Poor Biff’s Almanac – Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

Poor Biff's Almanac Graphic (Colored) #1 with Turkey

The week of Thanksgiving is a good time to pause and reflect.  Such introspection helps us realize certain things.

For example, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, it is easy to realize who has used their vacation days judiciously throughout the year and who hasn’t.  The office today was populated solely by schmoes like me who had used up most of their vacation days before today.  On the plus side, it was very quiet, making it much easier to take a nap without being disturbed.  On the minus side, there wasn’t enough ambient noise in the office to wake me up in time to go to lunch.

The quietude today enabled me to reflect on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  The true meaning of Thanksgiving, for those of you who didn’t know, is to be the official start of the Christmas  shopping season.  If you go to any store on this, the Monday before Thanksgiving, looking for Thanksgiving decorations, prepare to be disappointed.  Outside of a freezer full of turkeys and precarious stacks of canned cranberry sauce and Stovetop™ Stuffing, the only evidence of Thanksgiving you are likely to see are big “countdown to black Friday” signs.  They might as well put up signs saying, “Thanksgiving Schmanksgiving!  Prepare to give us your Christmas money!”

And just for the record, Biff loves Stovetop™ Stuffing!   If I find out it’s on the menu, my eyes light up just like the kid in the commercial when he finds out his mom is making Stovetop™ Stuffing for dinner.   But where me and the Kraft corporation part ways is the whole “Stovetop™ Stuffing instead of potatoes” campaign.  I’m sorry, but if anyone tries to come between me and my potatoes, things are going to get unpleasant very quickly.  And if you want to see Biff in a quandary, make me choose between Stovetop™ Stuffing and potatoes.  You’ll see me as indecisive as the midwestern rube on the Let’s Make a Deal show dressed as a scarecrow, trying to choose between the hundred dollar bill that Monty Hall is holding and whatever’s behind the curtain that the lovely Carol Merril is standing in front of.  Vegas has potatoes as the odds-on favorite, but never discount the lure of the curtain (or  Stovetop™ Stuffing).

Where was I?

Oh yes … Thanksgiving.

Well, it’s nearly upon us.  I will be enjoying my annual Thanksgiving – slash – family reunion in Alabama again this year.  The table will be loaded to the point of collapse with fine, traditional Southern Thanksgiving foods.  One of my favorites (in spite of waxing poetic about Stovetop™ Stuffing just now) is homemade cornbread stuffing and giblet gravy.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had honest-to-goodness Southern giblet gravy, but it is so good as to make grown men cry.  I can attest to that, being a grown man.  And also having people at Thanksgiving asking me why I’m crying.   To which I retort, “You shut up!  I’m not crying.  You’re crying!”

Giblet gravy makes Biff a little emotional.

I don’t know what exactly is in giblet gravy, but I am pretty sure I don’t want to know.  Just as it makes grown men cry with sheer joy, it also makes them clutch at their chests and gurgle like a slow-draining sink while their faces turn the same shade as the canned cranberry sauce.  I am pretty sure it is about 90% liquefied turkey fat, and 10% “other” (consisting of a medium onion, diced boiled egg, a few spices, and perhaps a little more turkey fat just for good measure).   I have survived about 40 servings of cornbread dressing and giblet gravy in my life and people back home are starting to look at me in awe.   I have already beaten the over-under and I’m not sure who has 41 servings in the betting pool, but I’m definitely going in for another serving this Thanksgiving!  Wish me luck!  I’m going in!

Speaking of canned cranberry sauce (which we just were … you can scan back over the article if you don’t believe me) … just what the heck is THAT?  I was a little put off of the whole cranberry thing when, as a child of about 6, I was witness to a horrific event.  I was in the kitchen when my aunt removed the end of the cranberry can with the can opener and then shook the can over a little white serving dish.  I watched in fascination and horror as the cranberry colored cylinder slowly emerged from the can with a cringe-inducing scchhhhlllooooorrrrpp!! and plopped onto the serving dish.   It jiggled for a moment and then was still.  I may have turned a little green at the sight and so vowed then and there that I would not eat whatever that was, but would instead double up on the cornbread stuffing and giblet gravy.  Mercifully, I did not have to witness where giblets came from or I would not be the omnivore I am today.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving and that you truly have much to be thankful for this year!





