Monday, November 29, 2010

The Monday After

My wife Toni, in the photo above, destroying the turkey carcass with a power tool, definitely has the “restaurant gene”, passed on to her by her parents, who owned and operated a popular south-side Chicago Italian restaurant for years. Since it was a family business, my bride cut her teeth in the hospitality business by working as a “salad girl” in her parents’ restaurant during her formative years, while her dad supervised all aspects of the operation and ran the bar, and her mom was the gracious host who greeted customers as they came in. Toni spent enough time in the kitchen of the popular restaurant to have picked up some great tips from some really top chefs and cooks.

The giant bird in the photo above (23.98 pounds) was cooked to perfection, along with all the trimmings, as we’ve come to expect every Thanksgiving. Our kids, who aren’t really kids any more, but independent young adults, have picked up many of my wife’s skills and I believe time will show that the “restaurant gene” was passed along to them. My principal role during our family’s annual Thanksgiving extravaganza is to make sure the raw materials for the feast are purchased, to stay out of the way while the feast is being prepared, and help clean up the “wreckage” afterwards. I harbor no illusions that I could do anything in the kitchen half as well as my wife does.

So, on the Monday after, even though pounds and pounds of leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal were doled out to the kids, we still have a ‘frig stuffed with great food. It will not quite be enough to carry us through the week, but we retained enough turkey and trimmings to make several more full meals.

This truly is a land of plenty, and it’s still a land of opportunity, and though it’s too often a cliché, as tough as times are for a lot of our fellow Americans, we do still have a great deal to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. You reminded me of a little vignette in P. J. O'Rourke's new book, "Don't Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards". P. J. was talking with his 12-year-old daughter who, like lots of middle schoolers, is expert at laying down the "It's not fair!" argument for pretty much everything that doesn't go her way.

    P. J. said to her, "You're cute. That isn't fair. You're smart. That isn't fair. You live in the United States of America. That certainly isn't fair. You'd better get down on your knees and pray to God that life doesn't start being 'fair' for you!"

    The Town Crank