I am going to come right out and say it: a meal that consists of what is essentially an oversized chicken and five kinds of starches is not worth two days in the kitchen no matter how much tradition is behind it.
But there is no stopping Mr. Kamikaze on Thanksgiving.
If I were a better wife, I could be a good sport about it. But something about watching the kitchen disappear under clouds of flour dust, grease and the rising steam from a stewpot full of turkey parts no one would ever consider eating just makes me cranky.
"How about tapas this year?" I suggest.
He looks at me as if I have just suggested that his signature Italian cream cake is too heavy to serve on top of a meal that is essentially an oversized chicken and five kinds of starches.
"Don't you think Italian cream cake is a little bit much after such a starchy meal?" I ask. I am only trying to be helpful.
"Everyone loves Italian cream cake," he says, completely missing the point.
"What about doing something different with the sweet potatoes?" I say. "I have a recipe for roasted sweet potato and orzo salad."
But he wants nothing to do with anything that isn't on his mother's 25-year-old recipe cards.
"It's tradition," he says.
Like the Indians had marshmallows.
And so we compromise. I will make sweet potato and orzo salad. "Nobody is going to eat that," says Mr. Kamikaze. Then I will stay out of the kitchen drinking wine and eating olives.
Photo: "Nobody is going to eat that."
One Thanksgiving I deviated from "traditional" mashed potatoes (milk, butter, salt) and added cream cheese, sour cream and chives.
Both he and his mother were outraged that I'd dare to buck tradition.
It was all anyone could talk about that year. "What did Jess do to these potatoes?!?"
Made them FREAKING AWESOME, that's what.
Posted by: Seriously, Jess | November 27, 2008 at 03:38 AM
One year we decided to have Lasagne instead of turkey.
Once the, "Helen, there's no turkey on the table" shock subsided, we had a great meal.
However to save Uncle Marshall (Helen's husband) undue stress, the next Thanksgiving had a turkey upon the table.
Posted by: Steve | November 27, 2008 at 05:35 AM
"I would totally eat that!" she said, after coming to from her self-induced carbohydrate stupor...
Posted by: Cactus Petunia | November 27, 2008 at 11:31 PM
It was delicious. I used orange-flavored cranberries from Trader Joe's. A toast to Chicago personal chef Ron Bilaro ...
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | November 28, 2008 at 07:05 AM
The morning after boiled turkey carcass gluten smell does not go well with a hang over. I waited until today to make Duck Tetrazzini. Still, it was marginal.
Posted by: Audubon Ron | November 29, 2008 at 09:19 PM
"Like the Indians had marshmallows."
That line made my starch-filled belly jiggle with laughter! (Oh God, that sounded so gross, sorry for the visual.)
Posted by: aGibby | December 01, 2008 at 08:11 AM
If no one's thanking you on the glittery construction paper dioramas of pilgrim dinner tables, you have a total right to be cranky. And to demand orzo with the "traditional" foods such as marshmallows. I'm just saying...
Posted by: MommyTime | December 03, 2008 at 06:52 PM