Turkey, turkey, turkey for days.

Three evites and two phone calls and several emails this week reveal the plans of friends and family.  Ed and Barbara made reservations at the Indian casino near them in the wine country of Northern California.  They’ll share a restaurant meal with a son, daughter-in-law and grandson. 

Sue and John are headed (with lab, Lucy) to Santa Cruz for a long weekend. They’ll take walks on the beach, eat too much, toss the ball for Lucy, play board games with family and friends,  and then do it all over again.

Peyce in Los Angeles, an actor/singer/great Southern cook, has his gang of vagabond performers over every year.  Since I never make it on the day itself, I always hope to find Peyce at home a couple of days later – along with some of his leftovers.

This season never disappoints – no matter where my family has been and no matter how few or how many of us gather.  And there was that one year – a fluke – when plans changed and I found myself alone on turkey day.  Still, celebratory feelings prevailed.  I called Max’s Cafe , ordered one of their special turkey dinners to go, picked it up and kicked off my Christmas movie DVD-watching extravaganza. 

My daughter and I have often traveled to join the rest of the family at someone else’s house.  We’ve also gone the restaurant route with friends, and maybe we’ll do both those things again, but when we’re someplace else on turkey day, we start getting really excited on the way home because we know that we’ll end up cooking the whole meal ourselves within the next couple of days.  We crave the leftovers. 

Thanksgiving is a good time to express gratitude.  It’s a good time for hugs and memories and watching the Macy’s parade first thing in the morning, and it’s also great having all that food around over the weekend. 

Who are those people who claim they’re sick of turkey two days later? Most people I know have plans for the food they don’t consume at the one big meal.  You won’t hear us complain about all that turkey.  We’re not the ones asking the TV cooking show hosts for new ways to treat the food the next day and the next.  

I’ve watched my brother gleefully attach our grandmother’s (God rest her soul) old fashioned food grinder to a counter top as soon as the dishes are cleared so that he can claim some choice chunks of turkey for his famous turkey salad the next day.

I regularly bake too many pumpkin pies so we can have pie for breakfast for days.  

I don’t understand the need to disguise leftovers with clever recipes. If you’re concerned about the leftovers from your own feast, not to worry, send ’em on over here. 

Ó Anita Garner 2009