Holidays Are Coming. Time For Fillers.
Geez. Just a little more than a week till Thanksgiving. How did THAT happen?
I know it’s that time of year because someone I follow on Twitter - can’t remember who, I follow hundreds - predicted that at any minute newspapers will start publishing stories about how to survive Thanksgiving dinner with a mouth-breathing Trump supporter at the table.
Politics aside, I hate these formulaic holiday articles.
We called them holiday “fillers” when I was a feature writer. You know, the insipid guides telling you how to keep your kids safe at Halloween (hint: don’t dress them in oily rags), the annual 4th of July stories warning against backyard fireworks (hint: don’t light the fuse of a bottle rocket and forget to throw it) and the election-year-how-to-be-civil-to-relatives-who-don’t-vote-like-you Thanksgiving pieces.
The latter is my least favorite. I mean, if family members can’t zigzag around politics long enough to work their way through turkey and trimmings - that’s 20 minutes, max - they need a session with a shrink.
We’re talking simple manners here.
Which reminds me. If a newspaper feature writer - are there any left? - is looking for a Thanksgiving filler why not one on how to plan a meal when your guest list is full of dueling fad diets?
Everyone I know is either doing keto, Whole 30 or the Plant Paradox. My daughter, for instance, is on the keto diet. She’ll scold me for eating an apple while dropping a dollop of butter in her coffee. That crazy high-fat, low-carb plan works. I have no idea how.
Planning a feast around a tableful of these zealous picky eaters can be a headache.
Then again, if extreme dieters are headed for your table, you’re in luck. You won’t have to share your pecan pie and all its syrupy goodness with them. They all seem to shun sugar.
They’ll also ignore the cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Carbs are poison. Just ask them.
If you were hoping for a slice of turkey, though, you’d better be quick. The hungry high-protein, high-fat folks will strip that bird in seconds, leaving you with an overcooked wing and a plateful of mashed potatoes.
The real challenge of dining with people on crazy diets is derailing the impromptu evangelizing that will eventually break out on the danger of lectins, the deadly properties of bread and the gut disturbing aspects of gluten.
They can’t help themselves.
My suggestion? Start talking politics. That should shut them up.