• Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Well, come to find out, the Thanksgiving Hex is alive and well in the Ipock family.
As you recall, I wrote a column about this anomaly many years ago – what, with catching the oven on fire, nearly serving rare (as in ‘bloody’, not as in ‘unusual’) Cornish hens, roasting a turkey over hickory chips that left a dry, woody-tasting bird and food-poisoning at a beach restaurant.
For a long time, the Thanksgiving Hex was gone. I thought I’d cracked the code (whatever that means I have no idea, but I love to say, CRACKED THE CODE – it sounds so clandestine and detective-ish.)

This year, however, the Hex reappeared. It all began when our normal large crowd of twenty or so folks dwindled down to a mere four people for this year’s holiday.
So, I talked Katie and Michael, our newlywed daughter and son-in-law, into going to K&W Cafeteria – our treat. Wait!
Let me give credit where credit is due: hub-Russ, aka, Oscar the Grouch, talked us ALL into going to K&W. He said it would be easier, quicker and cheaper – but I know the real truth: it would give him more time to watch football AND he wouldn’t have to help clean up the overflowing, icky kitchen mess.
He also had several friends who’d enjoyed this Thanksgiving tradition and they encouraged him.

At first Katie and Michael insisted on cooking and having us over to their new home, but now that Katie’s a nurse, working the 7 p.m.-7 a.m. shift, it just didn’t make sense.
She would be sleeping most of Thanksgiving Day and it wasn’t fair to expect Michael to do all of the cooking.
So we set a time of 4:30, thinking K&W wouldn’t be so crowded.
They weren’t, either. In fact, we were the first in line. Shock!

 We read the menu and three of us decided to order the Special – turkey and dressing, gravy, two sides, a roll, dessert and tea.
Michael ordered veal parmigiana. Anyway, I didn’t care for the ding-dong dessert, so I asked the first employee at the salad station if I could substitute broccoli salad.
Well! You would’ve thought I asked if I could come back behind the line and serve myself.
She whispered to one boss, who totally ignored her and walked away.
Seriously? She even asked him again.
Then she asked another boss who seemed quite perplexed.
By now, the line was growing.

I could hear the growls and moans of angry pilgrims shuffling up behind me. But, hey, I’m sorry.
It was a simple question. I didn’t want anything sweet and I did want some crunchy broccoli salad.
The second boss seemed to study this dilemma over and over, scratching his chin, almost calculating it, then said, “No! I’m sorry. No substitutions.”
What? I think broccoli costs even less than dessert, but maybe he couldn’t get that math thing working in his head.
I was so flustered I couldn’t decide what to do.
Embarrassed, I just had to keep moving.
Ahem – make that Russell’s outstretched hand placed squarely on my shoulder, shoving me forward, left me no choice.

At that point, Russell had the audacity to say to me and everyone else in the line, “Ann! They DON’T do high-maintenance at the K&W.”
And without thinking twice I said, “I know! That’s why it’s called K&W. It stands for Kan’t and Won’t!” Argh! I was miffed.

Well, I went along with the disappointment until I reached the actual dessert selections, then I swung around and yelled past all those pilgrims to the salad-lady employee, “I’VE CHANGED MY MIND! I WANT THAT BROCCOLI SALAD AND I’LL JUST PAY FOR IT!”
I mean, what’s $1.40 when you’re desperate for a good holiday meal, right? In the meantime, I realized Michael’s meal did not come with a dessert, so I offered him mine, saying quite smugly, “Pick out any dessert you want.”
And he did! So there!

I really don’t want to do a full restaurant review here, but in summary: Russell thought the meal was fine – probably because he picked the place.
I thought the meal was average – probably because he picked the place.
But Katie and Michael were quite pleased, probably because he picked up the bill.
However, out of the entire meal, guess what was the best dish?
The broccoli salad. Darn!

Well, it turns out I’m not the only High Maintenance person in our family.
Russell, himself said after we left Kan’t and Won’t, there was just one thing missing from our normal Thanksgiving meal – leftovers!

Guess we’ll be cooking at home next year.

Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” amipock@ec.rr.com www.annipock.com.


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