Monday, December 1, 2008

The Inevitable Holiday, Part 2: Your Leftover Personality

For most people, the one very guaranteed part of the holidays are large family gatherings. And if your family is anything like ours, there is a copious amount of food. I’m sure the first Thanksgiving was a feast, but I’m also pretty sure every aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent and otherwise had to bring their signature dish in large quantities.
As if one family can eat that much green bean casserole…
So as sure as the turkey starts hiding in early November, there will always be a heaping helping of leftovers after the Thanksgiving dinner. The question is then, what to do with these remaining bits of delicious food. The older I get, the more I realize that people attain their own Leftover Personality, and it subconsciously dictates what to do with the spare sweet potatoes and the surplus stuffing.
Not sure what your Leftover Personality is? Take this handy quiz…
1. Do you bring a bag full of old Cool Whip containers and plastic baggies to the family gathering? If so, give yourself 2 points.
2. Before Thanksgiving arrives, do you clean out your freezer, clearing out space? If so, give yourself 1 point (and a pat on the back for doing the work!)
3. When carving the turkey, do you pick off the little pieces of meat stuck on the bone for a snack? If so, give yourself 3 points. If not, give yourself 4 points.
4. If your mom has a fantastic turkey salad recipe, give yourself 2 points.
5. If you ate thousands of turkey salad sandwiches as a child, give yourself 3 points.
6. If you have ever served leftover turkey for a Christmas dinner, give yourself 1 point.
7. If you think a turkey carcass is worth it’s weight in gold, award yourself 4 points.
Now tally up your score and discover your true Leftover Personality!
2-3 points: The Freezer. You don’t see leftovers as leftovers, you see them as meals-to-come. Your freezer is ready and waiting for carefully marked containers of turkey and gravy, and there is a real possible chance that the dish you brought to the Thanksgiving gathering was once served at a Labor Day picnic, frozen, and reheated.
4-5 points: The Eater. When the family is done eating, you immediately fix another plate or two because you know you will be ready to eat again in just a few hours, when the football games have ended and you are finally getting to hang up your Christmas decorations. You may also make a turkey salad sandwich the next day…if there is any food left by then. You are, of course, an Eater.
6-7 points: The Tosser. This person gets their yearly fill of cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts and just can’t do it any more, so their leftovers, if any remain, are tossed out with the paper plates. They have other fun things to move on to and don’t want to be bothered with the cleaning and trying to find the correctly fitting lids for the plastic containers. This person also probably ate turkey leftovers for a month after the holiday (and had a Freezer for a mother) and doesn’t want their children to endure the same anguish.
8 points: The Soup-maker. There are no sandwiches or multiple containers in your future. You are a soup maker. You fight other Soup-makers for the turkey carcass and throw it and every other appropriate leftover straight into a giant stockpot, right from the table. You are convinced turkey soup is the best soup on Earth and it’s a good thing, because you usually make 14 gallons of it. And more often than not, some of it ends up in your freezer…
The one, unifying feature of all four Leftover Personality types though, is that everyone will enjoy the gathering of family and friends around the Thanksgiving table. The warm feelings of being together are as inevitable as the leftovers.

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