Monday, November 22, 2010

"I hate stuffing" (and other ruminations about thanksgiving, food, and family)

As in, Thanksgiving stuffing. Yep, you heard me right, I really, really don't like that infamous Thanksgiving favorite composed of mushy bread mixed with vegetables (usually celery.  ugh...) and then baked to a crisp.  Maybe it's the fact that vegetarians normally try to showcase it on it's own, whereas it's meant to be stuffed in something, like a turkey, perhaps.

Now, you're probably saying, "But she just hasn't tried my stuffing yet."  Well, you may be right, but I haven't found one I've liked yet.  Give me Sour-cream Gluten ANY day!

What?  What is Sour-cream Gluten you ask?  You mean you haven't heard of it?!  Well, I must remedy that post-haste!  It is only THE BEST THANKSGIVING MEAL YOU COULD EVER MAKE!  That's right, the BEST!

My first memories of Sour-cream gluten are at my Grandpa and Grandma Kurtz's house in Walla Walla, WA.  Because, don'tcha know, Sour-cream Gluten is a Kurtz family tradition.  And when I say tradition, I mean tra-di-tion!  I mean, seriously, my Grandma would start at least a week in advance.  Why?  Because she was souring the cream, of course!  She was a die-hard, that's for sure!  But boy-oh-boy, that Sour-cream Gluten was the most divine stuff you could ever eat!  Chewy, tender gluten steaks drowning in the world's creamiest, tangiest (in the best way possible), most delectable gravy ever!  Spoon that over fluffy mashed potatoes with a side of peas and cranberry sauce, and I promise you'll think you're eating inside the pearly gates!

Later memories of Sour-cream gluten involve begging and begging my mom to make it at EVERY POSSIBLE holiday!  My mom, the ultimate experimenter in the kitchen, shortened the whole process to make it more user friendly (I mean, for real, souring your own cream??  The already soured stuff works just as well, I promise!) and turning out the most amazing versions, albeit not necessarily according to the age-old recipe.  I remember Joel, Mom, and I hovered around the stove, spoons dipping in over and over again, because it was just that good!  Joel: "It needs more LEMON JUICE!"  Me: "It needs more SOUR CREAM!"  Mom: "Donnnnnnnnnn, it's time to eeeeeat!"  Ahh, such good times.  I would inevitably eat the leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and supper until it was gone.  I just wanted to enjoy the goodness as much as I could!

Then there was the time Joel was in Ethiopia.  Mom and I made the meal all alone, with me adding in extra squirts of lemon juice in Joel's honor.  But then Joel wrote back about how he had managed to concoct a version of Sour-cream Gluten using expired tins of..... (wait for it).... BABY FORMULA!!!!!!  That's right, he is momma's boy through and through - always finding ways to make do with what's available!

This year we're scattered all over the globe.  Joel is in Sudan, and I hope for his sake that he's able to scrounge up some more tins of baby formula from somewhere!  Mom and Dad are in Massachusetts, and my Father informs me that he is going to work all of Thanksgiving.  If Mom has anything to say about it, that probably won't happen.... Barry and I are in California, planning to go hiking and backpacking (and studying, of course) for our thanksgiving break.

Will there be Sour-cream gluten for any of us?  Well, that's still to be determined.  Because, to be honest, as amazing as Sour-cream Gluten is, it's more about who you're eating it with than the actual meal itself.  This post is not really about my extreme dislike for stuffing, or my intense love affair with Sour-cream Gluten.  It's about so much more than that.

So are you just dieing for the recipe??  Well, I'll have to give it to you later.  Because, for one, I haven't gotten it from my mom yet.  And two, it changes all the time, depending on where we are and what ingredients we have.  And three, it involves a brother named Joel, a Mom named Janie, and a Dad named Donovan.  If those three ingredients are missing, it's just not quite the same.


Elissa said...

Oh Christy, thank you for this memory! Several times I've wanted to comment on your amazing photos, yet I don't because I'm not really a comment-er, but this time it was too precious to leave without saying something. So, thank-you for sharing.

Elwyn said...

Your words are as fun to read as your pictures are fun to look at.

Jonas said...

I love it when I can hear a person's voice in their writing. I could hear your personality all the way through this one! Fantastic!

"'s [food] more about who you're eating it with than the actual meal itself" : I completely agree.

Christy Joy said...

Thanks John and Elwyn. That's very encouraging!

Elissa! I'm so glad you commented! I just found out that you have a blog! I'm looking forward to reading it :)

Kristin said...

I agree with John :) I could totally hear you telling this as a story (which is great because I really miss your enthusiastic, cheerful voice), and I could hear Joel advocating for more lemon juice and your mom calling your dad to eat :) Thanks for sharing your fun family memories. I wish you and Barry a Thanksgiving full of many blessings despite the long distances between you and your family members.

healthycells said...

Aww Christy, I can't wait to make sour cream gluten with you at Christmas. Maybe we can make a vegan version to take to Maine! After all, this recipe is always in the process of becoming!
And I think we should all have Thanksgiving when Joel gets home! We'll kill the fatted calf and have gluten steaks with all the trimmings!

bekah said...

Christy I think this is my absolutely most favorite blog you've ever written!!!

Christen said...

LOL. I really like this post. Everyone already said what I wanted to say, but I'll just add to the list: I could definitely hear your voice through this. And despite how . . . unappetizing Sour-Cream Gluten sounds, you've practically convinced me to try it some time. :) I hope you get to eat some. But even more importantly, I hope you can get together with the people that you always get to eat it with some day soon.

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