From today's Times and News-Star
You learn something new every holiday.
Not until this past Thanksgiving week did I know that some people look forward to cranberry sauce on toast the morning after what is the first of the best back-to-back eating days of the year.
Cranberry sauce on toast. Chew on that for a minute…
I like a cranberry. I like them in one of those cranberry fruit salad thingys. I like cranberry juice. But do not love a cranberry. And can’t make room on my holiday plate for cranberry sauce. It’s not so much the taste as it is the consistency. Its palatability. Like apple butter; something is just not right.
But, to each his own. I wish I liked it so I could eat it on toast. Sounds like a well-thought-through plan, and I love me a culinary plan.
All that to say this and this:
Park of the beauty of the eating part of Thanksgiving is that, in your plan, you know that Friday might be better than Thursday. All these foods heat up well. Turkey and ham. Green bean casserole. Sweet potato casserole. Crab dip (Joy!) on the unheated Ritz. To me, Thanksgiving always tastes better on Friday than on Thursday. It’s a beautiful thing.
And two, cranberry sauce would be near the bottom of my list of Holiday Sides, the foods that play backup to the All-Conference Thanksgiving Dishes: your turkey, your ham, your dressing, green bean stuff, sweet potato stuff. Those are the lead singers.
Here’s the band, and see if you agree: cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, fruit salad, crab dip if you are so inclined, giblet (you say GIB-let, I say JIB-let) gravy, yeast rolls. My spousal unit fries cauliflower for this day but that is such an odd notion that we can’t even include it in the band. At best, it is a roadie. It walks in with the amps and microphone stands, with help from the macaroni salad and the random beet.
Now, in that lineup, which food is the lead guitar or keyboard player, the leader of the band? I surprised myself this week to discover the answer, which came to me in, of all places, Sunday school.
It was in Sunday school that I realized, without even being particularly hungry, that the deviled egg was more than an unsung hero. The deviled egg was a “playah,” THE playah, the man with the plan, the indispensable key to a good time being had by all. In a vision, it seemed little deviled egg halves were floating over everyone’s head, like New Testament flames of fire.
Why I thought and saw this at that time, I don’t know. We hadn’t talked about the devil, or the logic would be obvious. But often in church, I get these thoughts -- we’ll call them “truths” -- that I wouldn’t get elsewhere. While the deviled egg is not in the same plane, my knowing and accepting its true worth is handy info, especially if you are trying to plan your holiday eating.
If you make them correctly – the yellow stuff is not too yellow and is soft, not hard, as good potato salad would be, which is a whole other yet similar ballgame – you can eat a half-dozen of these things before you know what hit you, same as you can with hot donuts. One minute you are hungry and want “just a taste,” and a half-minute later you are bloated and leaning up against a kitchen door jamb, with either white egg flakes or hot sugar on the sides of your mouth.
Been there. Heavens!, they’re devilishly good.