Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The perfect thanksgiving. No, really.

I like thanksgiving well enough, but maybe it's time for a change. I've made the same meal - more or less - for years. I shop with my eyes closed, pull out the same stained recipes, usually add a new one just to keep it interesting for me, and then start chopping mindlessly. Today, my mojo is waning.

Maybe it's time to pull out the popcorn, the jelly beans, the buttered toast and the pretzels. In the history of Thanksgiving meals, I know of no other that is so inspiring, such a patriotic head nod to the Pilgrim experience. Besides, if it's good enough for Charlie Brown and his comrades, it's good enough for me and my in-law's.

Oh, I'm sure once they got their first look at the popcorn (which I already know I would serve in demitasse cups with a little gray sea salt), they'd think I'd finally lost my mind. Just as they had suspected. Someone at the table would reach for his Blackberry, presumably to locate the name of a good divorce lawyer to pass on to my husband. There would be a general sense of amused disdain, and a few "I told you so's." And then someone would say, "Ok, where's the food?"

But I think they might start to soften once the pretzels and buttered toast arrive, artfully arranged on our good wedding china. The jelly beans would serve as the palate cleanser - the trou normand - an inspired trio of Bubble Gum, Top Banana, and Tutti Frutti flavors. I'm anticipating a real conversion at this point, and some affirmative head nodding.

I'd then serve a flight of grape juice and a deconstructed bologna sandwich to make the meal my own, and follow it with le sundae. I would tell the in-law's that this meal is what everyone who is anyone is eating, which is why Sam Kass, the White House chef, is making it for the Obama's. I might add that Graham Elliott, and his bistronomic Chicago restaurant, is charging $275 for a trumped up version (truffle oil is used liberally, I hear), and people are actually paying.

I would wear my chef's coat and black kitchen shoes for credibility. I think they might just buy it.

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