BY SANDY JACOBS - Well, another 5,000 calorie-Thanksgiving has come and gone. Our Texas and Pennsylvania family converged on Florida, requiring three round trips to the airport in Tampa, and one to the east coast of the state and back.
As is the custom, every year I ask each guest to request one special dish for the big dinner, and this year, along with the usual requests for mashed potatoes, apple pie, and corn pudding, our 6-year-old wanted macaroni and cheese which added an extra 1,000 calories and a ton of cholesterol to an already overloaded meal. In the interest of health, I made a one-crust apple pie with an oatmeal-crumb topping. “Yuck, what’s this stuff on top,” piped up the 6-year-old who scraped off the good-for-you stuff. I covered the remains with vanilla ice cream, which everybody else wanted, too.
We celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday, a day early, since our Texas son had to leave at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday to drive to Palm Beach. His high school daughter had been invited to play in a four-day hockey tournament for observation by college coaches.
On Thanksgiving Day, we ate some of the leftover turkey on the beach—Henry VIII style—right off the bone. I guess I overestimated when I bought a 12-pounder for seven people, since the entire right side of the turkey was untouched, still in the refrigerator.
On Friday, we drove two Texas grandkids to Palm Beach to watch some of their sister’s hockey tournament. We stayed a few hours to see the games, then left the kids there in their father’s care and drove back home—straight into the setting sun. I was driving, so I pulled my hat down over my eyes and floored it.
We were back in Boca Grande by 8 p.m., greeted by our two remaining guests, the Pennsylvania son and his 6-year-old. Little Rossy had a great day at the beach, pool, tennis court, playground and bike path, topped off by endless jumping onto the pile of sheets, towels and pillows left on the floor of the bedroom by those who had departed.
On Saturday, the four of us spent a quiet, relaxing day of quality time in town and on the beach, and by 3 p.m. we were in the car on the way to the airport in Tampa. The drop off and goodbyes were quick and we were back in the car in record time to race home for the major clean-up after a quick pizza stop.
Four laundry loads later, I called it a night.
The next morning (blessedly quiet) I opened the refrigerator and realized that one of our guests was still here. The left side of the turkey was lurking in the back.
After breakfast, I started to dissect the cadaver. By then, the breast meat was dry, and the dark meat had a gelatinous red layer attached to it. I ripped the whole thing apart and put it into a huge pot for turkey soup, adding any vegetables I found along the way, and let it simmer all day.
That night I divvied it up into four containers and searched the freezer for shelf space. Little by little, I started removing everything in there, trying to make some room. When I got to the bottom, I saw four frosty containers in the back; I pulled them out and saw that they were labeled, “turkey soup, 2011.”
That did it. I never did like turkey soup—I just ate it out of guilt for the starving people around the world. I dumped out the new containers, threw out the old containers, scrubbed the pot and declared that Thanksgiving was finally over.
Bring on the Christmas ham!
Sandy Jacobs is a Boca Grande resident and sometimes-columnist for the Boca Beacon.Sandy Jacobs is a Boca Grande resident and sometimes-columnist for the Boca Beacon.
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