by Ron Scarbro –
Several years ago while still living in Seattle, my wife and I decided not to prepare our traditional Thanksgiving feast. Every year of our marriage we had cooked a huge meal for Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings. We decided since the kids had left home that this year we would travel down to the Oregon coast and get a motel room right on the beach and just relax and cool it. Our plan was to pick out a great restaurant and have our Thanksgiving meal there. No cooking and no clean up.
That is exactly what we did. The traffic was terrible but finally we arrived no worse for wear. The room was beautiful. It even had a fireplace along with a supply of firewood. Since we were right on the beach, all you could hear was the Pacific Ocean crashing on the shore and an occasional sea gull. It couldn’t have been nicer.
On Thanksgiving Day we found a great restaurant and ordered the traditional feast. It was very tasty and we enjoyed the meal a lot. Since we were at the shore, we ate a lot of seafood during the next couple of days and all in all it was a marvelous trip.
On Sunday evening we returned home. Again the traffic was ridiculous. But we were refreshed from our mini-vacation and actually looked forward to getting back home.
We got home, but something just didn’t seem quite right. There seemed to be something missing. What was missing was the smell of Thanksgiving. One of the world’s great smells is that of a turkey and stuffing baking in the oven. I soon discovered another item which was missing. That was left over turkey for sandwiches.
Now some would say that anyone can go to the store and buy some deli turkey and make a sandwich. Well, it’s just not the same thing. There’s something about a sandwich made from the leftover carcass that cannot be created by a deli slicer.
I have a friend named Jerry who is a master turkey sandwich maker. It would be truer to call him a master turkey sandwich builder. This is what he does. He takes a slice of bread and slathers it up with salad dressing. I’m talking about the product that you buy that looks like mayonnaise with bits of pickle in it. Then Jerry adds leftover stuffing, heaps of turkey, slices of cranberry sauce, you know the kind that comes in a can, then he slathers the other slice of bread with the salad dressing and closes up his masterpiece and he does all this with the relish of an artist. He then eats it and watching him deconstruct his creation is not a pretty sight. Fortunately Jerry has a big mouth and can navigate the task rather easily.
My idea of a turkey sandwich is a lot easier. I just mayonnaise up a couple slices of bread, any kind, and add mostly dark turkey meat. That’s it. That’s all I need. To me this is one of the great treats available to us mortals. During the years, I have witnessed many variations of this most hallowed of sandwiches, but they all seem to please their creators. Turkey sandwiches, you see, are as individual as their makers.
By not being home and preparing this meal, we missed out on some of the best parts of it and I haven’t even mentioned the pecan pie. That is why we have never even considered going away from home on Thanksgiving again. Some things, like turkey sandwiches, are just too good to miss.