Thanksgiving when food was really food | Dennis Box

I started thinking about food today, probably because of Thanksgiving — the great American food day of the year.

I started thinking about food today, probably because of Thanksgiving — the great American food day of the year.

I get considerable grief around the office about what I eat.

For example, I eat oatmeal soaked in buttermilk and sauerkraut mixed with tofu. It looks a little funny, but it fits my personality for some twisted reason.

I blame my food nuttiness on my evil physician, Dr. Neverhavefun.

He expects me to eat cardboard sprinkled with water and pepper if I need a treat.

He gives me a blood test to see what I have been eating for the past three months so I can’t cheat.

What a fun guy.

But there was a day when I could eat like a real person.

Many, many years ago Thanksgiving was a much different day for me.

When I think about Thanksgiving I see my grandmother in a color photograph holding a perfectly browned turkey on a platter.

My grandma could really cook.

She was Polish and everything she made was food for the gods.

Let me tell you, when my grandma was cooking for me, life was cherry blintz topped with sour cream.

It is the only time in my life I lucked into a medical diagnosis that didn’t make me want to live the rest of my life in a closet.

Believe it or not, as a kid I was skinny, too skinny according to my mother and grandmother.

Now they were Polish and I’m not sure what the definition of skinny was in grandma’s Poland.

We won’t worry about that.

My mom decided to cart me off to the doctor.

I don’t specifically remember the office visit, but according to mom the doctor at first told her she was nuts. Then the doctor had her take my shirt off and he said I did look like something unholy.

Not the first time someone would say that.

I learned to wear lots of shirts.

The prescription to cure me was for grandma to feed me.

Did I ever score on that one.

Grandma made every kind of pie imaginable — banana cream with meringue topping, wild blackberry, cherry, chocolate with whipped cream topping.

The crusts were always made with lard.

Also mashed potatoes with plenty of butter and cream.

And we can not forget gravy which became a beverage for me.

She also made the world’s best devils food cake with cream cheese frosting.

Grandma was an expert at making candy.

Every year she whipped up batches of divinity, fudge and almond roca.

The best part was I could eat all of grandma’s pies, candies and gravy and never gain a pound. As hard as my grandma tried, all I did was stay skinny.

Ah, for the days of my youth when gravy was milk shake and butter a vitamin, before the days of Dr. Neverhavefun.

My Thanksgiving memory is of my grandma — the best cook and best grandma ever.

Now, where’s my tofu and sauerkraut?


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