Wednesday, November 25

Berry good

I was nearly an adult before I realized that a cranberry was an actual berry, rather than the gelatinous, cylindrical substance that came from an Ocean Spray can. When I was growing up, it was my job every Thanksgiving to open the can, run a butter knife along the inside of the can, and then very carefully, shake out the cranberry sauce. The goal was, of course, to get it out in one solid tube, with no cracks or slices missing. Once out of the can, I had to put the cran-tastic tube onto a serving plate, and slice it into even discs.

It was a ritual I looked forward to, and perfected over the years. I loved the vacuous sound the cranberry tube made as it slowly evacuated its place in the can. Sometimes a gurgle, sometimes a flatulent act of defiance. Every once in a while, my knife skills failed me, and a chunk of jellified material would stick to the bottom of the can and would have to be exhumed at the end. Then, rather than present the cranberry guts on the plate with the other perfect slices, these remnants had to be eaten right then and there. I was always more than happy to take care of their disposal.

Because next to the turkey, the jellied cranberries were my favorites. Forget the gravy. As a child I couldn't be bothered with it. Or the stuffing - gross. Mashed potatoes were ok. Peas? Blech. I would much rather pile my plate high with white meat from the bird, and a few majestic magenta floppy cranberry frisbees.

As an adult, my taste buds have matured. Gravy? Yes please! Stuffing? Why sure. Mashed potatoes? Keep em coming. Peas? Blech. I've even acquired a taste for green bean casserole.

We spend Thanksgiving at my in-laws, and unfortunately, the cranberries are made fresh, from the berry, rather than shaken out of a can. In my opinion, the fresh berries are too tart. I like mine far removed from its organic form and pumped full of preservatives and sugar.

Hey. It's Thanksgiving. I'm allowed.

No comments: