Do you know what happens when you’re off work for almost two weeks straight, during the holidays, and both of your children are home from/or out of college? You do a lot of laughing, a lot of catching up, a LOT of cooking, and a HUGE amount of eating.
On the weekends, or days we are not working, my husband and I generally eat two meals a day. We eat a late breakfast, or brunch if you will, and then 3 and 4 o’clock we eat the meal we call Sunch. Well actually, my kids and I nicknamed it Sunch a long, long time ago; it’s a combination of lunch and supper. It works out great for us, we eat less and our last meal is late in the afternoon so we’re not lying down with a full stomach at bedtime.
That schedule does not happen when young people are home, they eat three squares a day, as my grandmother used to say, and they eat BIG, full course meals, that you can watch expanding your thighs as you eat.
Now add in the holiday meals where you are preparing and eating every food category and every dessert known to mankind. And you don’t just eat all that when the whole family gathers and breaks bread and calorie boundaries; you eat that meal at LEAST two more times afterward because of all the leftovers. And oh my grand, the desserts JUST WON’T DIE. They are everywhere, covered by a pie plate cover or a cake cover, none of which deters anyone, because we all know what’s in there just waiting to be finished off.
Since these holidays/two weeks happen during Christmas and New Year’s Day, those are your two big meals. Our Christmas meal is pretty much a duplication of our Thanksgiving meal, and all in all, it’s pretty healthy as big meals go. But if you follow tradition, the New Year’s Day menu is full of hog jowls, additional cooked pork of some kind, dried black eye peas cooked with bacon grease or more hog jowls, fresh turnip greens cooked the same way, mashed potatoes, whole kernel corn and cornbread; all the foods with their additional tasty additives that scream high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
I work for some of the most kind and generous people I have ever known; and their generosity and all the extra days off during those holidays to spend more time with my family is so greatly appreciated. But I told my husband this morning as we drank our morning coffee, that I honestly couldn’t wait to go back to work tomorrow. That I couldn’t wait to step back from the food table and have my mind filled with thoughts of nothing but what I do for a living rather than what I’m cooking for breakfast, lunch or supper.
The real trick is figuring out how in the world to force myself to shuck these sweatpants that have been my clothing of choice for two weeks and put on some real clothes!