Sunday, November 25, 2012

Feeding Frenzy

The benefit of cooking Thanksgiving dinner is leftovers. The main dinner is good, but usually, the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwiches and the turkey rice soup that follow are even better. The problem with living alone is the sudden overabundance of food.

Generally, in a normal week, (i.e., one that doesn't include a massive feast) I cook something big on Sunday so there is enough to reheat for lunch and/or dinner for several more days. Usually it's a pot of soup or a casserole and I needn't give a thought to food beyond how much time in the microwave will achieve the correct heat level and not blow up the food while I feed the dogs and turn the TV on to the mid-day or evening session of the "My TV 30" school of law programs.

With Thanksgiving leftovers and three days of leisure, the kitchen turned from a whistlestop station featuring one to two minutes at the microwave into a 24/7, all-you-can-eat buffet of potatoes, dressing, turkey, cranberries, apples/pear/nuts, and chocolate bread pudding. Choosing what to have for lunch or dinner became difficult and more than once the choice made was "everything."

Warmed chcocolate bread pudding and coffee made for a rich and lively breakfast on Friday and Saturday. And snack. And dessert, until Sunday lunchtime when it was finally finished. Beginning Saturday, there was soup, which was assembled without a recipe and came out even better than imagined. Sunday's breakfast was a mashed potato pancake.

Sunday, after taking bread out of the freezer for a stuffing and turkey sandwich with mayonnaise and cranberries, I went into the fridge for the rest of the stuff. That's when I saw the pot of soup, hauled it from the fridge and set it onto the stove to heat. Lunch turned from a sandwich into another full-blown feast that started with soup. Then the sandwich was built. The key to the overstuffed turkey sandwich is similar to that of a gigantic grilled burger -- don't put it down once picked up. And heat the dressing and turkey a bit first before assembly, but keep the cranberries chilled. Following the sandwich was pudding. but at least it finally finished that off. Knowing it still existed was torture and the only way to silence the siren song was to eat it.

Shockingly, after 10 consecutive meals of some form of Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, I'm still not tired of the stuff. Maybe it's because I am used to eating the same dish and its variations for three, four or five days. Maybe it's because I made only the stuff I really love.

Perhaps the greatest learning experience is the shocking amount of food I can consume while home doing not much besides eating and thinking about eating. It appears I may be making up for the wiser, healthier choices made during times of self-control. Hopefully, when all the delicios leftovers are extinguished, there will be a return to a more normal, less gluttonous volume of consumption. A feeding frenzy can't last forever, can it?

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