Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Eating Season

Yesterday was the first Halloween I did not celebrate. No candy, no roasted pumpkin seeds, no carved jack-o-lanterns. In fact, no trick-or-treaters; turning off the porch light apparently worked. The result is that this morning I am not having a bowl of leftover, fun-sized Milky Ways and Three Musketeers for breakfast. I am also not up five pounds, feeling bloated and filled with remorse. In fact, I feel great--who knew? So now I'm wondering if I can do the same with the other holidays that are crammed down our throats by eager shopkeepers, restaurateurs and those devils Harry & David, all seeking to increase their bottom lines while we all just increase our bottoms.

Okay, I'm cynical--what else is new. But few can deny that holidays have long since ceased to have any meaning to most Americans other than what's to eat and what's to buy. Next up: Thanksgiving, which this year will be super-charged by coinciding with Hanukkah. Mashed potatoes must now be deep-fried into latkes.

Turning off the porch light will not help me with that one, since my family will already be inside the home, but as head chef I can make it less grotesque by careful menu planning, eliminating about 10,000 calories from the festival meal. Maybe not have three kinds of pie and four kinds of potatoes and five different buttery vegetables, and that insidious cranberry sauce. And no gravy! Well, less. Then comes Christmas, with its gustatory celebrations of the birth of the baby Jesus: Glazed hams and roast beeves. Candy and fruitcake. Cookies. Egg nog. I'm nauseous just thinking about it.

Perhaps we can all show some restraint and, as a nation, not gain a million pounds over the next two months. It's worth a try.

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