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Holly Lake Effect

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Thanksgiving: It's not quite over yet....
Thanksgiving is one of the bigger if not the biggest "eatin" day of the year. That's probably because it all started back when there was no cable TV for watching football, there were no vehicles to transport whole families to the mall and everybody was severely afflicted with chores. Today we hardly know the meaning of the word "chore" but we do know the meaning of the word "eat".
Thanksgiving is a gathering time, when people who hardly know each other but are related in some way decide it's important for them to get together. It's a mingling of little kids climbing over furniture, making forts out of sofa pillows and women of various ages applying themselves to the revival of old recipes that once someone's grandma produced this time of year.
The happy laughter, the mantra ("Please pass the...), the occasional dropping of a utensil onto the floor and the whine of the family dog waiting for its share are all important aspects of this revered holiday. But the most important act in this drama is the one in which leftovers play the key role. The hostess who has had the major role in acquiring the potables, suddenly realizes there are going to be leftovers. The interior of her refrigerator looks like one of those 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzles. She can do nothing but stand in front of it and sigh. It's a matter of her family being confronted with various forms of turkey this and that for the next two weeks or figuring out some way to convince people that their lives will be enriched by leftovers.
Here's how it can be done. Just as the first group is getting ready to pack up and leave, you put together a game plan. This involves checking their luggage. If there is a styrofoam container in which they have initially brought cold beer or an array of home-grown garden vegetables such as turnip greens and rutabagas, that container is bound to be empty now. You sneak off the sliding top, quickly drop into it several plastic bags full of sliced turkey, dressing and cranberries with a little prayer that nothing will be discovered in time and nothing will leak.
If there is no such cooler handy, check out the various paper sacks holding their belongings such as damp bathing suits, wild persimmons picked up off the ground, and other wilderness souvenirs. See if there is room at the top, then see if any of the sack's owners are in plain sight. If not, quickly drop in a plastic bag of turkey, a chunk of pumpkin pie and a half-dozen of Mrs. Murphy's fluffy yeast dinner rolls which you know-unless they have a new owner- will wind up hidden in your freezer until way past deterioration time.
A third approach is just to come out and ask. You have to be delicate in your phrasing, saying things like... "You do know that turkey second time around-in such dishes as a'la king and taco salad-is even better than it is straight out of the oven? To reinforce that statement, you wave in the air several recipes for using turkey in different dishes. You have been smart enough to have copied these recipes beforehand on your handy HP desktop printer so there will be no gap between the offering and the taking.
Then you can do the "prisoner throwing himself or herself on the mercy of the court act" by saying piteously..."Pul-eeeze do me a favor and take some of this stuff. Else it will go to waste and none of us want that to happen-do we?" I try to reinforce this plea with my mother's wisdom about helping the starving Armenians but I'm not sure there are any more Armenians in this world.
It is interesting that if you leave the choice of leftovers to the potential recipients you will get many more requests for pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole than for slices of bare meat turkey. Which leaves you with one more piece of wisdom-when you present the leftover breast meat (forget trying to palm off wings and pieces of drumstick-we are of the generation of white meat lovers) be sure to slice it smoothly as if it just came from a delli shrink wrap. Professionalism is everything when you are trying to palm off leftovers.
If none of this works, remember all the good things you have said to others about leftovers and address yourself to discovering some creative ways to make the second time around as good as the first. Write them down as if they were legitimate recipes and remember where you put them so you can get them out in time for the next Thanksgiving.