An Honest Thanksgiving

Tender, juicy roast turkey - the main attracti...

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It will be Thanksgiving in just a few days. While we all are looking forward to moist turkey and my husband’s famous stuffing made with mushrooms and apples, raisins and water chestnuts, I have a small request. Please be kind and sensitive to one another. I don’t worry about what things will taste like; I know they will all be delicious. The only thing I worry about, quite honestly, is drama. Holidays can bring up all sorts of feelings: loss, bereavement, jealousy, resentment, sadness, and despair. Old wounds start to feel new, grievances and perceived injustices start to bubble to the surface. Before we dig in to the mashed potatoes my mother made (cough, cough, bought from a restaurant), and cranberry sauce let us think about each other first. During dessert let us try to rejoice in each others’ company instead of waiting for the air to get thick with tension as dense as brown gravy.

This year, for the first year I have actually mentioned to several members of the family that I am asking for a “drama-free” Thanksgiving. I have chronic pain, my husband has been feeling sad because of  lack of work, please try to remember this.  Work  alongside us, tell us things will be alright eventually. Life is not perfect but Thanksgiving should be about what we are grateful for, not what we lack.

I don’t want to hear sullen complaints about the food or the appetizers and I’m happy to cook and clean, taste, stir, serve and clean-up. I will not be happy with arguments, whispered secrets said too loudly and explosive outbursts. Please just leave your coats and any agendas at the door and please, please think before you speak. Be courteous to everyone else. Don’t brag, insult, or be insensitive to other people’s needs.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. May it be peaceful, filled with great warmth, love, gratitude and great food. I am thankful for all of you.  Now, let us eat.

Man Vs Food #2 (An Extreme Foodie Blog Again)

I admit it, I came back for a second helping of Man vs Food. Adam is back again and so am I. Get ready America, he is about to eat something called a “Garbage Burger.”  Sounds yummy, don’t you think?  Do I even want to know what that is made of? Unfortunately, yes I do, I’m disgustingly curious.  A “Garbage Burger” is mostly eaten in the parking lot “Cuz they can’t wait to go home” and the food drips right down your arm.  Located near  Duke University,  this small shop serves comfort food, like chili and burgers and a whole lot more. The “Garbage Burger” consists of:  double, bacon cheese burgers with the works, lettuce tomato, pickles, coleslaw AND chili; it weighs one and a quarter lbs. of pure meat. He ate it so fast I may have missed a few ingredients, forgive me. As disgusting and gross this show can be it has me obsessively entertained and revolted at the same time. I’m still going to complain about the amount of food eaten and the wrong message given to people but, I do admit I haven’t turned the show off yet.

Not only am I watching it, I am watching it with my friend Suzie who is watching it on her television another state away. We are sending each other IM’s that mostly consist of sayings like “that’s gross” or “I’m hungry.”When Adam eats the infamous “Suicidal Challenge of Six Spicy Wings”  we can honestly see his nose run, and hear him he burp. We are so proud.

On another  episode of Man vs. Food, I didn’t want any food near me. There’s enough grease on the show that I can practically get it by osmosis. Tonight’s episode: Kansas City, BBQ,  6.5 lb platter. Imagine this, Adam is the first one to take the challenge. Missouri, we learn is the  BBQ capital of the world , YEE-HAW!  I see the fat oozing out of the meat…it’s becoming a little too greasy in my house. They cook everything, brisket, ribs, burnt ends, and more. The raw brisket looks like the size of a not so small deer. I never knew about burnt ends until this show. I was at a party recently and I thought the burned ends on a plate was a mistake. Oops,  next time I will run to try them, I promise. We learn that there’s even a gas station that has a BBQ restaurant attached to it, really convenient!

Now we are back to home cooking: fountains of water, fried chicken, gravy soaked mashed potatoes and gooey cinnamon rolls. (I wanted to bite into that while watching the show.)  Crispy, juicy pan-fried chicken. It’s fried in soy bean oil, that sounds healthy, right? Crusty bits, “cracklins’ for the gravy…cracklins? Apparently it’s “whole body lickin good” if I heard that correctly.

The ultimate BBQ show down: Ultimate Destroyer:  6 lbs (SIX POUNDS) of Papa John’s, sliced pork, pulled pork, turkey breast hamburger, sausage, all together:  first a hoagie bun, then: 7 beef patties,  pulled pork, sliced pork, bbq sauce, white bread for structural support, ham, turkey breast, white bread for more support, 3 hamburger patties, more sauce, another layer of bread, half a pound of brisket, and half a pound of  sausage, more sauce and it is capped off with the top of the hoagie/sub AND One AND a half pound of french fries. I’m about to gag.   Seriously gross….but let’s see if he can do it. “Let the pig out begin”shouts the ringmaster at this circus and so it does.  I really feel nauseous. “Go Adam go! ” the people scream. Oh no, it seems like he’s hit the “burger blockade!!!” GASP! Even Adam seems unsure of himself….he shoves it in his mouth and food spit comes flying out. Please let this show be over soon.  I’m sorry to report: DEFEAT, he was sunk by the Ultimate Destroyer.  He only had half the sandwich, and he is down, down , down, beaten and depressed. I have no doubt however that sometime in the future he will revisit this challenge. I can hardly wait.

Usually I snack at 10:30 but tonight after watching the Man vs. Food show I went downstairs and I could only face a pure, natural,  plum and it was good.