Monday, November 30, 2009

Tulsa for Turkey

There was a time in my life that I believed that Thanksgiving was not a holiday but rather a place where one went, ate too much and pretended to play football like the pros (until someone got hurt). This was a great time filled with family memories, inside jokes and lots of food. And then turkey sandwiches for a snack after football.

But this rosy picture of familial harmony has long since disappeared and Thanksgiving is no longer that place of over eating, laughs and all-but-assured back injury. But over the past three years Thanksgiving has once again become a place for me and that place is Tulsa.

Getting married comes with lots of bonuses, like sharing the holiday visiting schedule. In our arrangement, my family is visited during Passover and my lovely wife’s family is visited on Thanksgiving. This set up has worked for the past few years and looks like it will hold true for many more to come.

While we don’t play football, nor do I know all of inside jokes, for the most part the overeating is a constant.

In previous trips to Tulsa I went to a Monster Truck Rally and got married. But this time the only reason to be in the fine state of Oklahoma was for Turkey, and celebrating our freedom and the historic oppression of Native Americans (which is pretty funny considering the location).

But in all seriousness, this day of copious consumption is not complete without pie. Many people will disagree with me on this point, saying that turkey is the most important or perhaps stuffing or even the sweet potatoes with marshmallows (which is often referred to as pie but not the kind I am talking about here).

Yet they are wrong.

Thanksgiving is always in need of pie. See even Saint Tigerlilly agrees with me. Pie is key.

We meet up with one of the seven of you who read this thing because his family also lives in Tulsa. After attempting to sit and talk at three different bars and the one we found forced us our through audio based torture, we headed over to what can only be described as a Midwestern Mecca of pie. For those of you familiar with Davis, it was Tulsa’s take on Baker’s Square (In fact it is owned by American Blue Ribbon Holdings which also owns Baker’s Square.) The Village Inn on Harvard in “midtown” Tulsa served me my first pie of this Thanksgiving season.

It was not even close to traditional but this cacophony of sugar, chocolate and peanut butter spoke to my soul and fulfilled my need for crusty goodness. I could eat another piece of that Peanut Butter Cup Pie right this second if only there was a place like the Village Inn here in New York City, but alas I will have to wait until next year.

I missed out on the pecan pie until Saturday night while doing some leftover eating and college football watching. This pie from some local bakery was so damn good. The custard was perfect, extremely sweet but not to the point it hurts your teeth and the crust was flaky but still moist. The pecans were also good but really we know this pie is all about the goop of nutty custard and that was stellar.

See while my pie consumption was not over the top, the rest of my holiday eating was up to par with American standards. I ate so much on Thanksgiving that I had to walk around the block three times. Thus I was unable to enjoy the desserts on that night, but I made up for it. The trip to the Village Inn accompanied by a slice of pecan pie fulfilled my holiday obligation of confectionary thanks giving.

I am going to make a pie this weekend in honor of the wonderful pies I had when I went to that place called Thanksgiving. Until then my pie eating friends, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

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