Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Happy Meals

Posted by evankessler on December 3, 2009

It’s been a week since the Thanksgiving holiday.  Perhaps I’ve waited a week to recap the matter so that I’d have the proper perspective, or maybe the fact that the Time Warner cable and Internet service in my neck of the woods had something to do with the delay.  All I know is that this morning my cable box appeared as if it was counting down to detonation.  I cowered in my bed hoping it wasn’t synchronized with some sort of device at the Indian Point nuclear facility a bit north from here.  Luckily, it wasn’t and I’m still in one piece.

So where was I, ah yes, that holiday we celebrate in the final week of November to commemorate the Euro settlers decision to hold off a few weeks to start slaughtering the Native Americans they hadn’t killed with the mere act of upsetting their ecosystem.  Mmm, turkey.

I wasn’t really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year.  I have my reasons other than my general dislike for holidays that seem to upset the silky smooth flow of my month.  For some reason I had prepared myself for hostile interrogations and general tension.  The days leading up to the stuffing of stomachs I had been mentally preparing myself for arguments and tension…though not necessarily with relatives.

Upon my arrival in Rockland county on Thursday early afternoon, which was engineered by the steady driving capabilities of Suli, I arrived at my childhood home pretty much easing into port through an already open garage.  I strolled through the door and was met with open arms which gave way to an open couch for watching the Packers annihilate the Lions.

My mom was preparing some new specialties for our dinner down the street at our family friends who seem to host every holiday occurrence save for the occasional break fast for Yom Kippur and Passover Seder. She was making some sort of non-pizza pizza thing.  It had puff pastry dough covered in caramelized onions, slices of cherry tomato and goat cheese.  It looked delicious and while she and my step dad bickered over how to cut it into pieces, I dreamed of the array of food options that would satisfy my gastrointestinal yearnings in but a few minutes.

A short drive down the block found us at our destination.  I narrowly averted disaster as one of the pizza creations nearly slid onto the car seat.  My mother, stepdad, and myself grabbed hold of several dishes containing Thanksgiving specialties and ferried them inside before we lost our grip.

Inside we were met by a smaller party than usual.  Our group of three brought the count to a total of 14 thanks-givers. Rhona and Stuart once again hosted.  Their eldest son Jon was present with his wife Michelle, her parents, and Rhona’s brother had his family present as usual  minus one son.  It was a generally pleasant gathering.

We gathered in what I guess is the living room where Stuart had a roaring fire on despite the relatively mild temperature outside.  It was a tad bit sweaty in there.  I normally prefer sitting next to the fire but not on this day.  Instead I settled on the couch with a cup of wine, clearly missing out on the option of using a glass, and enjoyed some pleasant conversation and delicious caramelized onion pizza food.

After the glass of wine I slipped into maximum relaxation mode choosing to pour myself a nice glass of Macallan 12 thereby engulfing me in single malt bliss. So warm, so fuzzy.  Not much can put you in a bad mood when you’ve been embraced by a nice taste of Scotch.  I’m not a Scotch-hound by any means, but I can’t deny it’s pleasant effect.

With glass in hand I switched to the den and took in some thanksgiving athletic ineptitude courtesy of the Oakland Raiders who were struggling mightily versus the Dallas Cowboys, clearly the better team. While I kept an eye peeled on the game, I can’t say I was interested in it.  When the competition is that poor, there’s really no point.  The games only magnetizing factor was the play of Miles Austin who would be playing a crucial role for my fantasy team that week, but even that couldn’t hold my interest.

Jon May Talk Turkey But He Can Back It Up

Jon May Talk Turkey But He Can Back It Up

The smell of that great Thanksgiving dinner seeped into the den and living room and the womenfolk and Jon W beckoned us all to enjoy their culinary creations.  Actually, Jon did an excellent job with his kitchen creations from his presentation of the turkey to his Potatoes au Gratin, we were all very impressed.  The meal started off though as usual, with Camille’s huge tray of ziti incorporating 5 lbs of pasta and god knows how much cheese.

Thatsa Lotta Ziti-a

In the midst of all of that eating the conversation was extremely lively and probably not very conducive to digestion.  There was a lengthy decision about circumcisions and I’m not exactly where it came from.  Well, I have some idea, but we never really established whether we were thankful for them or not.  We just knew they had to be done right and at no point should the moyle employ the use of their mouth.  Don’t ask.

Once the hilarity  took a hiatus and our pants felt ready to burst from Brisket, Turkey, Sweet Potato Pie, and a variety of delicious sides  it was time to retire to both the living room and den where we tried to stay awake while catching the tail end of the Cowboys-Raiders debacle.

We fought off the Z’s long enough to make it to dessert.  While I can’t say I was hungry, I didn’t shy away from the sweetest portion of the evening.  A couple of slices of Banana chocolate chip cake, some apple pie, and some ice cream found it’s way into my belly and threatened to turn me into a colossal blob all before the clock struck December.  There’d be plenty more holiday eating where that came from.  I’d have to pace myself.

Once the feast came to an end we sat around for a bit more before heading home, watching the absolute embarrassment that was the first quarter of the Giants-Broncos matchup. From there it was down the street and back home to watch the rest of the Giants emphatic statement game in which they stated they’d be avoiding the playoffs this season.  In addition to signaling the end of the Giants season, the game clock striking zero made clear that it was just about time to doze off.

The next morning I awoke in Rockland well aware that soon enough I’d be back in Brooklyn.  I had forgotten to take care of a few vital pieces of laundry and rushed to it.  Eventually, I hit the road with my mother and Irwin.  Irwin stopped by the courthouse in Downtown Manhattan to take some photos for a speech he is giving or a class he is teaching or something.  We made it back to Brooklyn a little after 2 and then got some food at Press 195 before I saw them off and relaxed for rather quiet Friday evening of watching Netflix.  I watched Autofocus that evening…which I expected to be better.  It was decent though.

Saturday was none too exciting.  I tried to go for a run to work off some of the calories I’d amassed on Thursday and from Friday’s leftovers…but was met with little success as I felt weighed down and had to bail early about 3/4 of a mile into my run.  The rest of the day was of medium excitement.  I was hoping to get to see Maureen while she was in town and thought I would up until the later portion of the evening when Basset notified me they’d remain in Long Island.  I ended up making a last minute change of plans and meeting up with Reva and Marisa and Union Hall for an effortless evening of enjoyable chatter.

Sunday brought about more caloric intake.  The occasion of which was a post-thanksgiving leftover bonanza and Jayvalyn’s apartment.  I mustered the effort to make some cornbread and headed over at around 2:30pm.  Kishore, Morwin, Suli, Lauren, Rich, Lina, and Andy were also on hand for the good time gorge-athon.

Morwin Prepping For Some Old-Fashioned Beverages

Morwin served as mixologist and rustled up some Old Fashions for the crowd, while Jason made some Turkey sliders with Cranberry BBQ sauce and some Cranberry Jello-y things.  Kishore brought Indian food.  I don’t remember who else brought what…but the mission to stuff our stomachs was accomplished yet again.  Prior to dessert it was the same old story of immobilization brought on by over-eating.

Lauren Laughs About Turkey Sliders...Or Something Else

Cranberry Jello-y Thingies

This immobilization was further supplemented once the delicious pies made an appearance.  Two pumpkin pies, Tokyo bananas, and some other goodies made sure I’d be walking off something later.  But before that happened we watched some a new episode of Family Guy and some showtime series called Party Down.  It was okay…but nothing too special.

Food Coma Victims

Once the viewings were over, it was time to waddle on back home and be comfortable with the fact that an extra layer of fat would be keeping me warm for the winter.


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