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Friday, November 23, 2012

Postprandial stupor

I think I stopped eating about an hour ago.

Even my dreams were filled with images of the kitchen and the table and mounds of food.

I've been staring at the same last dish rack of dried dishes since 7:30 AM. No one has put them away. Who is going to sort through all the silverware and put it away in the case? Damn, where is that maid that I kept dreaming about but has not yet reported to work?

The refrigerator is obscene - stuffed with plastic containers filled with leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato and green bean casserole, apple pie and Pavlova. The chocolate cream pie is gone, but we do have half of an apple pie in there. Somewhere.

Who's going to eat all this stuff? I mean, I'll make turkey soup and a few turkey pies and make fried potato cakes and eat the sweet potato casserole for dessert, but really! What was I thinking? Was I even thinking?

I think the leftover Pavlova is the most depressing. I mean, Pavlova is the national dessert of both Australia and New Zealand, which some pastry chefs created and named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova when she danced into the hearts of that country after performing there.

It's a wonderful meringue shell topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and blueberries. Very light and elegant - like a ballerina. Someone (Was that me? Yes, I believe it was.) cut the leftovers into thirds and stuffed it all into Very Large Tupperware container. It now looks like an aged ballerina who has had a nasty fall after a night of too much Russian vodka and cigarettes.

Le sigh. I had some for breakfast. It seemed the only decent thing to do.

What? Egg whites. Milk (Okay, cream. Whipped). And, fruit. Don't go clucking and tut-tutting about 'But, all that sugar!" I made it with Splenda for baking.

Look, I'm on such calorie-overload-and-exercise-deficit already that a weekend food binge on leftovers is the only sensible thing to do. The high protein bars and time in the gym will have to wait until Monday morning where I'll work off some of my guilt as well.

The house still smells wonderful, and conversations and laughter from family members still cling to the walls and furniture and echo off the walls.

We had a wonderful postprandial family game of Scrabble, initiated by our six-year old granddaughter. She delighted to create three-letter words like "Dog" and "Jam" but was completely over the moon when she was able to create "H.O.U.S.E.".  There were a few double letters in there.  Sweet! Ya takes your victories where ya can, ya know?

Three-letter words do not a winning strategy make but that wasn't the point, really. She more than made up for the loss in Scrabble when we put together a 100-piece puzzle of sea turtles and dolphins frolicking under water.

All that sea-green blue and turtle shells in weird puzzle shapes could confound even the person with excellent visual acuity.  For an adult who had more than her share of some wonderful Argentinian Malbec, it was damn near miraculous to find a puzzle piece and match it with another.

Another Thanksgiving, come and gone. Only the leftovers serve as reminders of the wonderful family time that was had by all. Amidst my postprandial morning stupor, I'm already planning for next year.

We are truly blessed with an abundance of all of the best things in life - family, friends, food, a warm, wee cottage on beautiful Bay by the Big Water, conversations, laughter, love - full measure, pressed down and overflowing.

Even through the morning-after haze, I am still conscious enough to be deeply, deeply grateful. 

Now, it's off to tackle that silverware.


Brian R said...

Oh Dear. As an Australian living in NZ this is a sticky point. From Wikipedia "The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source."
I have a sweet tooth but pavlova is too much for me. I cannot remember when I last tasted it. Perhaps I should be grateful we only have one real binge meal (Christmas) occasion per year.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Brian R - I also have a sweet tooth but do not find Pavlova to be "too sweet". Perhaps it's because I make it with Splenda for Baking and not sugar. It's so light, I can always make room for this for dessert even after the great carbo-overload that is a traditional Thanksgiving meal.