My mother is an amazing chef, and that’s not even her job. She relishes the chance to cook, and usually finds new and exciting dishes to experiment with; most of them are a success. So its no surprise that she wanted to host Thanksgiving this year. And she met the challenge of 25 guests – 25 palettes – head on. We had vegans, kids allergic to everything, seafood lovers, seafood haters, carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, a pair of crotchety old Polish grandmothers to feed, and a mostly carb-free marathon running son (me). So how do you accommodate all these finnicky eaters? Go out and make a little bit of everything. In addition to the standard Thanksgiving of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce and strings beans, we had seafood lasagna – wh-whub-whahhh? – and a lot of steak.
If we had a musical act, this feast could have qualified for a USO show. It’s only natural that there were a lot of leftovers. Once the crowd washed away, and we christened the holiday season with a viewing of Christmas Vacation, I wrestled myself out of a food coma and decided on making good use of the steak.
I was 9-12 during the Bills’ epic four year run of also-ran-ness. Even as a kid, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for that team and their fans. Which would you rather have, a hapless club that never sniffs the postseason for four years, or one that loses the championship game four consecutive seasons? Terrible options.
Anyhoo, the steak was rare, and that was my red. I was worried it wouldn’t translate, but compared to the shredded, extra-grilled steak, that rare cut of beef might as well have been grazing in the front yard. I placed all this on a sheet of wax paper atop a newspaper “place mat.”
I sprinkled a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese around the shape to complete the piece, and then repackaged it all into a Ziploc bag to make myself a cheese steak (minus bread, plus BBQ sauce) for breakfast Friday morning. For me, Black Friday takes on a whole new meaning; its the toilet’s problem.
But I didn’t eat all the steak. Thanksgiving is about sharing, and more often than not, my dog Coffey sits statuesque next to me as I create my screwy art. That scavenger is always looking for something to fall off the table, and the holiday spirit moved me, so I threw him a