Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Little Something on the Side

The revered annual Turkey Day has once again passed, and the systemic remnants of tryptophan are rapidly dissipating but are soon to be replaced, once that next big holiday arrives. Speaking of, are you a fan of outdoor LED lights? Ah, that's fodder for another post. Let it be for now.

This year's Thanksgiving dinner planning for our family was cleverly orchestrated by my wife, a chef and baker par extraordinaire, and it included an email survey to our immediate family regarding the meat of choice to be served at the dinner. The main reason for this, as she stated, was that we needed something to go with the side dishes. You see, it's the side dishes that we actually crave, that tantalizing two to four (come on, be honest here) scoops of cornbread dressing, or "stuffing", if you're north of the Mason-Dixon Line, that sit there next to the turkey or ham.

Let us veer off the course into fashion for a moment. I know, I know...but bear with me on this. Consider that you've just purchased the LBD (that's Little Black Dress, gentlemen), a wardrobe staple, but the ensemble is incomplete until you find the perfect accessories. I mean, it would work on its own, but ideally, it needs just a bit of sizzle. Well, the traditional turkey dinner is something like that -- turkey, on its own, is not bad, and in fact, it's a culinary holiday staple of sorts, but without the right accompaniment, it falls just a tad short of its true potential as a feast headliner. You can put some gravy on it, but it is unfulfilled without green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, and dressing, heaps of dressing. Oh, and cranberry something-or-other. Personally, I prefer my cranberry in martinis, but that's just me talking.

So, we did the Thanksgiving vote, and it appeared to work quite well. We ended up feasting on a turkey/ham combination with all these tasty side dishes and a number of incredible desserts that warrant their own blog posting. I will say that one of the "desserts", a vast array of maple flavored acorn-shaped muffins, has provided me breakfast all this weekend. The side dishes once again ruled at the dinner itself, lending credence to that belief that the best things in life don't always get top billing.

Like lots of males of the species, I confess that I'm already anticipating the next big meal, but I don't know if I can bargain for two cornbread dressing treats in a month. I'll certainly give it that old college try. (By the way, where I went to college, they didn't even have cornbread dressing -- it was "stuffing" -- whatever. Call it what you will, it was still the goods.) And all this kidding aside, I think that what I'll really be looking forward to at that next holiday is actually less about the food and more about just being together with family and friends, because that's what really accessorizes life. What better time to savor it than now?