Tens of millions of Americans are going to pig out on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and assorted other stuff. Sadly, tens of millions of other Americans don’t have the means to do so and will scrounge for food, like they have to every other day of their existence. It’s sad.
I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head and the ability to eat well.
Yet today, I am bypassing the traditional American Thanksgiving feast.
A couple of weeks ago, the lovely and talented Alexis Del Cid, a news anchor for the NBC affiliate in San Antonio, asked her followers what their favorite Thanksgiving side dish was.
Alexis, who went to San Antonio after a long and distinguished career at KCTV, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City, admitted she liked cranberry sauce, which many people, myself and my mother included, can’t stand.
I read several dozen responses, then I realized there really isn’t anything which appeals to me at a Thanksgiving meal. NOTHING.
Turkey? I don’t eat turkey on 361 or 362 days out of a given year. In the past, the only times I ate turkey was Thanksgiving and the three days after. Actually, I liked turkey on sourdough or rye with Swiss or provolone a heck of a lot better than I did eating it on its own. Yet it is way, way, WAY down my list of cold cuts.
My favorite cold cut is mortadella, followed closely by capicola, corned beef, pastrami and salami. I even like buffalo chicken occasionally, and of course, I’ll eat buffalo wings and Popeye’s chicken any time. Roast beef? I had Arby’s yesterday, and I realized I’ve been missing something by not going more often when I’m in Hays.
Peggy knows I’ve never ordered turkey when I’ve met her at Subway!
Even worse, my father decided not to deep fry the turkey like he has every year since he and my mother moved to Kansas 12 years ago. I remember eating the turkey prepared the traditional way in Louisiana. I had to stop eating white meat because it was drier than the Sahara.
Stuffing? It was my favorite. Then I got smart and realized the way my mother prepares it is the ultimate insult to her oldest son.
My mother bakes oysters into the stuffing, which isn’t even stuffing, since she bakes it in a separate casserole dish.
Oysters BAKED into a stuffing/dressing? I’m about to cry just thinking about it.
I am the same person who downed four dozen charbroiled oysters when I went to Baton Rouge with my dad in April 2018. I downed three dozen fried oysters from a Cajun-themed restaurant in Columbia a few years ago. My favorite menu item at Ivar’s in Baton Rouge when I lived there? The fried oyster po-boy.
If oysters aren’t my favorite food, they are a close second behind a RARE steak. I could eat oysters just about every day of my life and die a happy man.
To think my mother would waste perfectly good oysters by baking them into something is revolting. I’m going to take some Alka-Seltzer. Extra strength.
Sweet potato casserole? My mother cooks this at least once a month, sometimes more. What makes it so special for Thanksgiving? Pass.
Baked macaroni? It’s good, but again, it’s not special for Thanksgiving at 1224 North Brooks, nor was it special when we lived at 224 Jaguar. Nope.
Green been casserole? I’m not big on green beans, but I will eat them. There was a time when I got sick over seeing them. However, I’d rather eat asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower.
Pumpkin pie? Okay, but if I have a need for sugar, a Twinkie will do fine. Same with pecan pie.
There was a three-year period (2004-06) where I did not eat a Thanksgiving meal.
In 2004, I was in a hospital ICU battling pneumonia and a collapsed lung. I’ll never forget I woke up watching the Colts and Lions on television, wondering where the previous two days had gone.
In 2005 and ’06, I was in Kansas while my parents were still in Louisiana. I made a bigger deal about not having anyone to eat with in ’06 than ’05, but it turned out okay.
Today, it’s my choice not to eat. I told my mother not to cook because I wouldn’t eat, but my brother and his family are here from Tennessee. I wish my parents had gone south. I would have liked the privacy.
There were years where I would rant and rave about how I had nothing to give thanks for. That’s not true. This year, I’m staying away from social media. Maybe I should do that more often.
Football and trivia will tide me over today. And a nice steak, rare of course.