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There has been much discussion raised about "Why are women leaving Architecture? and more broadly, Why is the profession losing key talent?"  Both women and men practitioners are disillusioned by the myth of work/life balance: Women are grappling with "have it all" expectations of juggling family time with the demands of full-time work.  Men are struggling to support their families solely on an architect's salary and fall back on asking spouses to maintain their jobs. The lack of affordable childcare and high cost of living only magnifies the challenges.  How did we end up in this modern family dilemma? What can we do to improve the situation?

Happy Hacksgiving 2015 - A Hacker's Thanksgiving (from an Architect's Table)

by Rosa Sheng, AIA

So Bob Borson decided to throw down a Thanksgiving Architalks blog challenge - from The Architect's Table -  right before the project deadline and right before the holiday, when we are trying to get ready for the big day. Thanks Bob! But being a good sport, I am sharing this ultra short and sweet post in the spirit of the season. So get ready to Treat. Your. Self.

What the Hack is Hacksgiving anyway? In the spirit of the Hackathon culture, it is a day of doing good and giving back. I have further hacked "Hacksgiving" - giving license to break the rules - to experience innovative life changing results. An easy place to start is the Architect's Table - so throw those dogmatic Thanksgiving traditions out the window and give yourself the room to "hack" - de-construct, re-interpret and resuscitate the true meaning of the holiday, Pilgrim. It's a day of sharing, giving back to those you care for and those that can't do for themselves. And also being grateful for all that we have. This includes celebrating the bounty of food available to us when there are those who make do with much less.

To embrace the spirit of Hacksgiving - take joy and liberation in breaking the rules and owning the day. Who says you have to make or eat Turkey? Who says you have to make everything from scratch and spend the entire day in the kitchen (unless you want to)? And who says you have to make all the traditional dishes exactly the way your family demands year after year? So my Hacksgiving gift and inspiration is a disruption of the "favorites". 

Cornish Game Hens w/ Olives & Fall Fruits - Because it's easier to manage small bird(s), then a larger unwieldy high maintenance one. This recipe from is a fail proof hit that I discovered 15 years ago and is one of my go to recipes. Marinate the birds overnight, stuff with fall fruits and olives and roast until ready. This is also a good option if you have a small guest list (or individual) Factor 1 hen for 2 people. Full recipe via link above.

What if you are a veggie/vegan? Dread T-day no more, because Hacksgiving has a delicious hack; Meet the Vegducken created by Katherine Sacks for Epicurious. Move over Turkey, here comes something prettier and tastier. 

photo by Chelsea Kyle via Epicurious

photo by Chelsea Kyle via Epicurious

Munchery Mashed Potatoes & Stuffing - I am outsourcing the traditional starches to the expert chefs this year at (loud gasp!). It's okay because it's Hacksgiving! There is a reason why it tastes like someone slaved all day making these dishes - because they did ! (so I don't have to!) Rather than killing ourselves, outsource the mash and stuffing to be delivered to your door, ready to heat and serve the next day. Shhhh, don't tell. Let's see if the guests notice the difference. Treat. Your. Self.

Surprise veggies - I have asked my guests to bring the veggies or a salad. I didn't tell them what to make. I said, "Surprise us". That's part of the fun right? But If you insist on making your own veggies Here are some Low maintenance vegetables to try: 

Romanesco , Broccoli or Cauliflower - Steam and season w/ salt, pepper, and lemon butter. or balsamic and olive oil.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding - Throw that bland, lifeless pumpkin pie out the window. Try this mash up of Pumpkin Pie meets Bread Pudding. For added hack points, add apples, raisins or other fall fruits (and maybe some spirits...) into the custard mix. If you want to use less sugar, add more spices. If you don't want to use cream, use kefir instead. Vegan version? Use coconut milk chia seed pudding. You get the idea, license to hack.

If you would like to find out more (non T-day) recipes from my hack kitchen, you can get them here. Falafel Waffles, Pannini Press Latkes, and Hummus Crab Cakes to name a few.

And last, but not least, don't forget the reason for the season. Give Thanks. Don't fight with your family or friends. Play Adele and sing "Hello" together.  The other thing you can do is buy a limited edition "Eat the Whale" T-shirt designed by yours truly to raise funds for The Equity Alliance website which will host all the WIA and Equity Groups' events, resources, and initiatives for equitable practice.  Treat. Your. Self. (Are you getting the subtle message?)

The Ultimate Hacksgiving Treat - Eat the Whale (Zero Calories and Full Satiation Guaranteed)

The Ultimate Hacksgiving Treat - Eat the Whale (Zero Calories and Full Satiation Guaranteed)

If you want to get more amazing recipes from the Architect's Table, please go to these links by my fellow Architalks Bloggerati friends. I am super Thankful for all of them and for each and everyone that takes the time to read these blog posts. Happy Hacksgiving! We can't wait to hack more in 2016 - Stay Hungry for Change with more good things to come. #EQxDHack16

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Matthew Stanfield - FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
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