I love the Holidays.
For me, the Holidays start as soon as Halloween is over. Leaves are turning colors (well, sort-of in San Diego), the weather is getting cold (or "less-warm" in San Diego), and I can start start wearing jeans instead of shorts with my sandals (only in San Diego).
But best of all, there's an abundance of Holiday Treats that go around! Cookies, Cakes, Turkeys...I love it all! As one who has no self-control when good food is in the immediate vicinity, I never bake or make any of these unhealthy treats because I would never be able to bring myself to share them. Instead, I'm just opportunistic when I happen to stumble upon a treasure chest of food goodness.
With the Holidays, there is, what I affectionately refer to as the "Prime Time Zone." What is the Prime Time Zone you ask??? Allow me to enlighten you:
The Prime Time Zone is the span of Days that goes from the Day Before thanksgiving, to New Years Day. It is in this span that the best Holiday foods and snacks are in abundance everywhere, and that we allow ourselves a little extra indulgence. Afterall, it is the Holidays.
But why does it start the Day before Thanksgiving? Everyone knows that we all go on vacation the day before a major Holiday. People may show up to work, but they don't work as hard. In my case, I may follow my normal healthy diet until Wednesday night at which point I tell Vanessa that I saw Pumpkin pies on sale for only 3 dollars and what a travesty it would be to not get one and eat the whole thing that same evening. (not that I did that or anything)
On Thanksgiving Day, I ran the "Run for the Hungry" again this year. I love volunteering and participating in charitable work, and this one allowed me the bonus of getting to burn off a few servings of Mashed Potatoes before the big meal! This year, for a little extra pie, I ran BOTH, the 5K and the 10K - extra difficult considering I've run exactly TWICE since the Marathon in May.
For dinner, I drove out to the country in Vista, and had dinner with Jeff's family (as I do nearly every year). I had firsts, seconds, AND thirds of the main meal and followed it with a walk around the mountain to make room for the couple of slices of pie I downed.
This was only the beginning of the weekend food mayhem.
Saturday was probably even worse.
My friend Jon has an annual "Turducken Day Feast" every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now, Jon loves to cook, and his Dad, who was also present, is the head Chef of a popular restaurant in Harrisburg, PA. Additionally, Jon has no shame when it comes to "cooking for taste." Allow me to explain by documenting my food intake chronologically.
2:00 Upon arrival, I help myself to a light beer...innocent enough right?
2:10 I spot "light eggnog." I love Eggnog, so I down the beer and move onto beverage number 2.
2:20 I spot the regular, non-light Eggnog. Hmmm, a little taste won't hurt. Good lord that's heaven in a milk carton! I'll go ahead and have a glass...afterall, it's the Holidays!
2:22 I am informed that Eggnog should be consumed with a splash of Brandi. Not being one to argue with tradition, I partake.
2:30 I spot a huge box of stuff. When I inquire, I am informed by Jon that it contains 15 pounds of Bacon. FIFTEEN POUNDS OF BACON!
2:35 I partake in the Bacon wrapped shrimps. Shrimp is healthy right?
2:40 I partake in the mini-blt's. Lettuce is healthy right?
2:45 Braeden is eating a Klondike Ice Cream Bar in front of me. I have no self control and attack the freezer. Ice cream is hea....ahh, who am I kidding.
3:00 Someone arrives with Loompias and more Eggnog. To be polite, I help myself to both.
3:30 Layla informs me that she made cookie bars that are to die for. How am I supposed to say no to that? I have two.
4:00 Eggnog is out. Back to beer.
4:30 I am in a heated game of "Blokus" (which is one of my new favorite board-games) and forget to eat for about an hour. Unforgivable.
5:30 Dinner is served! For those of you who don't know, Turducken is a de-boned Turkey stuffed with a Duck, which is in-turn stuffed with a Chicken. In between the birds are layers of stuffing and, as Jon's personal touch, BACON.
5:40 Jon informs us that he also secretly cooked a "Bacon Explosion" also known as "The Most Unhealthy Food in the World." The Bacon Explosion is a lattice of seasoned bacon covered with a thick layer of Italian Sausage which is then covered with fried bacon. This is then rolled into a log and cooked.
It is especially useful for those looking to have an instant heart attack. Naturally, I had two slices from the Bacon Explosion log.
7:00 Time for dessert. Kahlua balls, Apple Pie, and Pumpkin pie. I'll have one of each please.
7:20 Dessert seconds.
I believe that marked the end of my Turducken day debauchery. I did run eight miles earlier to offset some of the damage, but I probably would have had to run a marathon to due that. AND, just to put an exclamation point on my love for unhealthy eating before heading up to Alaska for the rest of the Holidays, I am a food and dessert judge for the Operations and Quality Engineering party at my office.
I love the Holidays!