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    Friday, December 01, 2023

    Seven weeks of sweet gluttony

    Starting around October 20, when the wise shopper stocks up on candy for the impending Halloween processional — intentionally overestimating to guarantee there’ll be plenty left over for in-home, post-trick or treat snacking — through the first week of January 2024, it’s entirely possible you won’t eat ANYTHING healthy.

    That’s 10 weeks of, “Well, it’s the season, after all!” self-justification for a caloric bacchanal, and it guarantees three things.

    1. Plenty of nervous cardiologist jokes.

    2. Health club/fitness salespersons rubbing their hands in anticipation of New Year “join a gym and get rid of those holiday pounds!” resolutions. By now, this annual exercise in blanket futility should genuinely trouble social scientists as an indication that we as a species are indeed getting stupider.

    3. No one eats candy canes.

    I know what you’re thinking. It can’t ALL be unhealthy, right?

    You’ll quickly go through a mental checklist of anticipated feasts and party foods that includes pies and puddings and rich gravies and a turducken — what fool brought that?! — and cheese/charcuterie platters and cookies and ... oh! Hold on!

    NOW you remember something theoretically “good” for you.

    On Thanksgiving, some well-meaning — and let’s admit it, weird — relative will bring a YAM dish that on surface passes for “healthy.” But ... go deeper. What IS a yam, really? And whatever “good” properties it may have when pulled out of the ground will be negated by marshmallows or brown sugar and butter. Possibly cinnamon.

    OK, wait! I looked it up.

    A yam, according to that most reliable source, Wikipedia, is “a monocot related to lilies and grasses” and “are vigorous herbaceous, perennially growing vines from a tuber.”

    Wikipedia doesn’t explain why the verb agreement in their definition switches from singular to plural, but we get the idea — at least if you know what a “monocot” is, and look forward to eating food “related to lilies and grasses,” and you aren’t at least somewhat intimidated by something that’s vigorously herbaceous, and you’re one of those folks who can get past the fact that “tuber” just doesn’t sound like something that’s fun to eat.

    I suppose, in this eerie world, it’s a pretty good idea to just enjoy the holidays however we may. If that means eating a few extra cookies — or maybe even going for a long, relaxing run — do it! And if it’s the latter, and you happen to jog by a field of monocots, dig up a few of them and bring them to Christmas dinner.

    They’re delicious, particularly served with candy canes.

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