Happy Consume All the Calories Day

Here’s the spread at the Scalzi Compound today: Turkey, ham, two types of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato soufflé, green bean casserole, sage stuffing, deviled eggs, dinner rolls. That doesn’t count the opening round of appetizers, or the desserts (pumpkin and pecan pies, ice cream, sugar cookies). I can’t imagine I ate less than five thousand calories today. It’s a miracle I’m still awake to type this.

If you’re in the United States, I hope today was one in which you reflected on the good things in your life, surrounded by people you care about. If you’re outside the United States, I hope you had a satisfactory Thursday.

— JS

22 Comments on “Happy Consume All the Calories Day”

  1. Happy eat yourself sick day, John! Looks like quite the feast! Ours was scaled back a bit this year, just because we were busy with other things.

  2. My m-i-l was apologizing because there were fewer dishes than this, mostly not cooked by her (though she made my favorite, pumpkin trifle), though likely equal quantities. We all had to reassure her it was still delightful. 🙂 (She’s also almost 80. It’s okay to outsource.)

  3. Beautiful spread! I am available to assist with leftovers and am only an hour and a half drive away. You have my email, so let me know. 😋

  4. Do you name your turkey? We have a tradition of naming our turkeys, typically after a notable politician for that year…. It is a lot of fun!

    This year, the consensus was to name our turkey “Sinema” (we live in Arizona). The turkey appropriately had both a left wing and a right wing. When you spot checked during the cooking, you never could predict which side would be facing up.

    Also, when we split the wishbone, it split exactly 50/50 down the middle (I am not making that one up!)….

  5. My beloved and I are spending Thanksgiving in Amsterdam with her (distant) cousin, his husband and assorted other Dutch folk. I just showed her the photo and noted how similar our spreads were, at least in terms of colour! Said assorted other Dutch folk enjoyed it overall, although they weren’t too keen on the sweet potato soufflé and one pronounced the pecan pie ‘odd’ (although he ate it all, possibly from guilt after provoking such an extreme reaction from the Americans present!)

    Today is scheduled for recovery and maybe an architectural tour of some of the less well-known parts of the city if we can lever ourselves out of our beds, armchairs, whatever …

  6. Beautiful!

    Our feast is today because some family members have obligations with other branches of the family on the Thursday, and they (understandably) prefer not to try to cram in two feasts in one day. It works well for us because we use Thursday for a low-key, relaxed day of food prep, and then we all feast together on Friday.

    Happy season of eating to all!

  7. A fine pic of a fine spread. I could use your gratitude list as my own (especially oh my god Thank You, Mr. President for not being an imminent threat to democracy), minus the book-writing, but adding all the wonderful watercolor painters who took their workshops and classes online via Zoom during the pandemic and made it possible for me, in podunk Oregon, to study with and be critiqued by some of the finest artists in the world (so let’s also add Zoom to the gratitude list)

  8. I hope you also got a chance to donate some meals via your local food bank or church or civic organization. It’s incredible to my wife and I that hunger is a real issue in this country (even in non-pandemic times) where we otherwise seem to have so much. We support several local food banks year-round and have a hard time refusing donations to similar groups this time of year. Something to think about as the Christmas season is now upon us.

  9. Dad made dinner. He likes to cook. We had turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, green beans with cream of mushroom soup, homemade gravy, and pumpkin pie. Sparkling apple-cranberry juice was what we drank. None of us really drink alcohol. It was delicious. I zonked out after lunch and dinner.

  10. Looks like what our spread looked like for a few minutes. We had 11 people over and not one argument came with them, even they are sick of politics.

    My sister and niece have gone gluten free, so I spent some of my free time developing a gluten free spread. Surprisingly, everyone loved it and I got more raves than normal.

  11. Smoked turkey (deliberately smoked, not a kitchen accident :) ), Pacific salmon, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, cranberry-orange relish, green beans, jello salad, rolls, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. The salmon was a new addition this year, one family member has health issues and is trying to eat more fish.

    A last-minute stomach upset meant we only had 9 people to eat it all, instead of 10. But we all like leftover turkey, so no big deal.

  12. We had a vegetarian Thanksgiving, as the turkey was not cooked through. Stuck it back in the oven to cook for tomorrow . Beans with mushroom and onion, Brussels sprouts au gratin, diced sweet potates cooked in olive oil with a dab of chipotle, mashed potatoes with gravy made from chicken stock, berry tart with ice cream.

  13. Dear John,

    Since the traditional uber-mass Thanksgiving at one of my sweetie’s homes was deemed unwise this year, I invited her and her husband over for TG at our house. I cooked for a total of seven (four of whom were sweeties of mine, so LOTS to be thankful for!), biggest dinner party I’ve cooked for in many years.


    smoked salmon
    chopped liver
    baked garlic
    carrot and celery sticks with dip
    cheddar and smoked gouda cheese and crackers.

    Main Course

    tossed salad (Paula made that)
    brined, air-dried roast turkey
    baked tofurkey, for the vegetarian sweetie
    baked yams
    whole cranberry sauce
    wild rice


    pumpkin pie (bakery-made)
    mince pie (bakery-made)
    pecan pie (vegetarian sweetie-made)
    strawberry-blueberry crumble (Paula-made)

    It was exhausting. It was hella fun. There’s enough leftovers to keep us fat and happy for days.

    So, yeah, one of the better ones. Feeling pretty damn good about my life right now.

    pax / Ctein

  14. Although invited as usual to a big family gathering at our nephew’s, we passed: neither he nor his wife are vacc’d (despite her beloved granny, who lived right across the street, having just died from Covid). Worse, they, and their two unvaccinated kids, just got back from a family vacation at Disney World in DeSantisLand, where not all the employees, and who knows what proportion of the happy and mostly maskless throng, had been jabbed. When we suggested that we’d come if they got tested, their response was “why should we get tested, none of us have any symptoms.”

    Enough of that. With only three of us, I braised turkey thighs on top of root vegetables and apples, and made Delicata squash fritters with sage, all of which went down very well. Cheese, fruit, and a glass of Port for dessert.

    Your spread is impressive, but I only see three chairs (and assume a fourth). I’m reminded of what Orson Welles’s doctor told him: “You either have to stop giving these intimate dinner parties for four, or start inviting three other guests to help you eat them.”

  15. Dear PJ,

    Almost couldn’t! Took some very careful, 3-dimensional Tetris to get the door closed, post-eating.

    Mmmmmmmmmm…. leftovers!

    pax / Ctein

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