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Essay: Glad You Can Come, but Your Diet Says What?

  • FILE- This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows a citrus turkey surrounded by side dishes in Concord. N.H. No need for a salt shaker on the Thanksgiving table: Unless you really cooked from scratch, there's lots of sodium already hidden in all the turkey and trimmings. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, FIle)



For the Valley News
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Just a few friends for Thanksgiving … can you make it? Great! You’ll eat anything? Wonderful. But you don’t care for mushrooms. OK, I usually make the … never mind, I’ll leave them out. And you love that canned-green-bean casserole topped with French fried onions? Well, I don’t usually… And you don’t care for Brussels sprouts either? But you love sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows? Well I don’t really consider marshmallow a food. Yes, well, looking forward to seeing you then.

Your family hasn’t invited you so you’d love to come? Wonderful! Uh huh, uh huh. It’s a vegan meets South Beach diet? What does that mean, exactly? No meat but plenty of grapefruit. Well OK. I’m sure there’ll be plenty for you to choose from. Appetizers? Well, I hadn’t thought … Oh, you just want me to know that you swell up if there is even one nut in the room? Oh. OK. No, no, I won’t forget. Well, see you then.

Yes, just a few friends. Oh good, you can come. Well yes, I do still eat bread. And eggs, yes I do. Yes, I do still like a glass or two of cabernet. No, I haven’t read the latest guidelines on drinking — OK, I’ll look them up. And you eat what? The raw foods diet. Nothing cooked? But juicing is OK. No, I didn’t know you could make a turkey out of tofu. Yes, I’m sure it’s delicious. Well yes, there will be salad. Oh, you’ll just eat that? And nuts? You’ll eat nuts. Well I’m afraid there’s a problem with nuts. Seeds? Yes, I think seeds will be OK. And you’ll bring your own to sprinkle on your salad. Well, if you really want to … Fine, see you then.

Just a few friends. Can you come? Good! Oh, is that the old Atkins diet? I know, I know he was shot by his lover. But that doesn’t really affect the diet, does it? And no salt. No salt at all? What’s that? And no one should ever ever eat bananas? Well, for Thanksgiving, I don’t usually … Yes, well, I’m sure you’ll find something to eat. And sugar can kill you? Well, I don’t really think that a little … No, I haven’t read it. On the New York Times best seller list? OK, I’ll look it up. And you’ll send me the recipe for a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free pumpkin pie. Well thank you. Good, see you then.

Well I’m so glad you’ll be free. Have I planned the menu yet? Well, I’m in the process … Oh. Macrobiotic? Well, I vaguely remember it from the ’60s. I didn’t know people still … Yes, of course, I’m glad you feel better than you have in years. No, I didn’t say it was a religion. Well some people may say that but I’ve actually never given it much thought. Well, I know I should. Me? I eat just about anything. Actually I have no digestive problems. No, no constipation. No, not that either ... or that. Look, could we …

So you want to bring your own meal? Well sure, you could warm it up in the microwave. Oh, you don’t believe in microwaves. No, no, I want you to come. By all means, warm it up on the stove. OK. Twoish. Oh, you don’t eat after 3 p.m. At all? OK. Two sharp then. Bye.

Well, yes, I thought just a friendly get together on Thanksgiving. We haven’t seen each other for how long? Of course I’ll recognize you. You’ve lost how much weight? On purpose? No! Really? The paleo diet? Low glycemic? What is that exactly? Uh huh, uh huh, yes … high fat, I get that. Low carb. Well, what is a carb, actually? Yup, yes, uh huh. All those things are carbs? I don’t really see how I can make a meal without … OK, well, I’ll try. It’ll be great to see you too.

To: All my Thanksgiving friends

Subject: Sorry

Dear Friends: An unavoidable thing has come up and I will be in France the week of Thanksgiving. C’est dommage. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Bon appetit!

Joan Jaffe lives in Norwich.