Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just cover it all with gravy.

Thanksgiving is a strange phenomenon. Oh, but I do enjoy it, a lot.

It's a secular, American (and Canadian) event, so it's a bit off the world's radar. It's all about food; no cards, no gifts, no putting your screaming two-year-old on the Turkey's lap for some keepsake photos.

In my opinion, Thanksgiving's featured brown food items are absolutely the finest combination of flavors to grace grandma's dusty china. Ever since my childhood, I've only swum in a sea of Thanksgiving brownness. Turkey? Of course. Mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing? Another scoop, please. Green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes? No thanks, but I'll take a roll.

Of course, opting for these foods as a child validated the phrase, "You are what you eat." As I've mentioned in previous posts, I was a bit too short for my weight, and when it came to this particular holiday, I became a little self-conscious when convening with folks I only saw once a year. I'm sure many of us remember walking into a house full of friends and relatives, who would size us up the second they laid eyes on our one-year-older stature.

My family loyally attended the yearly feast at my Aunt Lilas' house. I loved entering her warm kitchen, the aromas of all the brown food sprinting to embrace my olfactory senses. There, waiting in the living room, were my cousins, aunts, uncles, and this guy who I'll call "Rusty." He was always the first to assess my corpulence, with such phrases as "I guess you're a little on the fat side, huh?"

Rusty really had no room to talk. He was one of those guys who had to make a decision about where his pants' waistline would fall.

He had to choose between:
1) Belted, above the stomach, with most of the belly encased within the trousers' crotch area, or
2) Belted, below the gut, thereby necessitating a smaller waist area, but with the entire stomach sagging over the pants, with the shirt straining to remain tucked in.
He chose option 1).

I tried not to let Rusty's comments hurt my feelings, and it certainly didn't curb my appetite for that awesome, brown, Thanksgiving fare, except for one year. My grandpa had just had a heart attack, so my aunt decided to provide a healthier spread. The brown stuff disappeared, except for the turkey and the pumpkin tartlettes. Yes, tartlettes. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I celebrated silently the following year when the traditional stuff returned.

And the day would have been a lot less stressful had my sister and I not been required to say grace. I always knew it was coming, so after deflecting whatever comment Rusty had to serve up, I dreaded that the prayer would follow shortly thereafter. I'm sure Donny and Marie performed for their relatives all the time, but I would have preferred just telling everyone that my sister and I had already belted out, "God is great, Good is good..." on the way over in the car. In other words, we had pre-prayed.

Oh, well. Happy Thanksgiving, and embrace your inner brownness.


  1. I'm thankful for Reflections from a Shallow Pond. It's like Christmas everyday. Wait, I'm mixing my metaphors again.

    I love all the beige foods too, my favorite meal of the year.

  2. Thanks, Jame.
    Go ahead and mix away. Mmmm...Chex Mix.