Smells like turkey spirit

Happy Thanksgiving Tacoma!

By Sandee Glib on November 22, 2007

Turkey Day (the time honored tradition of stuffing bread up a turkey’s ass and eating it) is by far my favorite holiday. I like it even more than Christmas. Thanksgiving has all that Christmas has to offer: great food and drink, family and friends, and crisp weather that lures us to stay inside near the fire. These are just the basic holiday offerings. The one clear difference is the gift-giving expectation. It ruins Christmas for me. I don’t like to be told what to do, especially by the mass media. I give you a gift because I want to, not because it is expected.

If you are like me, you have to make a choice during the holiday season, whether to spend the day at the parents or the in-laws. Everybody wants you. During Thanksgivings past, my parents chose to visit my sister who lived in California. This always gave me the easy out to have turkey dinner with the husband’s folks. No bitterness or hurt feelings. Unfortunately, dear sis moved back here last year, so mom and dad will stay in town. Wait, that didn’t come out right …

Even though my parents are staying here for the holiday, my other siblings STILL bailed on them, so the choice was clear. The husband and I would bail on the parents too. This situation has forced them to plan another Thanksgiving dinner for our family the Sunday after. Two turkey dinners! Sweet. The only problem with this scenario is that there will be TWO TURKEY DINNERS in one week. I would never splurge and purge, so I better stock up on the stretchy pants.

Do you have a strategy for Thanksgiving dinner? I do. Our stomachs will only hold so much food, so we need to plan appropriately. Here are the staple dishes for the day in order of importance: turkey, gravy, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, a green vegetable (beans with bacon for me), sweet potatoes or yams, cranberries, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. These are the basics. In my never-so-humble opinion, you have to have the turkey, gravy, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. I ignore the other “fillers” and here is why.

Sweet potatoes? Do I really need to explain this one (sorry mom, it’s her favorite)? You already have yummy garlic potatoes. Cranberries? You do need fruit to break things up, so toss back a nice glass of wine instead. I suggest a Pinot Noir, Gamay Beaujolais or rose for the turkey meal. Dinner roll? Are you kidding me? Why would you eat a dinner roll when you have a bowl of delicious savory stuffing nearby? Need I remind you, also made of bread?

Last but not least, the pumpkin pie. I don’t dislike pumpkin pie, but again we don’t need to fill up on a starchy potato food group when we are looking to achieve maximum Thanksgiving dinner consumption potential. Mom still makes homemade mincemeat pie. Yes, it really has meat in it, not like that store bought crap. Either way, stay away from this pie, far away. Try a pumpkin martini instead! I saw them make one on KCPQ 13 News the other morning. Times are-a-changin’…

Have you seen the light yet? You can eat at least twice as much of the recommended foods if you hold off on the fillers. It’s a fine balance, I admit, but if you go into the game with a plan, you’ll walk away from the table with little regret and whole lot of satisfaction. 

Maybe this is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In my family, it IS about expectation. I expect good food, I expect to eat a lot, I expect to feel like crap for at least an hour after dinner until another round of eating begins, and the only gift I receive this day is the gift of sweet satisfaction.

Eat out Tacoma. We need you love.

P.S. For a great twist on your stuffing, try using rosemary olive oil bread from La Brea and add tomato-basil chicken sausage from Insernio.