I don’t know about you, but I had a few too many Thanksgiving dinners. Five of them, or six, if you count stopping by my son’s house and scarfing up good stuff after most of his company had gone home. That would make three on Thanksgiving Day itself.
The first one on Thanksgiving Day was at Carol Yager’s house. I can’t miss that one, because she makes tons of wonderful food, and right after we eat and hurriedly clean up, she heads for Bastrop for several days, and gives me all her leftovers. Including the turkey, which still has all its dark meat, and makes a wonderful base for gumbo. After that, late afternoon grazing at Carl’s folks, and the late-late snack at Sonny’s, where I scored another leftover: Granddaughter Ariel sent us home with some of her delicious butternut squash casserole.
But all this stuffing really started on Tuesday, when my sister Mary and I went to eat lunch with her kids at Tommy and Bernice Harris’ house, where we ate wonderful things, and enjoyed their beautiful home, already decorated for Christmas.
Our whole-family Thanksgiving get-together has evolved into a waffle breakfast in the big room in the old nursing home. Tina and Randy cook the waffles and sausage and the rest of us gobble them up and visit. Right at the last minute the fancy commercial grade waffle maker broke, so they stopped at the Dollar Store where they found a couple of very inexpensive ones that make waffles in the shape of animals. They worked fine, just made thinner waffles, which was OK, since most of us would be better off with less waffles anyhow. I had an elephant and half a giraffe.
That was Saturday morning. Daughter Liz’s Thanksgiving dinner, which I had been elected to cook for, had been scheduled for Friday, but got changed to Saturday in order for granddaughter Laken to be there. So we ended up stuffing on animal waffles in the morning and then on another round of regular Thanksgiving type stuff at Liz’s house that afternoon. I got to bring home leftovers from there because I made double so I could.
Last night I finished turning the remains of the turkey into raw material for the gumbo. It is tucked snugly into the freezer. Maybe I’ll make a huge pot and share it with all these folks who fed me those Thanksgiving dinners. Hey, I just said that to fill space, but now that I think of it, I think I really will do that. There’s enough meat and stock for a lot of gumbo from that turkey, but it can just be the beginning. That’s the fun of gumbo, you can just keep adding to it. Some of that ham I brought home, some sausage, some shrimp, some kind of fish, tons of okra, celery and onions, and who knows what else. You surround it with a dark mysterious roux, and have people wondering what will show up in the next bite.
I’ll bet you think this is the most boring column I ever wrote. I don’t blame you. But it’s the best I could come up with. But tell you what–maybe I can make it up to you: if you’ve read this far and are dissatisfied with it, let me know and I’ll give you a cup of that gumbo if and when I get it made.