Nov 25, 2011

Day 48/180: Thanksgiving Aftermath

In a way Thanksgiving turned out as I expected. There was good conversation, a bit of family storytelling and a pleasant time was had by all.

On the other hand, it was, and still is, a test of my willpower.

The Thanksgiving spread was in my wife's family tradition: a 12-pound turkey stuffed with off-the-shelf bread stuffing, pearl onions in butter sauce, mashed potatoes made with milk and butter, turnips with butter, squash with butter and sugar, pumpkin pie made with cream and served with cream cheese, apple pie with butter served with cheddar. About the only thing served that I could eat were the pickles, olives, peanut butter-stuffed dates, and the mixed nuts (containing hazelnuts which, predictably, I am allergic to).

It was good that I brought my own dinner: mock turkey (seitan), stuffing muffins, potatoes roasted with olive oil and rosemary, corn with a touch of black sesame oil and garlic. On the whole, my dinner was probably tastier and certainly better for me than theirs was for them. And, thankfully, no-one felt inclined to point out that I wasn't sharing everyone else's food.

Then something happened that I hadn't anticipated. Due to Uncle Bob's failing eyesight and everyone else's lack of knife skills it fell to me to carve the turkey. I did. I did it without complaint. I sliced the white meat neatly and apportioned it to the plates. I scooped out the stuffing. I served seconds. I spent the meal with the turkey platter six inches from my plate. All of my favorite parts were still there: the wings, the "pope's nose", the pouchy part of the skin where the extra stuffing goes. Right in front of me for the entire meal.

And I made it! No slips, no quick licks of fat-slicked fingers, no snatching up of stray crumbs of stuffing. I survived and triumphed.

Late last night was harder. The leftovers came home with us, and every time I walked out to the kitchen I could see the untouched wings and drumsticks, the carcass with fully half the meat of the bird still on it, and I knew that it would all be wasted. It will sit in the refrigerator until it dries out or goes bad. No-one will ever eat any more from it because they are so used to me being their disposal unit, and I can not, I will not perform that function any more, even though the waste breaks my heart.

Just now I walked out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. The turkey is gone! I wonder what happened to it. I wonder if I really want to know.

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