Thanksgiving is the best holiday we have in this country, or it's at least second to Mischief Night. It's the one day when it is socially acceptable to pig out, drink and watch three games of football without moving around that much. You get to see your family, and to even talk to them if you want. The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special isn't completely miserable like the Halloween and Christmas ones. And no matter how awful your family's cooking prowess is on the other 364 days of the year, they all manage to work together to produce an amazing meal. But there's one thing that ends the night on such a down note: The tradition of post-Thanksgiving dinner turkey sandwiches.
If you have your Thanksgiving feast in the early afternoon, this situation is probably familiar to you. It's 2 p.m., the Detroit Lions are already losing and you're about to sit down at an overflowing table that looks like it's straight out of the Great Hall at Hogwarts. There's corn, caramelized carrots, green beans, and a plate of cranberry sauce that's still in the shape of a can and that only the weird family members eat. You've got mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, sweet potatoes, probably even some sour potatoes, who knows? And to top it all off, there's a lovely turkey that's way too big to finish.
After everyone finishes gorging themselves on the main meal and 17 different kinds of dessert, the conventional wisdom is to save the remains of the bird and put them out on a platter later in the night with sandwich toppings.
I never want a turkey sandwich.
For starters, the circumference of my stomach has expanded four or five inches since lunch, so something that could fill me up on another day is naturally going to lack its usual hunger-saving power. More importantly though, the turkey sandwich is a sad reminder of what lunch had been; the tastes are reminiscent of a feast that I want to cherish more than one I want to relive in a less-satisfying way. It's like watching Babe and then watching Babe: Pig in the City a few hours later -- you still like the presence of Babe in the second movie, but everything surrounding him pales in comparison to the first, so you just end up wishing that you were watching the original again.
I know people want to keep the leftovers and don't want to work in the kitchen after slaving away in there for an entire day, so here's the solution: Have the youngest person in the family who is old enough to operate a stove boil a huge pot of water and make a Costco-sized batch of Annie's macaroni and cheese. It's cheap, it takes just as long to make as it does to cut up tomatoes and onions for sandwiches, and no adult has to be involved with the preparation. If you have an especially ambitious young chef, he or she can cut up the turkey leftovers and throw them into the mac and cheese so you're not wasting food. Everybody is happy, everyone is full and every person's arteries are clogged, which is what the United States is all about.
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