A Middle Aged Woman Laughs at Her Foodie Obsessions
By: Mary Fran Bontempo

It’s still a week away, but I can’t wait. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I say that I love it because there are no gifts involved, no hours wasted wandering malls, spending exorbitant amounts of money on things no one really needs. I say that I love it because the holiday is just about loved ones gathering and enjoying each other’s company.

I say all of that stuff because it sounds good. The truth of the matter is, I love Thanksgiving because it’s all about food.

Like fellow blogger Chrysa Smith, I am a food junkie, raised in a house of food junkies and now raising food junkies of my own. My addictions are not merely to sweets and junk food, although in the interest of fairness, everything gets equal time. No, I love real food. Home cooked meals. Full course breakfasts, lunches and dinners. My days are planned around what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it I can eat and still indulge in dessert without too much guilt.

Like anyone dealing with an obsession, even my moods are governed by my passion. On days when I seem particularly cranky, my husband will often look at me and say, “I think you need to go and eat a sandwich. Talk to me when you’re full.”

Usually, he’s right. Even my kids know not to ask me anything important if I’m hungry. The standard reply is a growl and a baring of teeth.

What better holiday for a food-a-holic then, than Thanksgiving?

When I was a child, Thanksgiving was spent with my Italian grandparents in South Philadelphia. We arrived and immediately began digging into the antipasto and Italian bread. Pasta, meatballs, sausage, and salad followed. Then, we had the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce. (No one was going to accuse us of being un-American, even if we exploded in the process of proving it.)

Needless to say, the eating took all day and there was always something more to eat. I think I was the only ten-year-old who knew what heartburn felt like from first-hand experience.

As an adult, the Thanksgiving feast has become my job, one which I happily undertake. (I rarely leave my stomach to chance.) I’ve eliminated the pasta course, instead over-indulging on traditional American fare. I handle the turkey, stuffing and some other essentials, while family members contribute an amazing variety of side dishes to the meal. The eating still takes all day, with appetizers served for the first hour or so, then dinner, then an astounding assortment of desserts which no one has room for, but which we all eat anyway.

As if to enforce the food junkie legacy and prove there’s no fighting our gene pool, my siblings bring their own containers for leftovers. Just try and keep us from that day-after turkey sandwich and sweet potato casserole. Black Friday for us is set aside purely for munching, not shopping. Food is divided up and I happily anticipate a weekend of culinary indulgence and a full stomach, smiling all the while.

Go ahead, kids, ask me anything.

What are your favorite “foodie” obsessions?  Click “comments” below, in red, and share!