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Wishing You a Happily Apolitical Thanksgiving

Perhaps the most peculiar tradition that has been added to Thanksgiving in recent years is the annual spate of essays advising readers how to deal with any political discussions that might arise during a family get-together. Mostly it’s liberal writers and the Democratic Party itself offering debating tips for like-minded readers about how to deal with any crazed right-wing uncle’s or cousin’s objections to Obamacare or a few hundred more thousand immigrants from the Middle East, but occasionally even conservatives will weigh in on how to deal with the left-wing kinfolk’s irrational support for an obviously failed Obamacare system or a flood of refugees from the most insane part of the world, and in every case we think it’s all bosh.
As perhaps the most crazed right-wing cousins of our mostly Republican extended family, one of our favorite dinnertime rants is about how those darn leftists want to politicize even the most personal aspects of our lives. “The personal is the political,” according to the wisdom that feminists passed down to the rest of liberalism, and thus the movie theater and the concert hall and the art gallery that once addressed themselves to the broader human condition are now more narrowly concerned with the latest diktats, those beery sexual encounters between libidinous college students now require consent forms, the well-intentioned opening of a door for a differently-abled person of another color and indeterminate gender is now fraught with potential for some micro-aggression or another, the jokes the guy at the next bar stool tells must now be carefully scrutinized before being laughed at, and even the family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner is seized as an opportunity to harangue that dissenting Uncle into submission.
Well, we’ll have none of that, and an extra helping of the white meat turkey slathered in gravy instead. As much as we appreciate the efforts of the fine folks at the American Enterprise Institute, we’ll ignore their well-considered points to rebut those buttinsky liberal relatives and instead endeavor to steer the conversation toward local sports teams and a piece of that tempting pumpkin pie. We’ll focus on family, food, and football, and all the rest of those still somewhat apolitical things we have to be thankful for. There’s little talk about the politics that will yield any thankfulness at the moment, so we’ll stubbornly insist on at least one day of the year to gratefully contemplate the many blessings that stubbornly persist elsewhere in this mostly wonderful life.

— Bud Norman

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One response

  1. Sweet Potato Soufflé

    Ingredients:

    Two (2) large sweet potatoes
    3/4 cup hot milk
    Half stick of butter
    Teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ tsp. allspice
    ½ cup brown sugar
    2 eggs

    Topping:
    1 cup coarse chopped pecans
    1/3 cup flour
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1/3 cup butter

    Heat oven to 325⁰ F degrees.

    Take 2 large sweet potatoes, skin on, and cut into quarters. Cook in lightly salted water until very tender. Remove to plate. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. The skin should come off very easily.

    Place cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl; add hot milk, butter, salt, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and eggs. Beat thoroughly with an electric mixer at high speed. This will incorporate some air into the mixture but it will not appear fluffy. Taste the mixture and adjust spices and sugar to your individual taste.

    Turn into ovenproof casserole dish. Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes at 325⁰ F.

    Blend topping ingredients. I knead the butter, sugar, flour and nuts with my fingers until they are well mixed. Sprinkle (or dot) the mixture over sweet potatoes.

    Continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes. The topping will have melted and begin to brown. If you are using nuts be careful not to burn the nuts during this step. If not using nuts, the topping can be browned under a broiler.

    Serves 4.

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