Thanksgiving foods vary by tastebud

By Grant McGee: Local Columnist

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year. I’m not thinking of shopping. I’m still thinking about food.

I think about food a lot. I frequently tell folks, “I was born hungry and sleepy.”

I got to thinking about Thanksgiving foods. There’s the mystery of why a lot of us get sleepy after the big Thanksgiving meal. The answer is L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan is an amino acid. Turkey meat has a lot of it compared to other meats. L-tryptophan makes us sleepy. Nutritionists will also tell you after-Thanksgiving-dinner sleepiness comes from eating lots of carbohydrates, such as mashed potatoes and stuffing.

About that stuffing: I am glad I am associated with a person who prepares standard stuffing for Thanksgiving. Standard stuffing to me is crumbled old bread fixed up with seasonings and stuff. The recipe does not include hard-boiled eggs.

Now, if you like chopped hard-boiled eggs in your stuffing, I’m not going to knock it. I learned early not to make fun of what people eat from watching the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird.” There’s a scene in there where Atticus Finch admonishes Scout for making fun of a kid who has dropped in for dinner and proceeds to pour syrup all over his steak.

The first time I encountered chopped hard-boiled eggs in stuffing was at a Thanksgiving dinner in Albuquerque. As I went through the stuffing I took my fork and picked out the bits of hard-boiled eggs. I was not asked back for another meal.

Now I have to tell you, I do enjoy green chile mixed in with my stuffing. I first had that in Roswell. Bits of jalapeno can make for a lively Thanksgiving feast New Mexico style also.

As for the main dish, let’s just leave it as turkey. A couple of years ago The Lady of the House asked if I wanted something different for a holiday meal. I thought about Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and Scrooge calling for a young boy to go out and buy the fattest goose for Bob Cratchit’s table.

“Let’s get a goose,” I proclaimed.

It was the first and last goose I’ll ever eat. The meat was very dark and rich. The bird yielded more grease than meat. It wasn’t cheap either; by my estimation for all the meat we got off it, it cost $15 a pound.

“They ate a lot more fat back then,” said the Lady of the House of the British of Dickens’ time. She should know. Her mom was from London.

Then there are the oysters. Does anyone in Clovis have oysters for Thanksgiving?

Growing up, my family’s Thanksgiving spread included an oyster casserole. I think it was made for my grandmother and her sister who ate most of it.

Writing about my grandmother’s sister, that reminds me of the “parson’s nose.” Aunt Maude always insisted on having the parson’s nose at every Thanksgiving meal. The parson’s nose is the turkey’s tail. I never knew if it was a tradition or a joke.

Now come the turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey a la king and finally, frame soup.

By the way, if you put hard-boiled eggs in your stuffing, don’t mind me. After all, I’m not ashamed to admit I have relatives who put ketchup on their scrambled eggs.

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: