November 24, 2016

Turkeys, Families and Elections: Thanksgiving 2016

"A bird in the hand is worth more than a turkey 
in the White House"

And now for a message from our president-elect who believes Twitter is a great form of communication: 

"Happy Thanksgiving to All---
even the haters and losers!" ~DJT

Well, I may be a loser but I'm not a hater 'tho my inner angel nearly capitulated to my inner devil last year. The election 2016 was a sheer test of everyone's character. I nearly lost my soul once or twice, similar to the time I wished my ex in a cornfield and subsequently felt terrible about myself for weeks. So Sad!

That's the struggle for people of conscience. We feel guilty about other people's crappy behavior. 


I have this holiday all to myself lucky me. My nephew is working which means we won't be eating turkey until tomorrow. My daughter is sick with a cold. She's confined to her bedroom. My sister (the one who lost her job two years ago), is scanning Help Wanted Ads.  Since everyone in my household is occupied and nobody needs my help, I can cozy up in my office and connect with the world. 

I read an unusual article about Thanksgiving this morning.  It's a story about American pilgrims that has never been shared from the pulpit (at least as far as I know), nor retold in a children's book (thank goodness). "Consider the colonialist," the author writes, "who mistook his pregnant wife for a meal." Gil Troy's article about colonial cannibalism seems fitting post-election 2016. And no, he doesn't include recipes although I will. (My recipe collection may be vast and my culinary skills renown, but never fear: my repertoire doesn't include a Roasted People with Winter Vegetables recipe).  

"American Family suffers indigestion and possible death
yet refuses to question the menu."

One of my favorite YouTube chefs shared a delicious recipe a few years ago. I made his Peruvian Turkey in 2013 because I'm adventurous like that----AND my conservative family wasn't visiting that year. South American turkey with cilantro rice and spicy mustard greens would NOT go over well with stove-top conservatives for whom lovin'-from-the-oven means obeying time-honored recipes to a "C". Even if they taste bad. Especially if they taste bad. Nothing proves holy righteousness like dutifully eating a meal you dislike simply because your ancestors concocted the mess two hundred years ago. 

My nephew told his coworkers about our spicy feast. He said we wouldn't let something like tradition dictate o-u-r dinner table. "We didn't want to eat a normal turkey with stuffing, yams and mashed potatoes," he said, "So, we mixed it up and created something better!"

"You mean you can do that?" one of his coworkers exclaimed. "You don't HAVE to make the same thing everyone else is obliged to eat for Thanksgiving?"

You'd think we were rewriting the Constitution or something.

Who knows, maybe there are secret turkey police watching my house this very moment, waiting to bust me for non-conformity.

My nephew chuckled about the concerned look on his coworker's face. He delighted in telling us about their conversation while we planned our favorite side dishes and who would be cooking what. I think he likes the fact that our family is a tad rebellious; that his aunt (me) is "eccentric", or so his psychologist told him the day I wore a purple hat to therapy.

Being an eccentric-and-rebellious family has not been an easy thing to accept for my mainstream status quo sister who lives with me. It's been almost unbearable for her when people assume we're lesbians raising our son together. She tells people right off the bat that we're sisters---before they accuse us of loving each other or anything as horrific as that.

"Nerves of Steel, a Will of Iron and
a face just like my Dad's"
I guess I'm kinda happy today, although I've tried to stay morose and fearful post-election. I tried staying morose and fearful after my marriage ended and even that didn't keep me down. For some reason (and it drives people nutz if they're prone to depression), I can't stay miserable for long. Not even Trump can trump my bubbly personality. ha! No! That's a joke! I'm not ebullient or effervescent but I do have nerves of steel and a will of iron which definitely comes from my Dad. Hummm..."steel nerves and an iron will" kinda makes me sound like a metal fabrication shop or something.

If you think me cheesy, below is the super cheesy Chef John whose recipe we'll be eating for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Really---you oughta try it and you'll never go back to poultry-in-a-bag again. I dare you. Enrich your life and bring a little more of the world into your American dining room.

Warning: Peruvian Turkey looks like it was cooked in a volcano and blasted with a flame thrower for good measure. Plan on carving and plating your turkey before serving.
Peruvian Turkey by Chef John 
For the spice rub:
12 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup ground cumin
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white vinegar 
Rub turkey all over, and under the breast skin with the rub. Let sit out at room temp for 1 hour. Rub extra rub inside cavity, but save a 1/4 cup or so to use as a glaze later. Tie legs, season with kosher salt, and roast at 325 F., for about 15 minutes a pound, or until the internal temp in the thickest part of the thigh is 170-175 F.  Let rest 20 minutes before carving.

For the sauce:
1 cup crème fraiche
juice of one lime
I cup chicken broth
2 jalapeno
1/2 cup cilantro 
Place roasting pan (pour off excess fat) on med-high heat. Puree above and deglaze roasting pan with the mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture thickens into a gravy. Season and serve!

I hope my blogging friends are still around, still writing, still reading, still believing we can learn, unlearn and relearn whatever we need to know to build a healthier, more inclusive and compassionate society for everyone. Blessings!

Hugs all,



  1. Hi,

    I came across your blog while googling dealing with narcissism. I just wanted to let you know that I have had a wonderful, validating afternoon reading your entries in between other things like making a pot of chili. I like your (what to me comes across as down to earth) style, humour and fighting spirit - not as in conflict-stirring fighting, as in the message and examples of fortitude you share from your life.

    This recipe has piqued my excitement. I feel like I have closeted myself away hiding behind tradition because it is easy and expected, not that I don't also value aspects of tradition. I do. But, truth be told the real me is more experimental and loves to try the off-the-beaten track. Thanks for sharing this delicious-looking recipe. I think I may do this for Christmas Day dinner. :)

    PS - I set up this username years ago in a rather tongue in cheek expression during an exasperating time. I am anything but reckless. Hence, it's a kind of paradoxical healing myself with humour kind of thing.

    1. Hi withrecklessabandon! Your comment was the perfect antidote to the creeping "blues" of winter. I haven't written anything for more than a year. Then suddenly, the urge to write hit me and I thank you very much for taking the time to sit here with me and laugh (at least I hope you were laughing, too!).

      This election was rough and my emotions are still bouncing up and down like an out-of-control carnival ride. Maybe you have also experienced a similar thing? Trump evoked a lot of feelings that I "thought" had been resolved but NO. They were still there, just waiting to rise to the surface of my otherwise perfect life.

      Ha....perfect life....

      I hope you like the turkey recipe as much as we do. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to make it!

      Do you have a blog or website? I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things, talking to other people and sharing personal stories about life in NarcVille. It might help me cope with what's happening in the USA right now.

      Wishing you a happy holiday season and Thank You!

  2. I am going to try this recipe for Christmas! This blog post is timely, so thank you because I am learning to cook. I mean, really cook, at age 50, not kidding. I found this amazing book from the library and its content goes goes beyond recipes, but also teaches the how and why. And tons of pics. :-)

    My two adult live-at-home sons are responding very favourably to my new hobby, so I am gaining confidence in the once dreaded kitchen.

    With ex-N husband there was nothing I could do, that he couldn't do better. He liked to learn how I did things, took over the task, improved on my method, claimed superiority, and then ultimately proclaimed my incompetence. Eg. cooking, parenting, financial management, to name a few. By the time I was discarded, I felt like a burden. At the time I didn't really absorb what was happening -- it was a slow chip, chip, chip away of the soul. Now, it makes me a bit angry and resentful, but mostly I feel sad as I still struggle with self esteem issues. Take care, Persephone

    1. Hello Persephone!

      It took me a few days to get downstairs to my computer because my nephew had "time off" from work. A long list of "to do's" occupied our time as we prepared the house for winter (and put up our Christmas trees).

      We also made the most delicious spicy soup from the leftover turkey bones, adding southwestern ingredients to the broth after eight-to-ten hours of cooking. (Strain the bones before adding other ingredients, of course! ha!). It was similar to a tortilla soup with corn and beans and fresh cilantro. If you like Tex-Mex type recipes, you'll like this soup!

      So your husband tried to "replace" you by doing everything you did, only better, eh? It's the weirdest experience ever, when a "N" decides to leave a relationship and reduces former partners to skills or tasks. Its as if we can be eliminated completely by mastering our cinnamon roll recipe. I think there's a couple of things going on as you mentioned:

      1) competition. They can't stand being second-best
      2) envy. No need to face one's "envy" if you can elminate it through competition
      3) grief. There's nothing to grieve if you can take the cinnamon rolls with you.
      4) Diminishment of the Feminine. Who needs women when a N can cook for himself? PareNt even better than her?

      I could go on...this topic has intrigued me. I don't think anyone has ever mentioned this "mimicking" of former partners, other than discussing the "n's" perpetual need to be better-than.

      You take care also! And happy holiday!


  3. Wait--what does I wished my ex in a cornfield mean?! Thx

    1. ha! Sorry about that! There's an episode of the Twilight Zone series featuring a six-year old boy with extraordinary powers of the mind. He holds his entire family hostage to his "commands", eliminating them from existence if they don't agree that he is the best, the smartest, the greatest person ever.

      So one time, a family member disagreed and for punishment, the six-year-old turned this man into a Jack In The Box. You know---head bobbing on a spring coiled in a box. The other family members were horrified and asked the six-year-old as kindly as possible, to put this man out of his misery by wishing him into a cornfield--effectively: kill him rather than force him to live that way.

      I jokingly make reference to this Twilight Zone episode--particularly since narcissists are frequently compared to six-year-olds. This is a link to the Wikipedia page: "It's a Good Life":

      If you haven't seen "It's a Good Life", watch for it to show up on YouTube. Occasionally someone uploads the film before the censors scream "copyright!"


      p.s. Thanks for reading!


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