Friday, November 29, 2013

Humble Sides

Yesterday's feast, like every other Thanksgiving meal I've ever cooked, was proof that though the turkey gets all the glory it's the side dishes, the humble sides, that deserve it. They are where the real finesse comes in, the true effort; they are more difficult to prepare and, arguably, more scrumptious to consume.

Here it was fairly light as holiday cooking goes. The yams were baked, the potatoes were boiled — and I wasn't responsible for the green bean casserole.

But the stuffing involved dicing and stirring, ditto the cranberry salad. And the pies (though a dessert and not a side dish) are always labor-intensive, though I wouldn't have them any other way.

On the other hand, the turkey is easy to baste and roast — and it sits regally atop the table, the centerpiece, the champ.

The humble sides don't seem to mind, though. They have long since accepted their relegated roles. In exchange, they avoid the slow, protracted, death march of the leftover — no sad progression from sandwich to salad to hash for them. The turkey, they know, gets its comeuppance in the end.

(What to eat the day after.)

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