Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fowled Out

Every year I approach Thanksgiving with the same goal: do not succumb to the pressures of holiday gluttony. Enjoy within reason. Exercise twice a day. Emerge on the other side victorious and svelte. I went into this year's battle armed with the usual gameplan. I would fill my plate with turkey and green beans. Avoid the rolls and stuffing. A dot of gravy and just a dollop of sweet potatoes for some color on my plate.

The first play in my playbook worked well, I loaded up on turkey. Nice move, this was going well. Hmm, but look at that gravy. Our good friend had ceremoniously made it just before we served the meal. It looked awfully rich and creamy. Just a touch -- whoops! Ok, so perhaps I was a little heavy handed. No more showboating, or gravyboating as the case may be. But adding too much gravy on my fowl was merely the first of many fouls to come.

Someone was serving the dressing and offered to put a heaping portion on my plate. I couldn't be rude, of course. And then I had to get extra sweet potatoes because I really wanted two marshmallows (marshmallows just seem so light and harmless) and they were spaced kinda far apart. Then came the rolls. Another good friend brought the rolls which were nothing short of luscious. She owns a bakery for heavens sake. They were plump and tall, slightly browned on top with a dusting of flour. Completely soft and doughy on the inside. By the time I found the green beans there was simply no room. I could only fit about three or four little green beans on the edge.

I looked at my plate. YELLOW FLAG! Piling on...definitely a 5-pound penalty.

Then came dessert. My daughter was terribly proud of her shoo-fly pie recipe so I had to have a little slice. And since a guest brought the pumpkin pie, I would have been a bad hostess not to try it. My mother made apple pie and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Of course everything needed whipped cream.

YELLOW FLAG! Excessive celebration. Another 5-pound penalty.

I rolled myself to bed Thursday night feeling completely stuffed and defeated. How did that happen? I started with turkey and pretty much fowled-out from there. And this was only halftime. I still had to face The Leftovers. Part of me was confident and somewhat idealistic. I knew I could avoid the Leftovers. The food was a nice treat but no longer necessary. I would just eat lean, carb-free foods and enjoy my family and friends for the rest of this game - I mean holiday. That's what it's all about, right?

And then there was the other part of me...the part that was wondering if we had enough apple pie leftover for breakfast. This part of me was backed-up against my own end zone about to throw an interception. The consequences would be harsh. I would have to regroup the minute I get home...New Offense: Stricter Diet....New Defense: Join a Gym....Special Teams: The Master Cleanse. Two-a-days would start on Monday. No, we travel home Monday. Start on Tuesday.

I held my own against the Leftovers for awhile but when the football games started, the grazing began. Ultimately I blame the Texas Longhorns for my downfall. The Aggies beat them like a drum for four straight quarters and I nervously nibbled my way through the entire game. With a little over two minutes to go I gave my daughter this big speech about not giving up on your team, a good fan stays until the end, keep hoping for a miracle. It was a tough loss. And to top it off I got completely wrapped up in the Arkansas-LSU game. Unbelievable! Unranked Arkansas beat #1 LSU in the third overtime. Just goes to show anything is possible. At the first overtime I was still rooting for LSU to win it. But by the third overtime and my third helping of coffee cake I had starting cheering for Arkansas. What a great victory for the underdog.

I suppose hoping against hope is in my blood. My great-grandfather played in 'The Game of the Century' in 1916 when Georgia Tech beat Cumberland 222 to zero. It remains the greatest win (or loss, depending on your point of view) in college football history. And I say, with great pride, my great-grandfather played for Cumberland. I think he was even the quarterback for a few plays. He stills holds the college record for most kick-off returns received. I really cannot imagine what compelled the Cumberland players to press on for all four quarters. In the face of certain defeat how did they pick themselves off the bench and persevere? Perhaps it was a combination of hope, sheer drive and a relentless commitment to their fellow teammates. And maybe just a touch of insanity?

I need a little dose of that Cumberland never-say-die spirit. I need to lose this defeatist attitude. So I overate on Thanksgiving? So I plowed through the Leftovers yesterday? I think my gameplan was flawed. Today is a new day, so I'm calling an audible. I am going to put on my snow boots and take a leisurely walk on the county road, with these beautiful mountains as my backdrop. Maybe I will head into town with my dad for the Carroll College football game. And then help my mom plan Christmas. After a super-traditional Thanksgiving she likes to do a wintry Italian meal for Christmas day. She's thinking Osso Bucco this year...

...hmmmm. Hey Coach, put me in. I'm ready.


Anonymous said...

sorry that I'm putting this in your thanksgiving post! I had some good chicken fried steak at Threadgills this past spring...I ate too much but it was still good therapy! :=))

Christine said...

danny -- thanks for the commcent. sounds like you had a productive tript to austin. it's hard to beat threadgills. next time you visit add the broken spoke to your list. they also have good chikcen fried steak and honkytonk music -- more good therapy. hope you're staying warm in MN

Anonymous said...

I've fallen hard for Austin - down to 10 yesterday but a warm spell up to 30 today...thanks for the tip on Broken Spoke - love to honkytonk.

Getty72 said...

Hiya :)

I've just read this post. You have such a wonderful way with words. Unfortunately, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in England, but we hear so much about this special celebration that takes place the US. The turkey sounded yummy and the gravy sounded truly scrumptious! Yet the thing that stole my heart was when you mentioned putting on your snowboots and going for a walk. We don't see much snow here anymore, I would give anything to be able to go wandering in the snow with such an amazing backdrop.

Hope you are having a nice week.

Kindest regards ~ Graham