Post-Thanksgiving blues

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Raise your hands if you weigh more today than you did last week. I’ve got both of my hands raised and I think I did quite well to keep my weight just south of a blue whale.

It was a bountiful table at the Roberts’ home this past Thursday. I was responsible for the baked ham and the greens. Baked ham is about the easiest meat to be cooked. Greens are hit or miss, depending on the seasoning meat.

Thanks to a good, church friend, I was “privy” to a small patch of young and tender mustard greens. I went up on Tuesday before Thanksgiving and picked a mess. My choice of seasoning meat was pig tails and, thankfully, the greens were one of the favorites at the holiday table.

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Momma is still the boss in her house even though my sister does most of the cooking nowadays. I’m glad to say Kathy learned her lessons well. All of the various dishes she cooked were delicious.

In my honest and accurate opinion, the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving feast is not the meat. It’s the cornbread dressing. Momma has always made the judgment seat of the Thanksgiving table at the Roberts’ house about the dressing. This year it was superb.

Still, there was a situation that is simply hard to understand for this country boy. With all the great dishes to view, there was one that, quite frankly, stood out like a sore thumb.

I understand that everyone has a favorite dish. There is something for everyone. Homemade macaroni and cheese, made-from-scratch mashed potatoes, my delicious combination of mustard and turnips, creamed corn, white acre peas, sweet potato casserole plus the fried turkey and baked ham. There were more dishes that I have forgotten.

But, also, much to my confusion, was a dish of store-bought, boxed stuffing! That’s right. Even with southern, cornbread dressing, someone wanted stuffing? I guess there are infidels in every family.

It was a great meal, though; in spite of the stuffing. We all ate until our stomachs met the table. We pushed back a little, ate some more, but finally had to cry “No mas!”

“Did anyone save a little room for dessert?” someone said.

“No,” should have been the answer, but who could resist pecan pie? Or lemon-cheese cake? Somehow we found the space in our stomachs for dessert. I wonder if that is what caused the discomfort. Probably, although it’s hard to discount all the “shoveling” that went before the dessert.

The Thanksgiving meal should have been sufficient for all time, but NOOO, there was one more culinary delight for the family.

The very next night, we all gathered at Billy’s Catfish Emporium in the big city of Ochlocknee, Ga. Anyone ever been to Ochlocknee? Can anyone spell Ochlocknee with confidence?

We waddled in there at about 6:00 on Friday night. The place was packed with people committing the same sin of gluttony as the Roberts family.

There’s nothing like fried catfish, French-fried potatoes, fried hushpuppies, fried onion rings, fried dill pickles and fried cole slaw as a follow-up to a very “piggish” Thursday. By the way, I lied about the fried cole slaw. It was simply creamy with mayonnaise and sugar.

If we waddled into Billy’s Catfish Emporium, we borrowed a wheel barrow from the adjacent hardware store so that we could be rolled out. To be sure, more pounds went out than went in!

That was our Thanksgiving. I’m glad it only comes around once a year. If more than once a year, how could any of us get through the doors to our houses?