I’m gonna go ahead and put it out there, I don’t give a rat’s rear end about turkey. Yup, that’s right. Pretty much anything on Thanksgiving that annexes precious gastro-territory (that would otherwise be devoted to stuffing) is not worth my time. I can generally take or leave mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean things (especially casseroles), cranberry sauce, and the whole lot of it. If it’s not made of bread cubes, dowsed in gravy, and possibly to probably containing sausage…I’m really just not that interested. On rare occasions, I’ll allow the odd Brussels sprout boulder to take up residence on my stuffing mountain, but it depends of my vegetable intake for the day (usually low on holidays).
Often, when we have guests for Thanksgiving, Mom knows she needs to make two batches of stuffing because, after all, we can’t trust (relative) strangers to limit their intake. There’s no guarantee there will be enough for (my) leftovers.
What is it about the youngest children in the family? Why are we always the most ardent defenders of tradition? This year, Mom breathed a cautious word in my general direction about making a really delicious Israeli couscous and wild mushroom dish for Thanksgiving, instead of stuffing. It’s really good, so I actually considered it for about a nanosecond. Two years ago I would have bitten her head off for even daring to imagine a world in which stuffing was not the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving table. Ultimately, we decided (calmly and mutually) that we could make the couscous any other day.
The only other thing that’s worth my attention on Turkey Day is pie. Once I’ve unbuttoned my pants and napped on the couch for an hour or so after the main meal (I really do this…even at other people’s houses), I am ready to delve into dessert. It’s a scientific fact that once a year I grow an entirely different stomach for sweets. No matter how many months pregnant I look, no matter how labored my breathing is outside of a recumbent position, I require pie. Apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies are pretty much the best ones out there (except coconut cream, yum!), and if all three are present, I am having a tiny slice of all three—and by tiny, I mean normal. Dab on a little lightly sweetened whipped cream, and wow.
At this point, I am ready to put a sticky note on the tupperware of leftover stuffing threatening torture and slow death if eaten, shuffle upstairs to take an 8-hour food coma, and set my alarm early so I can get up and eat stuffing for breakfast. Aa-a-a-and maybe a sliver of pie. But just one.