Sometimes one heaping plate of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, carrots, squash, beans, and cranberry sauce seems . . . inadequate, so you stroll back for seconds all confident—that is, completely oblivious to the bodily trauma that will ensue. But on rare occasions, even a glutinous second round will not satisfy your bottomless stomach that harbors secret cavities that you fill like a squirrel fills its cheeks just before winter. So when one Thanksgiving is not enough, you rejoice over the promise of your friend’s legendary post-holiday feast, made up of an eclectic group of friends she’s collected over the years, where you realize that that meal on the last Thursday of the month was a mere warm-up for the giant bowls and platters that will now be laid out in front of you. You are glad there was a day of rest in between.
You marvel at the 25-pound bird whose skin is so perfectly browned that it could be the turkey that fled the photo shoot for Gourmet‘s Thanksgiving cover, if Gourmet still existed. But in the kitchen, with shallots sautéing, peperonata warming, and the stuffing demanding a second platter, you think Gourmet has been resurrected and that somehow you are now living in its pages as the scent of sage and thyme mixes with the wild aroma of turkey. Your friend is a genius in the kitchen, and for this you are grateful.
After the feast, your body is sated, but the mind lingers on odd questions: how is it that your friends have enough chairs for 25 people? Leftovers, really? Will there be a day to recover before dessert?
No rest for the full. Before normal breathing resumes, someone remarks that the clown-car oven has suddenly begun dispensing a number of pies and you steel yourself for the inevitable. Her wife has made the desserts (oh, the apple and pear galette) and you wonder how you can smuggle both chefs home while making them feel that it is their choice to devote their lives to cooking for you, like this, every night. You will write to Santa tonight.