September 9, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on September 8, 2018

It’s early, but with kids living thousands of miles away from us, I’m obsessing about vacations and family gatherings, about Thanksgiving and how no one will be around for that …which made me think about food, and how at least one child and the significant other have dietary restrictions that drive a wedge into the communal fold.

A meal starts with a sacrifice – a holiday meal especially. The animal might be sacrificed. The host/hostess-cook sacrifices herself in the kitchen, brings about a small miracle of dishes to be consumed in reverence and laughter (joy). And the guests “sacrifice” themselves just this once on this annual holiday by eating what’s put in front of them. Not anymore. Now it’s custom cooking, not communal meal-sharing.

Take the turkey. Not for vegetarians or vegans. Take the wild rice and almond stuffing. Okay for vegetarians, but vegans demur – bolt the confines, defenestrate the occasion – because there’s egg in it. Make a special separate stuffing with a non-egg binder? (More work, perhaps offset by the pleasure of giving pleasure, but maybe not.) What about the sides? Better not be any dairy or egg in any of it. Holidays and their feasts have become “wedge-y,” wedge-issue magnets. I don’t like.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: