In honor of the following true story about Thanksgiving salmons, I share this recent video featuring repeat salmon deliveries. Watch it and you will see…
Now then, I met my in-laws for the first time on Thanksgiving Day, and being consummate hosts they included a beautiful salmon in their dinner menu as some of those attending the meal no longer ate fowl but did eat fish. Partly to ingratiate myself with my paramour’s parents and partly because it really was true, I made a big deal about that fish. “Oh, how thoughtful of you to cook with everyone in mind!” I gushed. “Salmon is such a beautiful color! It matches the oranges and browns and reds of the traditional cranberries and gravies.” I even went out on a tiny limb and proclaimed salmon to be “slightly gamey, just as turkey is to chicken” and therefore the perfect counterpoint to the requisite bird. On and on, I made a big deal out of that Thanksgiving salmon!
So impressed were the “outlaws” (as they have since come be known) by my vociferous pontifications on Oncorhynchus that said delicacy returned the next year when we celebrated Thanksgiving again, despite the lack of a pescaterian at the table. “Just for you!” beamed the hosts, “since you are so enamored with the fish.” A salmon! Hooray! I joined in the celebration of food, family and fine-finned fodder.
And so it went on, year after year. A huge, beautiful salmon next to the turkey that was inevitably boxed up with other leftovers and sent home. After several years it became apparent that the parents were sending the entire uneaten portion of the fish home with us. Realizing they did not really love the salmon so much as they loved me, I broke out in fits of laughter on the drive home.
“One of these years I have to tell your parents … I hate salmon!” Well, hate is a strong word, but you get the point. I don’t need an entire huge salmon to myself every year. In fact, no salmon at all is fine and has been so ever since I fessed up to the outlaws.
The lessons here are twofold. One, don’t underestimate the power of compliments and sucking up to the inlaws. Two, eat foods you like but don’t get enough of on Thanksgiving. So now, if you will excuse me, my family is waiting over by that that leg of lamb.