Did you ever hear of the Anti-Thanksgiving? I hadn't either until I caught part of the ABC News with Diane Sawyer the other night. She had a brief interview featuring Sam Sifton who apparently had been a New York Times restaurant critic for two years. The gentleman has written a book, "Thanksgiving, How to Cook it Well." He has some definite rules about our most American of all holidays. He tells us that Thanksgiving is very scary. If we invite family and friends to partake of our homemade meal we become stressed pondering if we have enough plates and glasses. We wonder how to handle Uncle Morty, the alcoholic? We focus on all the logistics and problems. His solution is to use lots of butter and have lots of cranberry sauce and lots of gravy. He tells us to set the table and make sure to give thanks. Okay -- we're good so far.
He explains that cooking a turkey is just like cooking a big chicken. Yeah...right. The only problem with this line of thought is that you're functioning in a kitchen with the oven turned on all day. One Thanksgiving, we had some wind blowing and it knocked out power all day. Okay, so you're in this inferno all day because you're roasting your big chicken (which weighs more than your baby grand piano). He elaborates on how you're just making some mashed potatoes. As a matter of fact, he claims you're just mashing everything to go on the dinner plate. He says that's what Thanksgiving should be -- a group of mashed foods.
Now is where we begin to have trouble. He specifically forbids any appetizers! That's right! He claims that the aroma of a turkey roasting is enough to tantalize the palate. I truly wonder if he is watching football at his house? How do you explain to starving people watching a football game that the gentleman who was the food critic of the New York Times has laid down the law. No appetizers for you!
If you think that one is strange, listen to this! No salad! That's right, a New Yorker trying to tell Californians that salad is not permtted on his recommendation! Could this be the reason he was only on the food pages for two years until he was given the title of national editor? Now for dessert -- there are only three choices. You must have pie -- pumpkin, apple or pecan. He forbids anything chocolate! Otherwise, he will send in the food police and they will carry you off and lock you away until you know better.
I don't know what's happening to our society. When Nanny Bloomberg prohibits a fully grown adult from drinking a 16-ounce beverage and people begin to force their will on others claiming their ideas will provide good health then I think our liberties are being taken away. As reasonably intelligent adults there are decisions we should be able to make for ourselves.
This Thanksgiving I'm especially grateful to be an American who still appreciates the great old traditions. I refuse to join the Zombie Apocalypse! I happen to like salad, appetizers and chocolate. And I dare you to send the food police. I'm keeping a coconut custard pie in the fridge -- so you better watch out!