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Thursday was an absolutely lovely day. It was possibly one of the most relaxing and joy-filled Thanksgivings I have ever had. Up until the past few years Thanksgiving was always about eating a huge meal with your family and then watching football or passing out. When I started attempting to be more mindful about all that I think or do things changed. Do you know who prompted the first Thanksgiving? George Washington. I recently came across the following historical text and it really helped to keep my mind and priorities in the right place during our Thanksgiving day.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Our only guest was my father-in-law so we didn’t have to travel and also didn’t have to feed a lot of people. Our toddler was so excited for days that grandpa was coming :).

Our menu was made up of foods we already had on hand since I wouldn’t be making any special trips to the grocery store. I will provide our menu as well as some recipes below.

No Spend Thanksgiving Menu

Roasted lamb shoulder with garlic and rosemary.

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I purchased this before I even knew we were doing no spend months. When we decided to do this challenge I reserved this roast for our Thanksgiving meal, knowing that we wouldn’t be traveling elsewhere for the meal.

Ingredients:
~ 5 lb. shoulder of lamb
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 T. dried rosemary, chopped
sea salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover roast with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper on all sides. Cover the whole roast with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 325 degrees. Roast for approximately 6 hours, or until temperature reaches 180 degrees. You can leave the foil off for the last 15 minutes of cooking time, if a brown crust hasn’t formed yet.

Sweet & savory butternut squash with crispy nuts and sunflower seeds.

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I love winter squash, don’t you? We’ve kept just under a dozen of them in a cool closet for about a month and a half and they are still wonderfully delicious.

Steamed green beans. These were in our freezer and again I set them aside just for this meal. Having only eaten canned green beans recently, these were delicious.

Stewed tomatoes. I used two large cans of whole tomatoes and stewed them in my crock pot with some olive oil and black pepper. At the last minute I stirred in some fresh garlic and my husband declared “These tomatoes are really good!” I’m pretty sure he’d say that about anything containing garlic, though.

Ingredients:

2 cans whole plum tomatoes, drained (save the juice for something else)
1/4 t. black pepper
good olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced

Place the drained tomatoes into a 4 qt. crock pot with pepper. Cook on high for approximately four hours. Just before serving stir in the raw garlic and drizzle good olive oil over the whole thing.

Double cranberry coconut SOAP cake.

Soap, you ask. Yup. This cake was actually really delicious, unless of course you eat the outer crust of it. I cooked it in a silicon baking pan that I greased with coconut oil. I’m not sure which of these two things did it, but the edges of the cake that touched the pan TASTED LIKE SOAP. We all sat down for dessert last night and a couple of bites in I started thinking “That’s strange, this tastes soapish.” Immediately after that my husband looked at me and said “Do you taste soap?” Yep, sure did. After cutting off all of the edges, the cake was actually really tasty. I simply used the yellow cake recipe from Bruce Fife’s Cooking with Coconut Flour book and stirred in a cup of halved frozen cranberries.  Just don’t cook it in a silicon baking dish greased with coconut oil. I served this with the last of the cranberries made into a sauce and pureed to form a glaze along with whipped cream that I got off of the top of my raw milk.

Everyone loved the meal (besides the cake, of course). On a day of giving thanks it was nice to know that we were able to use and be thankful for what we already had instead of purchasing more. It was a blessing.

Our family is embarking on two months of frugality: less spending, more saving, more income. Feel free to join us in the challenge or simply follow along for…

Introduction.

Start at the beginning for the how and why of it all.

Fellow No Spenders.

See who else is joining in on no spend months.

Making preparations.

Follow along as we prepare for the shut down of all unnecessary spending.

Q & A Volume 1.

Will we have enough to eat? How will we be celebrating the holidays?

Week 1 Review.

See how this week went.

Week 2 Review.

See how this week went.

Week 3 Review.

See how this week went.

A No Spend Thanksgiving.

See how we spent a day of thanks with a $0 budget.

Week 4 Review.

See how this week went.

A two week no spend menu plan.

See how we eat for two weeks when we do not grocery shop.

Week 5 Review

See how this week went.

Week 6 Review & We Quit

Our final week is two weeks earlier than planned, but many lessons have been learned.

Conclusion & What We Learned

Many lessons were learned – both monetary and spiritual.