|Daniel's stuffing on my plate on the day after Thanksgiving, 2011.|
If you're in the "stuffing for breakfast" camp, you either ate some yourself this morning or you're jealous that I had leftover stuffing to eat for breakfast. If you're in the "NO WAY!" camp, let me say that this wasn't just any stuffing-- it was my friend Daniel's famous cornbread-sausage stuffing. When you break it down into it's two main components--corn bread and sausage-- you really do have the makings of a great breakfast.
This morning I got up early with my two young daughters while my husband slept in. I fed the girls their favorite breakfast of cinnamon raisin toast with cream cheese, made myself some coffee, and stood in front of an open refrigerator, trying to find something easy to eat for breakfast. That's when I spotted the tupperware container of stuffing. By the time I scooped the stuffing into a bowl and pressed "start" on the microwave, I heard my husband get out of bed. I instantly froze and waited to make sure he was in the shower before I got the bowl out of the microwave. When I realized I was safe to eat my cornbread sausage stuffing in peace, I also realized that what I was doing was somewhat crazy. Why did I care if I was discovered eating stuffing for breakfast? There were only two possible answers.
Answer #1: I didn't want my husband to make fun of me for eating stuffing for breakfast. When I thought this one through, it was clear that this wasn't the reason. My husband eats far grosser concoctions on a regular basis. Even if he did think it was gross, the worst he'd do was laugh at me for not wanting to get caught. Whatever.
Answer #2: I didn't want to share the stuffing. It's not a pretty answer, but it's true.
I did NOT want to share my stuffing for breakfast. I'd carefully divided the last of the stuffing into two breakfast-sized portions and if I shared with my husband today, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the last of the stuffing tomorrow. After all, this was the last stuffing I was going to get FOR THE WHOLE YEAR TO COME and I didn't want it to go to someone who didn't appreciate it as much as I did. This isn't as selfish as it sounds. Ok, maybe it is, but I didn't care. I'd gotten this stuffing from my friend Daniel when I went to eat at his house on Friday. I'd brought my tupperware container of turkey and stuffing home and my family and I ate it for dinner that night. I'd already shared the stuffing.
As I've already mentioned, this is not just any stuffing. This was stuffing made from homemade cornbread and sweet Italian sausage and it is my absolute favorite stuffing for several reasons. First and foremost, it is the most amazing stuffing in the world. But perhaps more importantly, I have eaten this stuffing on the day after Thanksgiving for the past twenty years. It's not leftover stuffing either. It's a special Day-After-Thanksgiving Day meal that Daniel prepares for me and a rotating group of our friends each year. Sometimes we call this meal "Y-Giving" because although we all have friends and families to visit on Thanksgiving Day, we still want to have a second and equally important meal with our friends from our grad school days on the day after Thanksgiving.
I'm not the only person in the world who places equal value on two entirely separate Thanksgiving meals. In fact, my husband's cousin Sue said the same thing while she was in the midst of preparing the Thanksgiving Day meal for her entire family-- a family that I am very pleased to call my own. Sue is a great cook and she always makes an amazing meal for at least 13 people, but she told me that she attends a yearly Thanksgiving meal with her law-school friends the week before Thanksgiving. She spoke of her pre-Thanksgiving meal tradition with all the fondness and commitment that I feel for my meal with Daniel and our revolving circle of friends-- friends who have been a part of our family of friends for twenty years. It was nice to hear that someone else could feel equal enthusiasm for two very different meals and families.
I feel justified in wanting to hoard my last bit of Daniel's "Y-Giving" stuffing. This stuffing has been a part of my Thanksgiving tradition for much longer than my husband has been. I'm rather fond of my husband and our family and I wouldn't trade our big family Thanksgiving for anything. But the stuffing is all mine.