by Jeanne Adams and Cassondra Murray
Ahhhhhh, the Merry Holiday Season! What doth it mean to thee?
To me, it means a lot of wonderful COOKING!!! Yeah!
Everthing loading the table from stuffing to mashed potatoes, to sweet potoato casserole, to corn pudding, to yeast rolls and gravy and fixin's. Then there's all the desserts and side dishes. Ohhhh and the china and silver that make their gorgeous, shiny presence on the table as well.
Then there's the magnificent smells emantating from the stove and oven and broiler and grill...ahhhhhh!
But there's a big debate around our house, and evidently around the Lair. Yes, yes, it's true, you guessed it its....
(Drum roll please!)
Ham or Turkey?
My dear evil twin Cassondra and I were having this discussion recently. And oddly enough, on opposite sides of the table, so to speak. So we thought we'd present the debate to you, our dear readers, and get your take on the matter.
As for me, I fall on the oink-oink-oink HAM side. While I adore turkey and love it for Thanksgiving, there's just nothing like a pineapple-and-clove-laden ham for the Holidays.
Cassondra: Oh, c'mon. Honestly? There's nothing like a giant TURKEY coming out of the oven.
Jeanne: Well, yeah, at Thanksgiving. But for Christmas, you need Ham.
Cassondra: Right. It must be my country upbringing. I can't help it. We got turkey only twice a year at my house. And watching mom fix that turkey and smelling it cooking? OH MY! I'm sorry, but at heart, even at Christmas I am a Turkey Girl.
Jeanne: Turkey Girl. Snork. Guess that makes me Ham Girl. Hahahahah!
Cassondra: If the apple fits....
Jeanne: Or the stuffing. Grins.
Cassondra: Well, here's another question. White or dark meat? I like dark meat. Everyone around me likes white meat. And that's just fine. MORE DARK MEAT FOR ME! Bwahhhahahaha!
Jeanne: Okay, we DO agree on that. Dark meat, alll the way! Yum! So what else did you have with your turkey, at Christmas?
Cassondra: Oh, we had a traditional meal every year. It never varied. Turkey, with an amazing and simple stuffing made from light bread and celery and onion and lots of sage. Green beans, corn, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, and cranberry sauce, plus my mom's homemade biscuits. Okay, I'm salivating.
Jeanne: Oooooh, yummmy! Sounds fabulous. For me, it's ham, covered with pineapple and cloves, sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows, eeeew!), corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans - you know, Cassondra, good old shelley beans! - asparagus casserole, and spiced apples too. Hmmmm, lets see what else? Oh, by the way, we skip the cranberry sauce. For some reason, I'm the only one who eats it and I always hate to see it go to waste.
Now, I like turkey too, but I have to ask, why turkey instead of ham?
Cassondra: The cool thing that tips the scale in favor of turkey at both holidays, for me, is that my mom made these awesome little treats we call "dressing balls." She took the light bread stuffing mixture, added a bit more moisture so it would cling together a little, then she'd roll it up inot little balls about the size of a truly satisfying meatball. Then she'd bake them in the oven at the end of the turkey's roasting. They came out brown and crispy on the outside, soft and steamy and sagey on the inside. ONLY at the holidays. And once at Thanksgiving was never enough. Still isn't. So, despite my getting tired of turkey leftovers by about a week after Thanksgiving, I'm ready again at Christmas. You just can't go wrong cooking a turkey.
Jeanne: Now, for me, those endless leftovers are one of the things that tips the scale for me in favor of ham. I love dressing, and gravy, but apples and cinnamon and ham just make my mouth water. I'm not a huge fan of dressing, but those meatball sized helpings actually sound good. (Anybody ever made a Yule log, like the one at the right? Tell all!)
Cassondra: Yeah, the leftovers thing is a pain, but for me, I fall firmly on the side of fowl. Fow's that for falliteration?
Jeanne: SNORK! Well, I guess that leaves me happily parading on the party-side of pork!
What about you, dear Banditas and Bandita Buddies?
Are you on Team Gobble or Team Oink?
Ever do both?
C'mon, it's an all out battle between bird and beast! Let the GAMES BEGIN!!!