Thursday, November 26, 2015

The cook's sneaky plan

November 26, 2015

It's Thanksgiving in the United States. We like to make a big deal out of the day by talking about its history and place in the founding of our country. While that's important and something we should never forget or try to bastardize with political views, I like to live in the here and now. And I like to be honest. 

Today is a day I'm thankful that I don't have to leave home. I don't have to rush off to the day job and be at the beck and call of people who whine. (Yes, I'm whining about people who whine. I admit it.) For me, Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate family, the way we were and the way we are. 

Back in the day, my grandmother, mother and aunts would put out a big spread. There are fewer of us now. We celebrate differently. My mother tried to carry on the tradition of a big family meal, but it didn't last long after my grandmother had died. Today I'm cooking for just four and that's okay. My house is on the small side and the last time I had twelve people at the table, it was crowded. Four works. 

Like a lot of folks, I've been re-evaluating the food placed on the table. My goal is to sneak in healthier offerings at the rate of one a year while not forgoing traditional fare. This year it's a fresh fruit salad I saw Bobby Flay make on his cooking show. They all liked it when I made it for the family picnic, so they're getting it again. This Thanksgiving is corn and green beans. At Christmas, it'll be green beans and a broccoli and cauliflower medley. Next year, something with black beans and possibly roasted Brussels sprouts.

So you see, I do have a sneaky plan. Subversive, even. If I do this right, they won't notice lighter and healthier fare until it's too late. But don't worry. I know better than to mess with the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. And the wine. That, too, is part of the plan. 

KC Kendricks

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