Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Take This Bread and Stuff It

One of my least favorite holidays is right around the corner.

That's right, kids. I feel something less than love for Thanksgiving. I am aware that this makes me look either un-American or anorexic or both. I am neither of those things, but I just can't get that excited about a holiday where I spend hours in the kitchen and don't get to open any presents afterwards.

I am lucky that I don't host a Thanksgiving celebration. My heart goes out to those who do. But Jason and I, since we were 17 years old, have found ourselves going to two different houses for two different feasts on Turkey Day. At each house we're expected to both bring something (multiple somethings, some years) and eat something. Eating two plates of turkey and trimmings in one day is almost torture and really should be outlawed as cruel and unusual family punishment. But you can't go to someone's house and not eat some of their turkey. It would look rude. Plus, at my family's dinner, my mom gets her feelings hurt if I don't try a little of everything and have a second dose of at least the dumplings. So there we are, loaded with tryptophan, digesting roughly the same amount of calories Michael Phelps would need to win 2 gold medals, but not doing anything more strenuous to burn them off than clicking a remote. It's miserable.

I do like the basic tenets of Thanksgiving. I am all for taking a day to give thanks. And I am grateful that we have so much to eat on that day when so many people in our country have so little. I do have a heart. But like Christmas, the big idea behind the holiday gets lost. Instead of giving thanks, we focus on football and checking circulars for Black Friday deals. I seriously doubt this is what the pilgrims had in mind.

Then there's the stuffing.

I absolutely positively hate that stuff. Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, whether you make it from white bread or cornbread or Stove Top, I do not like it, Sam I Am.

Not liking that mix of dried bread and sage stuffed up inside a turkey carcass (or drenched in stock to make it taste like it was stuffed inside a turkey carcass) is tantamount to blasphemy among some of you. I've never really been a fan; my mother always makes it with chopped pieces of giblets, and watching her put that into the bowl as a small child scarred me for life. Add to that the fact that I have twice thrown up on Thanksgiving night (once because I got a migraine, and once because I was a moron who drank too much red wine on top of too much pumpkin gooey butter cake) and both times could, um, taste the stuffing a second time, and who can blame me for my stuffing aversion? It's so bad that even though I don't eat it anymore (and this kills my mom, who takes great pride in her cornbread dressing and even makes me my own little batch of it sans giblets) just the aroma and the sight of it make my stomach do a somersault.

So while some of you may already be salivating at the thought of your own all-you-can-eat poultry buffet, I can barely muster any enthusiasm for the meal itself. Not to mention that our school will be having its faux-turkey lunch for students and staff on Thursday.


At least I get the next day off to recover and to say thanks over a meal I can really get excited about: our traditional day-after-Thanksgiving Benihana lunch after visiting downtown Cincy's train display. Now that, my friends, is a meal. With nary a speck of stuffing in sight. Sesame chicken on the Hibachi trumps a roasted Butterball any day of the year.

Am I un-American for not liking Thanksgiving or the dressing that comes along as a side? Is there anyone else who dislikes the bird feast or some accompaniment to it?


Karen said...

I hate the turkey. It obviously still looks like the living thing it once was, and I just can't deal with it. I don't care if someone carves it and leaves the carcass in the other room. I've still seen it, and for me, it's all over.

corycaleb said...

I LOATH stuffing - I feel your pain. I have always referred to it as the "soggy bread with chinks of nastiness floating around" dish. I can, on occasion, handle the Stove Top version but anything else - blech! I am also not a big fan of sweet potatoes. But I do love my turkey and cranberry sauce....and don't forget the pumpkin pie!