Monday, November 23, 2009


My family doles out responsibility for Thanksgiving Dinner. One aunt is cooking the turkey; another is mashing potatoes. My dad brings yeast rolls. I had really been hoping to try to introduce non-starch vegetables again this year. I need them to soak up the massive amounts of sugar I'll be eating. I feel guilty eating so many carbs without even the tiniest hint of green (no, frozen peas don't count).

My "weird" food habits are more of an issue than my sexual orientation. Shave my head and bring a "friend" home from college? Totally fine. Bring roughage to dinner? Create a scandal that echoes for years. The fact that I don't eat dairy is a constant source of amusement and mystery, and I gracefully bear a lot of jokes about the beans I love to eat.

Last year, in my eagerness to share the joys of brassica, I brought sauteed kale with garlic and soy sauce for Thanksgiving. Everybody politely took a tablespoon of it and drowned it in gravy or vinegar. There was a lot of it left at the end of the meal.

And then I was late calling them back this year to choose a dinner assignment.

"I'll bring a salad," I said.

"Umm..." my aunt said. "That would be good, except I don't really know where I'd put a salad on my Thanksgiving dinner plate. "

I know what she means. In our tradition, Thanksgiving dinner is strictly meat, fat, starch, and sugar. Vitamins need not apply. And salad wouldn't really blend in, would it? Plus, the combination of salad and gravy is horrifying.

"How about an appetizer?" she said.

Appetizer. A snack. Harumpf. I wonder if I've been assigned the powerless task of appetizer on purpose so that I don't mess up anyone's carbtastic meal. Ok, but I could do a raw veggie platter, sneak in some broccoli and kohlrabi--

"But your other aunt is bringing cut up vegetables and dip, and celery with cream cheese and olives, so..."

Damn, now my crudite plan was foiled! I agreed to bring some kind of appetizer, and hung up in a panic. What was once a simple food assignment is now a mission--a challenge from the foodie gods to find some possible compromise that will be not only vegetable, but acceptable to my family's specific palate.

After a week of frantic internet-recipe surfing (interrupted only by critical Gaga infusions) I think I've come up with the perfect compromise: Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts.
They probably won't look like this, but they'll be SO DELICIOUS. And they will be EATEN. Now you're jealous.

1 comment:

A said...

i love you lol