Monday, November 19, 2007

Holy Tryptophan, It's Thanksgiving Already

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It's once again time for Americans to celebrate how thankful we are for all the many gifts that have been bestowed upon us during the past 12 months. We do this in a number of different ways. First, by spending a dreadful day in an overcrowded airport wondering how much longer it will take for our overdue flight to depart while we contemplate how to best harm the child screaming in our ear that's sitting next to us and avoiding being seen by a nearby surveillance camera. If you happen to be a republican senator from out west, you substitute waiting in the concourse and instead spend time in a predetermined men's room meeting interesting fellow travelers in the adjoining stall. If your destination is closer, you may prefer to spend $3.50 per gallon of gas to drive bumper to bumper for 12 hours while threatening your kids as they too are screaming in your ear. A wonderfully crowded bus or train ride are also both viable options. Why do we put ourselves through this misery? The answer is elementary. To be able to spend a few days overeating, belching, expelling flatulence that will eventually kill Uncle Ned's parakeet, watching football and fantasizing about slashing our wrists just to be in the bosom of our family.

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If you feel compelled to overeat, and my God it seems almost everyone does, I shall spend the next few days sharing some of my family's and my own favorite top secret holiday recipes. For the sake of full disclosure, I would never eat any of this crap, but most well adjusted and non-health conscious humans seem to scarf these delicacies down with the same indiscriminate appetite as a blood smelling great white shark.

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Today I will list all the ingredients you need to stock up on from your local markets. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, I will divulge the actual step by step preparatory directions for these closely guarded recipes that have been buried deep in my family's vault for as many as 1,000 years or is it 1,000 days? I'm not really sure and it doesn't really matter. Let's get started, shall we?

Pumpkin Soup:
three (3) 15 oz cans of pumpkin. chicken stock, sugar, salt, pepper, plain yogurt

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread:
flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, sugar, one (1) 15 oz can of pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, orange juice, sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries

fresh or frozen, size to be determined based on number of guests

flour, broth, salt, pepper

Cranberry Apple Stuffing:
vegetable oil, tart apple, celery, onion, dried cranberries, chicken broth, two (2) 6 oz bags of seasoned stuffing

Cranberry Sauce:
fresh cranberries, sugar, canned chunk pineapple, canned mandarin orange segments, frozen strawberries in syrup

Sweet Potato Casserole:
one (1) 40 oz can of yams in syrup, sugar, milk, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter, chopped pecans, light brown sugar, flour

Green Bean Casserole (because everyone expects this one):
condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, pepper, frozen cut green beans, French's french fried onions

Cranberry Almond Biscotti:
flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, vanilla or almond extract, sweetened dried cranberries, sliced almonds

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Cranberry Swirl:
cranberries, orange juice, sugar, cranberry or orange liquer, grated orange peel, cinnamon, white chocolate, cream cheese, eggs

Coffee, Tea, Milk, three cases of your favorite alcoholic beverage and a six pack of Pepto-Bismol

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