Thursday, November 23, 2006

Death to the Oven Vulture!

Thanksgiving, already??

Granted, this is the earliest date upon which it can occur, under the formula devised by FDR when under the influence of too many martinis. In his defense, were I married to a woman who looked like Eleanor, I'd drink, too. Poor guy,many's the night he started an evening of romance (in the dark, of course), only to find out that he'd been slipping Fala, their dog, some overly-deep kisses. I know, I know, that's gross, and surely he could've told the difference if the lights were on. Fala was much more attractive, had straighter teeth and better breath.

But, I digress.

Now, we begin the roughly six-week period from which therapists derive so much damn money the rest of the year. Yeah, everyone's "supposed to be happy", and "it's the holidays, cheer up!". Listen, your friends who seem to be depressed and lonely the rest of the year? Guess what? It doesn't take a holiday during the holidays. It's worse, even though they're doing their best to pretend. Pay them some extra-special attentiondurin
g this time. Invite them to Thanksgiving dinner. Find them a special & individual Christmas present; something you made yourself is especially good. Lots of torrid sex can be great, uh, depending on the circumstances. Like, if you're likely to get caught.

Still, I committed digression at that point, as I did brave the kitchen for the several rounds of cookery. That's right, kids, the Eye Wit cooks! I do theturke
y, stuffing & all that. Since some people insist on having the Thanksgiving meal at bloody NOON, it necessitated me getting up at 6:00 a.m. to get the 18 pound monster stuffed & going. I am emphatically not a morning person; people have died horrible deaths for crossing me before I'm really awake. At least, so I'm told, as I really don't remember much of what I'm doing until I've had that magical 14th cup of coffee (which always tastes stronger). I think I killed the bird a few extra, redundant times just to get back at it. All I know is that is was darn good eating.

Now, in short order, as opposed to SOME people dragging it out for a ludicrously long post, which NEVER happens to me....

I'm not naming any names, but her initials are Mariann Eperjesi.

Let me resolve the issue, the eternally vexing question: Is it "stuffing", or is it "dressing"?

The answer is: Yes.

Both are correct, it simply depends on what you do with it. Stuffing is anything that you cram into the bodily cavities of whatever creature has been ritually slain for your festivities. There it cooks, and then you eat it. I'm aware of all the panicky "warnings" about it. Look, just follow thepoultroon -handling guidelines, and use your meat thermometer to make sure that the center of the stuffing is 160 degrees F, and you're fine.

Dressing can & often is exactly the same preparation (as is the case in Turkey a Bucko), with the key difference being that it isn't crammed inside any part of any animal, until you stuff your personal face with it. It may be cooked one of two ways: One, in a separate baking dish. Two, some few people actually surround the turkey in the pan with it, adding it about a hour before the oven vulture, as we like to call it, is finished cooking. I don't recommend it, as it will absorb a lot of melted fat. OR, it is also "dressing" if you take the portion cooked in the pan, and artfully circling the gloriously-brownedturkle on the serving platter, thus "dressing" the entree. It's all about presentation.

The fact that people in/from New Jersey can't understand this simple concept is not my fault. Any New Englander could tell you, as, you might remember, we invented Thanksgiving. So don't argue with us.

So, it was all very nice, polite, and no nasty arguments. Good thing, because, as I pointed out before, we don't have a basement.

People write a lot about Thanksgiving, along the lines of reminding you to be thankful for all of the good things, the advantages, and especially, the special people in your life. That's certainly a worthy thing to do, and to take the occasion to thank (again, if it's the case) those people who have brought you good times, feelings, and help when you really needed it in the last year.

I'll end with a different proposal: Look back, and think about the times and occasions where did something that made another person thankful. Include those things that you did that the beneficiary might not even know about. But you do. So does God. Think about how good it made you feel to be of value, and to make a difference for the better for someone else. Then, as you do that, you're almost certain to come across times where the opportunity passed you by, or you chose to pass it by. Do it without beating yourself up unnecessarily about it, but learn from it; consider how much more thankfulness in others you'd like to look back at next Thanksgiving.

Then do it. Do those things, take more of those opportunities. The thing about giving thanks is that it's ever so much sweeter when it's a shared experience.
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