Give thanks for traditional feast fare

First we got amnesia about Christmas.

Now we, as a nation, have completely forgotten the true meaning of Thanksgiving. The reason for this sacred and special day.

We have rendered it no more than the girding up for frenzied Friday door buster sales and the shopping season that our nation’s retailers hang their hats – and NYSE ratings – upon.

It’s a sacrilege really. Everyone should know the true meaning of Thanksgiving. It’s all about the myriad uses for Jell-O.

Hitting the sauce. Thanksgiving was borne of a desire to come together in a deep and abiding mutual understanding among differing cultures. At least until that later dust up between the natives and the pilgrims, rumored to have been about land, but I think we all know better don’t we?

It was probably about whether cranberry relish should remain in that clever little can shape or contain – perish the thought – actual cranberries. Still, we overcame adversity.

Today, however, a new threat is upon us. An assault upon our very Americanism. Chipping away at all that makes this nation proud, strong, and, it might be said, a tad chubby.

It is non-traditional holiday food, and it must be stopped.

Say ‘no’ to nouvelle cuisine. This type of depravity appears routinely this time of year in various magazines, on television cooking programs, and in the kitchens of over-eager 20-somethings bent on teaching the rest of the family how Thanksgiving “should be done.”

From within this dark and evil place come not a golden butter breasted turkey, candied yams swimming in mini-marshmallows, green beans baked in creamy mushroom soup, and the piece de resistance – a congealed gelatin salad featuring a miraculous mash of marshmallow, cream cheese, canned fruit, nuts, and celery.

No, non-traditional types will, if not watched carefully and kept away from sharp knives, completely hijack the holiday.

From them comes the notion that Thanksgiving should feature such nouvelle horrors as tofu turkey, artichokes with spinach filling, red pepper garnish, mushroom crepes in tangy lime sauce, and – I’m not sure I can say this in a family paper – leeks vinaigrette.

This is not Thanksgiving. This is a violation of the Geneva convention.

The only thanks you’d hear from these parts would be gratitude that the pizza joint nearby was open holidays because nobody would actually eat the stuff.

Zealots. So who do we blame for this scourge of anti-traditionalism on our sacred turkey day? Young people!

Young people are to blame for almost everything and this, my friends, is no exception.

No grandmotherly type would foist leeks off on a person and try to pass it off as a holiday feast.

This is clearly the work of the young. The idealists. The zealots who think that exotic dining is a sign of enlightenment and sophistication instead of what it really is. A chance to go hungry because nothing is really edible.

Still they persist. Pumpkin pie is just so pedestrian they say . They’ll bring a candied fruit tart with a sprinkling of broiled chestnuts and a braised vanilla syrup.

It goes without saying that if they are willing to be open minded about braised vanilla, they probably attended a very liberal college somewhere and came home with other weird ideas.

Next will come the notion that one can eat green beans sans mushroom soup too. Kids these days. Sheesh!

Certainly there are families across the land who will eschew the turkey come the big day. Some prefer lasagna. Others like ham. There are even a few die hard members of the pizza camp out there.

Hey, what you do behind closed doors among consenting adults is your business. But as a nation, my fellow Americans, we must fight the good fight!

For truth, justice, and a truly traditional Thanksgiving. Swimming in carbs and butterfat washed down with copious amounts of whipped cream out of a can. The way nature intended.

If not for me then I beg of you, do it for the makers of Jell-O, mushroom soup, and canned berries. Let’s make a pact that Thanksgiving should never, ever, involve any unsuspecting leeks.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is proudly bringing the Jell-O salad again this year. She welcomes mail c/o kseabolt@epohi.com or P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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