just to survive, to receive good medical care, and the fear of education. It is also tremendously sweet and funny, and not at all at the sacrifice of beautiful language.
   Here is just one of so many great scenes:



So Happy December 1st, and Merry Christmas to all of us, I'm hoping I can keep up the spirit from now until Spring!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Turkeys are intelligent animals who enjoy having their feathers stroked and listening to music, with which they will often sing quite loudly" -- Ben Franklin




Delicious "Field Roast" holiday roast. Takes 25 minutes to cook!
I love turkeys. So much so that I propose we take a quick reality check before the annual slaughter begins in earnest. For just a moment, let's think outside the "traditional" box. When you think of Thanksgiving dinner, your mouth might actually start to water at the thought of eating those perfectly cooked, savory dishes. When we eat our Thanksgiving dinners, we are looking for something jaw-droppingly delicious, yes?  You can have that without turkey.  Do we want to have something unbelievable delicious AND avoid thousands of extra calories? Avoid eating turkey, and you will. Do we want to spread love and joy and peace throughout the holiday season? When you choose a meat-alternative you help spare the lives of millions of animals. One simple change can prevent horrible torture and a miserable end for these sensitive, intelligent creatures. Do we really want to eat someone else's pain? It's time to think outside the box. We are not only killing turkeys, we are killing ourselves!

Once again, here is the MOST delectable veggie stuffing recipe that I make every year.It's a real crowd-pleaser, and served over your choice of delicious faux turkey options (see below for my favorites) you will be celebrating the holiday of thanks with the true spirit it deserves! Health! Happiness! Life for all!!!

CORN BREAD, WILD MUSHROOM, AND PECAN STUFFING:   

1 1/4 c pecans
6 T butter
1/2 recipe Corn bread ( just use a mix, it takes no time and makes the kitchen smell good!)
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 rib celery, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
10 oz wild mushrooms (shitakes or chanterelles)
1 t fresh thyme, chopped
1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 c dry white wine
1/3 c cream (we use soy creamer)
1/3 c Imagine "No-Chicken" broth

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet. Place in oven to toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
2. Melt 2 T butter in a small skillet. Cut corn bread into 2 inch-thick slices. Place, cut-side down, on a 17-by12 inch baking sheet. Bush tops with melted butter. Toast corn bread until golden brown, 10 minutes. Cool.
3.Heat remaining 4 T butter in a medium skillet on medium high. Add shallots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper: cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add white wine: continue cooking until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add cream. Cook 30 seconds, remove pan from heat.
4. Crumble corn bread into a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and toasted pecans, toss. Add No-chicken broth, and bake in a buttered 0x13 inch baking dish until crusty and golden brown, 30 minutes. SUPER YUM!!!

Here are some incredibly delicious meat-free items to add to your thanksgiving feast:

Field Roast : An absolutely delicious loaf, or links of a spiced, moist vegetable protein. The best on the market!

Quorn Roast: Already cooked so you just marinate it in a little "No-Chicken" broth and stick it in the oven to warm. Eliminating turkey also eliminates the hours of cooking and the threat of salmonella!

Haines Vegetarian "Chicken" gravy. The best gravy I've ever had.

Try one Thanksgiving using these products, add your favorite vegetables, pies, rolls, sauces, desserts, etc. After you've eaten, see how much you miss the clean-up of a bird carcass, the threat of salmonella, the calories and cholesterol.  Sit back, put up your feet, and  revel in the knowledge that you've eaten clean and healthy, you've given back to the planet, and no violence of any kind was used in the preparation of your holiday meal. Once we realize we're not missing anything by not eating meat, we will realize how much we are actually gaining. Peace!

HAPPY TURKEYS AT A TURKEY SANCTUARY!!