Twice a year — and only twice — I attempt to recreate the dish that defined delicious when I was a kid: Glop.
Sure, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were always wondrous meals. But these feasts were necessarily attended by the sarcasm, back-stabbing and slander familiar to anyone who grew up in an extended, dysfunctional family.
The day after, though, the four kids in my family dined without adult tensions and supervision. And for that feast, we followed this "recipe":
Take peas, mashed potatoes, leftover stuffing, creamed onions, turnips, selected chunks of turkey plucked off the carcass — and, to lubricate it all, spoonfuls of dark brown gravy still quivering from the refrigerator.
Plop it all into the biggest iron skillet in the pantry. Mix together with a wooden spoon. Wait for the telltale “bloop-bloop” as the mixture heats. Sling onto plates, and serve with jellied cranberry sauce.
The final product varies greatly depending on how much of what gets left over. For really good glop, it's important to be sure that there's enough stuffing and gravy. That's why eyes would roll at the children's table as we helplessly watched Uncle Walter pass his plate for thirds.
As with many holiday experiences, the quality of glop varies sharply from year to year — which provides the basis for lively debates and reminiscence of past vintages.