|Michael's holiday Butter Ball Turkey at the beach|
What will you do with next year's turkey leftovers? That’s a question I need to answer before Thanksgiving, 2012, which is just around the corner. What will we do with those damned turkey leftovers? I need a recipe to completely disguise that funky turkey flavor. My husband, who always seeks out the biggest turkey in the store, and fancies himself to be an expert at holiday turkey preparation, says “Yuck” when I begin turning the holiday turkey carcass into turkey soup.
“Can you at least find another name for it?” he asks. “Country turkey chowder? Bistro turkey bisque?”
Is this the year you join the gym and get into shape? My friends just bought a gym and say this past week has been the most lucrative one yet. People with flaccid muscles and sagging self images are lining up to sign on for a year of self-improvement. The year ahead will be different from the one behind, they hope.
|Why can't every night be New Year's Eve?|
Like most people we have considered eliminating meat from our diet as a money saving measure. But replacing meat and chicken with fish and vegetables yields no real reduction in the grocery bill. Vegetarian cooking relies on esoteric stuff, like miso, grapeseed oil, and pricey spices, like saffron and imported curry powders. Organic ain’t economic.
Aside from the myth of the economy of the vegetarian diet, my spouse and I have other food issues. Michael, who is inclined to remain trim no matter how horrifically fatty his diet, grew up in South Carolina eating streak ‘o lean basted vegetables, buttery grits, and chicken-fried everything smothered in gravy. He tries to be a good sport, but finds little satisfaction in a hearty bowl of beans and brown rice. He accuses me often of using too much apple cider vinegar in my cooking, which in Nova Scotia, my home base, is about as exotic as it gets in most thrifty households. Will the battle of tastes reach a truce in 2012? So far, I’m losing badly. I was a vegetarian when I met this man, 25 years ago. Nowadays, to my utter disgust, my mouth waters at the thought of a fatty ribeye steak sizzling on the grill.
We have agreed to stop buying bacon. A small, but important, victory. Our friends, the same ones who now own a gym, are eating turkey bacon these days. I cannot go there. Not now. Maybe never. I prefer to keep turkey in its place. And I’m certain turkey bacon costs more than pig bacon.
I recently told my son that I’d decided to make a conscious effort not to talk so much in the new year. Instead, I explained, I want to try very hard to listen to what other people have to say, which is truly difficult for me to do. Frankly, I’d rather do the talking, or at least lead the conversation, manage the direction and the flow.
“Mom,” Miguel said, “Do you really think you can change your personality at this point in your life? Why not work on a goal you might reasonably expect to accomplish?”
He’s right. It’s too late for me to stop talking. I can quit eating sweets. I can give up bacon. I can give up the “Housewives of -- name the city --” on Bravo TV. I can quit trying to reinvent uses for leftover turkey. But I certainly can’t shut up, any more than I can stop singing or dancing, or needing to be loved.
So here, with heartfelt thanks to the fabulous Contours, is my own personal anthem for 2012. Call me if you would like to discuss my choice. We'll talk . . . uh, I'll talk.