Friday, November 25, 2011

Hangovers and Leftovers

I am so glad that this blog does not come with a webcam because today is Black Friday and I'm going to recline in my pyjamas for as long as I can without grossing myself out. I'm going to enjoy copious amounts of strong coffee, lip-smackingly hot buttered toast, and a TV line-up that is so ludicrously crappy that I can scarcely believe it.

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day in the US and it comes the day after Thanksgiving. I did not have a big Turkey Day this year, but even I'm having trouble moving too far, too fast. How gluttons heave themselves around the department stores on this capitalist delight's special day is totally beyond me. Maybe they secretly did what I did this year, and got up early to shop online. With the exception of one person, my Christmas shopping is now totally done. And I didn't have to leave the apartment to do it. Score!

The best thing about being a sloth on Black Friday is it allows you to reflect on the day before. Turkey Day, Thanksgiving - whatever you call it - is a day to stop and give thanks for the good things in your life. I've had some amazing Thanksgiving meals in my US experience:
  • The first time, I went to an old friend's place in Chicago when the weather was ridiculous;
  • The second time, I tried to host an orphan's Thanksgiving and one by one, everybody bailed. So in the words of Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that";
  • The third time, I went to the Trade Commissioner's house and had a huge roast lunch;
  • The fourth time was actually my first truly American Thanksgiving, hosted by a Chicago friend at her gorgeous apartment;
  • The fifth meal I cheated and hosted it in June, to celebrate my Aussie friend's visit;
  • The sixth and seventh meals were, if you can believe it, both on the same day, this time in NYC when I flew in to visit K. We were more stuffed than the turkeys by the end of that day; and
  • Now of course it's Thanksgiving Meal #8 and despite my fancy cooking class, I wimped out and did the heat-and-eat option.
I actually thought I had Thanksgiving plans this year, but friends who had initially talked about coming to NYC for the weekend ended up changing their plans. Quite separately, I was also invited to have an orphan's lunch at a friend's place but with the idea of hosting my own friends in town, I had to decline. Nothing was a big deal in the end of course, because the food I bought freezes really well. So I kept out the pre-cooked turkey breast, cranberry & herb stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, and I managed to cobble (gobble?) together some steamed vegetable side dishes to go with it. I sensibly froze the apple crisp dessert because I think that if I'd left that out, I would have scoffed the lot. As I polished off the plateful of almost-homemade deliciousness, I had a couple of glasses of red wine and watched "Ghostbusters" and "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation". It was a pretty good day, for sure.

And the only hangover I have today is a food-related one. Waking up from a turkey coma is always a bit rough. Online shopping and strong coffee has helped revive me somewhat, and I'm ready to face the day dealing with leftovers. I'm thinking that a turkey chilli is on the menu, for which I shall be truly thankful for days to come.

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