Thursday, April 24, 2014

Trytophan Fix

What's your favorite food?  This is probably the most often asked question ever.  And everyone has an answer. Or answers, in the case of variety freaks like myself. It's an interesting question because of the wide range of answers you'll hear.  Pizza, lobster, crepes Suzette, chicken chow just never know.

But here's one you may not think of right off the bat.  Turkey and dressing.  That's right; the American Thanksgiving staples around which our annual celebration is centered.  Most people probably have this meal once a year.  But, there are others. Others who really dig turkey. Those who are connoisseurs of this great gallinaceous bird. I have known one of these people from the day I was born.  She's my mom.

"I know good turkey when I see it."
 And when I say these folks are connoisseurs, I'm not joking.  She can look at turkey in a restaurant or at a catered event from across the room and tell you if she's going to eat it or not.  You see, it has to be REAL turkey.  

I know, it sounds stupid for me to even say that, but here's what she means.  She cannot tolerate processed turkey like that log shaped "turkey roll" for instance.  She practically gags at the mere utterance of the words "turkey roll."  No, what she seeks is an actual slice of roasted turkey, sliced off the actual bird itself, having never taken a trip through any type of automated machine or formed into any shape other than turkey-shaped.
Turkeys are NOT shaped like circles
 My sister and I have joked for years that if Mom ever ends up on Death Row, she'll pick turkey & dressing for her last meal.  We joke, but it's really not a joke at all.  She'd do it.  She's like the dad on "Christmas Story." 

Interesting carving stance...he just wants that turkey!
 She loves the stuff. So, what's a turkey devotee to do once Thanksgiving comes and goes?  Oh sure, you can buy yourself a turkey and roast it at home on any given Tuesday, but really, does anyone ever actually do that?  But, my Mom has found the answer.  She has found the place to satisfy this need.  If you ever feel like you don't know what day it is, you'll know it's Thursday when my Mom mentions The Cracker Barrel.

Now, you guys know how I am about chain restaurants. For the most part, I hate them but I do acknowledge that they have their time and place.  Frankly, I think the Cracker Barrel is one of the weirdest places on Earth.  I guess their mission statement goes something like "Have the motoring public pull off the Interstate, come eat some overpriced "country food", then wander around aimlessly before ending at the cashier to pay for their meal, a pound of taffy, ballerina costumes for the grandkids and the rocking chair that the spouse is loading into the back of the van".  However, every Thursday, the Cracker Barrel serves real turkey and dressing.  The vegetable du jour is always sweet potato casserole to round out the Thanksgiving experience, if that's what you're going for. 

There you have it.  Real, sliced, roasted turkey every single Thursday of every single week.  For these trytophan fanatics this is like having lunch in Shangri-La. As much as I joke about the Cracker Barrel, I must admit that I'm happy to go there on Thursdays with my mom.  Turkey's her thing, I get it. Until she gets to Heaven... you know, the land of milk and honey turkey and dressing, I'll gladly accompany her to her occasional turkey fix.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on Urbanspoon

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