Dear Thanksgiving Dinner,
Like a specter in the night, you come upon me seemingly without warning. As if the month after Halloween was nothing but a fun-dip-generated hibernation, I wipe the rest from my eyes to find you are practically here. Your presence ushers in the official start to the holiday season, and while some overlook you; bypassing your bypass-inducing gluttony and heading straight for door-buster sales, I prefer to savor your arrival.
You are the main event, the headliner, as the entire day is nothing but an opening act to hype the crowd. And when the lights go down and you hit the stage, you never disappoint. You play all the hits, from stuffing to gravy, peas to carrots, potatoes; baked, mashed, and loaded. You bring it with sauerkraut and cranberry sauce, both homemade and canned in all its gelatinous glory.
And then there’s the turkey. That big, beautiful bird with its tryptophanian wiles seduces me into a hypnotic hebetude of hunger. Many a year has found me semi-conscious on the couch with nothing but a drumstick in my hand and very little memory of the meal itself. But don’t worry, I gladly trade the blacked out segments of supper for seconds of poultry perfection.
As families have been gathering around your bounty for centuries now, I can’t help but wonder the stories you’ve heard. I can just picture a group of pilgrims enjoying your fabulous feast while Farmer Joe’s mother asks him why he can’t be more successful like his older brother John. I can only assume you’ve witnessed enough therapy-causing, self-esteem destruction to fill a millennium’s worth of $200 per hour sessions. Ah, the holidays.
Just as the family feuds reach their tipping point, you always manage to calm the situation with your delectable desserts. From pies of apple, cherry, pumpkin, and…ugh…mince meat, to delicious pastries and tarts; your sweet encore requests – no, demands – a higher level of pant elasticity. We humbly oblige with a change of pants from denim, chord, or poly-cotton blend, to the always forgiving sweat.
Despite your traditional roots, I respect your decision to change with the times. I’ve noticed at restaurants throughout the country, you are offering up your bevy of yumminess for those without culinary expertise to enjoy. Many a home has been turned to ash thanks to an ill-advised deep-frying of a 26-lb bird by folks who frequent the sauce, so by sharing your smorgasbord with the world (at a reasonable price), you are effectively saving lives and homes. I applaud you for this.
So as families gather once again to enjoy everything you have to offer, I hope we will all stop and give thanks to the wonder that is Thanksgiving dinner. May you enjoy another successful year of raising the average American’s cholesterol levels and to all those reading…have a very happy Thanksgiving!