Normally the only full on “clutching my stomach about to explode” meal for the week is Friday night dinner, shabbos day may also be included but really Friday night is the big whammy. First off it is the end of the week and the start of shabbos, all week my hunger has been building and wham my prayers for a full course meal of gastrointestinal delight has been thrust upon me in all its gracious glory. Thanksgiving screws it all up.
No rant of food is complete without a rant of the thanksgiving meal, it is a classic feast and a great one depending on who you are forced to spend your day off with, for some it becomes a feast of horrors for it may take place at the in-laws like we see on every sitcom once the holiday season starts, for some it is one of stuffing your face until your stomach can take no more- and then an awful ride home complete with constant bathroom stops, and for others it provides a sociological perspective of which to compare families and friends to each other and decide who is really insane.
Let me get one thing straight before I was unemployed like I am now, if there was snow on the ground Thanksgiving day was reserved for skiing at Killington with my friend Berel, we would drive on up Wednesday night ski two days and then do shabbos at Chabbad in Burlington – that was the tradition – then Berel got married and the snow stopped coming so early thanks to global warming.
All of the sudden I entered a world where I had never been before, one in which I was expected to take part in thanksgiving meals. I had no idea where to begin there is so much criteria that one needs to use when selecting the perfect meal, location, people, FOOD, conversation, warmth, après thanksgiving meal, tons. Luckily I don’t really know many people who partake in the feast. Many orthodox Jews feel they cook so much for shabbos as it is that they just have turkey on Friday night, now is that any way to give thanks and show the rest of the country that you are assimilating nice and easy. As a patriot I actually believe in having the meal, also as a food addict. As a patriot I believe that the only country in history that has been mostly friendly to us deserves to give thanks for. Yes I know the classic frummy rebuttal of “but we give thanks every day”, but that just doesn’t cut it, just have the damned meal – screw this whole “oy its goyish” concept.
So I had a few thanksgiving meals at my friend Paul’s parents house in Syracuse, you know all the cousins, good food, warmth, they even live in of those houses that if they weren’t Jewish would have all the candles in the windows and one of those Santa clause scenes on the front, the house has a unique warmth combined with his parents insatiable desire to read and learn as much as possible about everything through his moms chronic addiction to her library card.
Then last year my old man asked me to come and spend it with his girl friend and her parents. I figured why not, he threw in the fact she has a younger sister who may have some hunnies over so I obliged. I arrived late, tired, ragged, hungry as hell, and pissed off when I learned there was very little stuffing left. I met the whole crew and everyone had the same comment of “so we finally get to meet you”, apparently I get talked about by people who have never met me. The food rocked and her sister got some huge crush on me- flattering I must say, but not my type, any way I learned that my dad is older then her dad, funny stuff, and they I was back in my car going home, stomach full, and feeling the runts coming on.
So this year the old man requested my presence, I obliged having some dates and some biking to do in the city. Cold, rainy, cruddy weather came along with this years holiday as you all know and the drive to Far Rockaway sucked, a quick visit to friend Mermelstein who is building his own house an then off to my dads women’s house. Always a tad awkward seeing the old man with some lady I sat down to a great meal, big bowl of salad with mandarin oranges, strawberries and lettuce accompanied by balsamic-do it yourself- vinaigrette, great stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and some very moist turkey rounded out this meal, conversation, usual, pop always rocks but its just weird when its not just us. Goodbyes and then I am back in my car, windshield wipers smearing water on my windshield, hydroplaning tires while I inch along the Nassau Expressway.
A quick call to my buddy Rivka reveals the party has not even begun to chow down, perfect I’ll go chill with her and her eclectic friends. And eclectic they were, a man with his arms fully tattooed, a purple haired vegan, a large soft spoken black girl with cool dreads another soft spoken black dude with dreads as well and the guy who works at staples who loves Ben and Jerrys over Hagen Daaz, it was actually a philosophic discussion of the merits of each.
Friday night brought yet another kick ass feast of thanksgiving favorites. My host and dear friend and fellow air guitarist, wished to mentioned in this post- because this is what he doesn’t have anything on google show up when potential shidduch dates google him. I google every girl before a date by the way. So beware of your websites that may exist that have you in compromising situations, no more will I go out with women who may not be women at all. So any way it was a Detroit style meal, actually everyone was from Detroit, but the food was to die for. My man Shwartzy rocked the house with the juiciest turkey combined with a mushy from heaven stuffing, 3 pies, glorious fluffy mashed potatoes, and tons of drink to go around.
This culminated a 2 day period of completely pigging out and stuffing my face until I was doubled over the table like an alcoholic at a bar who had just caught his wife cheating on him. The toilet was always warn and luckily the Jewish Press was interesting this week, on top of this the freakish global warming weather allowed me to get out and ride quite a bit, essentially canceling out the protruding stomach that resulted in my thanksgiving frenzy.