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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

So, did you get enough to eat?

There is nothing quite so satisfy ing as digging into the Thanksgiving repast and eating way too much food. It seems that we are incapable of restraint when it comes to the final Thursday of November.

It begins with pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres. For some that may mean chips and dip, for others it could be olives, cheese or even deviled eggs. Regardless, our hosts normally puts out enough of said hors d’oeuvres to feed a family for a week and the family, of course feeds like it hasn’t eaten in a week.

Just when we finish the first round of nibbles it is time for dinner. Somebody comments, “Gosh, I’m already full from all of those hors d’oeuvres,” but everyone dutifully ignores it and gathers ‘ round the dinner table or the buffet.

Turkey, stuffing, mashed pota toes, sweet potatoes, gravy, green beans, peas, Brussels sprouts, cran berry sauce, dinner rolls … the list goes on and on and on.

Each dish looks more delightful than the one before, and each dish occupies a perfect place on the plate as the colors of the food com pliment each other so well. Within 10 to 20 minutes we have all reached the bursting point. The colors and the food that looked so per fect before tend to run together as the cranberry sauce mixes with the gravy and the yams and the mash ers fold into a single pile of gooey potato.

Some of us simply ignore the feel ing of being too full and head back for a second helping. We pile on more turkey, and add some stuffing, then another scoop of potatoes on top of the one that went before and again we dig in, never once consid ering that there is still a dessert awaiting us on the kitchen counter.

And oh what dessert. If you’re lucky, someone has gone to the effort to make pies from scratch. Apple, pumpkin, pecan, all are tempting even if you are so full that you can’t get up to walk to the kitchen and cut yourself a slice. Don’t worry, someone will serve you. They will even put a spoonful of freshly whipped cream atop the pie. Yum.

When the pie is done, so are you. You can’t, to borrow a phrase from a 1970s era commercial, believe ate the whole thing. But you did. And that is kind of the point.

Thanksgiving is all about the process of eating, just once a year, all the things that you wouldn’t con sider eating the rest of the year. It is the one day a year where you just, well, overindulge.

Today is the day after. The deed is done. But when you open the refrig erator you’ll likely find the leftovers. The turkey, the stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, green beans, peas, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce … And you know what they’re even better the next day.


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