Whew….that one’s out of the way. I didn’t sweat this Thanksgiving, I just did a traditional take on an age-old meal. And I loved the smiles all around the table, the deep sighs of contentment, the numerous trips back to the bowls of food. Like I told my sibs…” I didn’t make a lot of different food, I just made a lot of food.” Even with them toting home care packages with glistening pieces of turkey and perfect wedges of pumpkin pie, my fridge is still loaded. That makes me ultra-happy. Today, I can relish the quiet and not think about meal planning. It’s a perfect day for my post-Thanksgiving indulgence.
That’s right. I make a mountain of stuffing with the sole purpose of having plenty on hand to eat cold, straight from the bowl. Tell me I am not the lone oddity about this. Another delicious and gratifying treat with leftovers? Good bread, toasted and topped with slices of brie, a smear of cranberry relish and some pecans. Warm or cold, it’s delightful.
And speaking of cold…..
We’ve had snow already in Minnesota, thick on the gold leaves of early October and wholly unwelcome at the beginning of our beautiful Autumn. To wake up to this dusting was not such a surprise, but it seemed far more acceptable running after the heels of Thanksgiving, pushing November off the calendar. Even a light snowfall looks far more natural when viewed among the bare and spidery (almost) December landscape.
What else can be accomplished on a post Thanksgiving Sunday? Griffin will be certain to plop on the sofa with the NFL. I may be powerless to join him in my lethargy. A good cardio pumping hike might be best though, before succumbing to a languid Sunday afternoon. I’ll be thinking of leftover magic too. What are some of your favorite ‘second meal’ options when faced with the remains of your turkey, stuffing and potatoes? I like to make potato cakes. Form a handful of cold mashed potato into a cake and dredge them in seasoned flour. Heat butter in a small skillet and cook the potato cake until a brown crunchy crust has formed on one side, then carefully flip it over and brown the other side. It’s so not healthy but it fills your tummy in a comforting and warm way, kind of like I feel when my big brother embraces me. With a poached egg on top, it’s a breakfast of late November, and like a brotherly familial greeting, perfect in every way. I like chopped turkey and apples together, the sweet crunch against the mellow meat, maybe a bit of dijon mustard mixed in with some nuts for a good salty crunch. We’ve already established that I can pick handfuls of stuffing out of the bowl until I sigh deeply in my satiety. There likely will be soup, probably tomorrow. And even though I saw plenty of second helpings for my perfectly roasted carrots, I did notice there was a small container of those remaining as well. The bread box is stuffed too. I am a happy, albeit tired gal.
Now we can gaze down the month of December, with the flip of the calendar page and look ahead to Christmas. There’s a cookie exchange looming ever closer -a week!!!- and I have yet to even make up my mind about my offering, much less bake 8 dozen pieces to pass out. There’s the requisite party or two. With wine. A tree must be hunted down, brought home and lovingly adorned with a lifetime of memories. Then I’ll have to sit by it and deeply inhale it’s piney, Christmas-making scent, in the dark with the lights twinkling. The cats will be intrigued and probably knock a few ornaments off of it. We’ll see more and more houses lit up in the spirit of the season. I’ll have to plan another meal with my family. With both families. I’ll miss my mom like crazy and play the Christmas CD that often makes me cry. I’ll send out a Christmas card. And like every year, I’ll be glad when it’s over and life can settle down to some pattern of normalcy, whatever that may be. There’ll be lots of paths to explore.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear a bowl of stuffing calling my name.