I apologize for not posting this before Thanksgiving, since it might have averted the inevitable sibling sniping, auntipathy, cousin cuss-out, granny griping and other relatively irritating behaviors that so often occur at family dinners. However, since next month is fraught with possibilities of similar mayhem, herewith is a surefire recipe for unsullied high spirits.
Serve whatever you like for dinner. As long as at least one dish is homemade and the Special Secret Ingredient is added, you and your guests are guaranteed to enjoy a memorable meal.
I hear the more mushy-minded among you whispering, “Oh, she means ‘love’…how sweet!” Others of a more realistic mindset will be thinking “booze”, which would be a dreadful mistake. Alcohol often has the opposite of the desired effect and, in my opinion, should be served sparingly, if at all, at family gatherings. Nothing puts a damper on festivities like Uncle Uggo falling face first into the flan or Cousin Lucky playing grab-ass with every passing human…and sometimes the family pet.
No, my dears. The never-fail, gut-busting laugh-making joy-generator is simply a fistful of homegrown, blendered to pepper consistency and mixed into, say, the turkey stuffing (so it infuses the entire bird). It’s equally efficacious as a seasoning in any cooked course, since heating seems to increase potency and effect, as well as giving any dish a giant boost in the delicious department. The fact is, even if your cooking is not exactly up to gourmet standards, guests will think it’s the most nectar-like food ever to pass their palates, so effective is the magic of the blessed herb.
At the risk of exposing myself to a visit from the local gendarmerie, I freely admit that this recipe has become a tradition at any family occasion to which I have access. Even faux family, such as the small American expat community of which I was a part when living abroad, has been treated to a Turkey Day to Remember (aptly enough, laced with product from Turkey, as I recall). Yesterday’s feast was no exception, and I am delighted to report it was as resounding a success as any that has gone before. A cousin I had not seen for sixty-some-odd years turned out to be one of the wittiest family members I ever met. Ten minutes after everyone’s plate was loaded, hilarity (and a couple of Depends changes) ensued and didn’t stop until the L-Tryptophan kicked in and everyone went home.
So, because we are approaching the season in which we are expected to spread joy, I am happy to divulge the seasoning assured to spread as much joy as you can swallow. Just remember: holidays are for sharing, so please don’t bogart the dressing.