Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why turkey is like Chinese take-out

Turkey Day has come and passed, tummies have been stuffed, and pants un-done to make room for more pie. It is great to sit down and know that an amazingly high percentage of the rest of our country is doing the same thing with basically the same food on the same day. Pretty uniting, eh?
I have decided that turkey is magical. Magical in the same way that Chinese take-out containers are; you know the white ones that rice comes in? Yeah, the little box that makes you disappointed that "that was all you got" somehow spills forth enough rice to feed a small third world country. Don't know how they do it, but its magic for sure. Turkey's magic is still food-based but it comes in the form of enticing you even deeper into the pits of gluttony. It isn't malevolent, but simply wants to share all it's tryptophanic delights with you and it only has a day or two to accomplish this.

This is actually the answer to the question that we all mutter/curse/whine at some point on Turkey Day: "Why did I eat so much?" Turkey magic. Duh!

For me personally the magic while at the table is pretty standard, but its later that the juice (or perhaps gravy is more appropriate in this situation) really gets poured on. The turkey is still on the counter or tented under foil in the fridge. Purely wonderful elves have done the dishes and family/guests are spread throughout the house making very odd digestion noises, sometimes no so quietly. And then you hear this quiet voice in your ear, that little knock-knock on your psyche. Come eat me. Next thing you know someone walks into the kitchen and catches you chomping madly with both hands actually in the fridge ripping chunks of cold meat from the carcass. Your shoulders are probably hunched, feet spread for balance, and one eye is open wider than the other. You might be taking the time to salt the turkey before consuming but really you are throwing pinches of salt in your mouth and mixing a la minute.

Nine guests and a twenty-three pound bird equals turkey sandwiches for days and days. And the beauty is that only three ingredients are required: turkey, bread, and mayo. Sure there are an almost infinite number of possibilities (squash makes an awesome spread) but let's not fall into the trap of over-complicating matters. Simple is perfect and it keeps the magic alive.

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