  1. Happy Thanksgiving Biff! Sounds like you’re in for a fun time ☺️
    The thing about the cranberry sauce made me laugh, because my mom would always buy one can of it and it really does just kind of plop out in a cylinder form and then you cut it up. It is rather questionable, probably why I never wanted to try it 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still have the cranberry glass dish our jellied cranberry sauce was served in, although I’ve moved on from that sort of cranberry sauce. Here’s my recommendation for you: grind up a bag of cranberries, one orange, stir in honey to taste, and some chopped, toasted pecans. If there’s any left, it’s great stirred into yogurt or cottage cheese.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really don’t want to re-live the thrills and chills of the multidinous holiday dinners I’ve cooked throughout the three or four centuries I’ve been alive…so I won’t. But I will say that until you’ve cooked a 27 pound turkey with homemade cornbread stuffing (or dressing, if ya wanna get all fancy shmancy), and yup, gravy made with giblets (you’re right about most of that, but I shan’t go into the grislies) for a full-grown man and his four teenage sons, you cannot possibly have an appreciation for the way in which a horde of locusts might have decimated a few thousand acres of wheat or whatever in Biblical days. Or now, for that matter. I understand that locusts are still in production, as are fields of wheat or whatever. I can’t testify to that, as I’ve never seen either one.

    But I can tell you this: I love canned cranberry sauce. And only the cranberry-free variety. After the turkey, baking the pies, baking the cornbread, making the gravy, stripping the corn and roasting or boiling it, and making bisquits (why, oh why does anyone need bisquits *and* cornbread?), etc, opening a can of jellied cranberry sauce is a welcome relief. It’s sort of the valium that eases the anxiety of trying to get all that ridiculous amount of food to all come together in a way of readiness at the same time, without actually being valium.

    I don’t cook those dinners anymore. Nor do I have to deal with family stuff, since my remainders are scattered hither and yon, and I cannot afford to travel to either. So I spend the day in blissful aloneness, relishing the non-necessity of buying or even needing to use relish of any kind, explaining to my katz how much *they* have to be grateful for, because katz in many foreign countries do not get cat toys at holidays, nor do they get holiday food. Sometimes, in fact, they might even *be* food. Something my mother certainly never said to me…though it may have been implied.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours..I for one am grateful to have found your blog, as I enjoy it very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, C.R.! I enjoyed your comment very much. It was quite a good read!

      I can readily sympathize with the Thanksgiving preparations you described, for I’ve been watching my mom do the same for the past 40+ years to prepare for anywhere from 30 to 75 people showing up. I now help her wrestle the 25+ pound turkey into the browning bag and then into the roasting pan since she’s not able to do it herself any more. I also rolled up my sleeves and crumbled up cornbread for the stuffing and did whatever else I could to help out. The best help I can offer most of the time is to just stay out of the way, but I do what I can.

      Thank you again for the comment and the compliment. I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha, This is great! Sounds like our relatives went to the same culinary school! I didn’t eat any Thanksgiving food until I was an adult and pregnant with my first child. Something happens to ravenous women in their third trimester and food that repelled you throughout your entire life now becomes the only thing you fixate on! That year I even ate the cranberry column that tasted deliciously of metal shavings. Now, many years later, I do enjoy the homemade versions of the turkey and all the fixin’.
    Have a great Holiday and thanks for the chuckles 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi there, Biff Sock Pow!!

    Now you had me doing a lot of Googling today! Stovetop stuffing and giblet gravy didn’t ring a bell to my French Canadian ears, and I had to ask The Internets to help me a little…

    The cranberrie sauce incident made me laugh. I don’t know why they still sell this Jell-o like stuff. We also eat a lot of cranberrie sauce during the holidays, but it is the real thing, here. Real cranberries, slowly stirred in real water and real sugar until it looks like something you’d actually want to put on your turkey slice. Nothing you could cut with a knife LOL

    I’d make a batch for you, and send it South in Mason jars, but I have a feeling it would not be there in time to compliment your giblet gravy and stovetop stuffing…. Maybe next year?

    Happy Thanksgiving! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • LoL! Thank you, Cyranny. It is the thought that counts and I very much appreciate the thought. Some people down here do actually make cranberry sauce with real cranberries, as you described, but no one in my family did. The first time I attended a non-family Thanksgiving and saw “real” cranberry sauce, I looked like a complete goober when I asked, “Hey, what is this stuff?”, and then looked doubtful when they told me it was cranberry sauce.

      Looking forward to next year’s shipment of cranberry sauce in Mason jars! Yum!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mouahahahahaahhaha (evil laugh)

        *whispering* I did it again!! Yet another great blogger I’ll be able to stalk in person… Madame Suze didn’t have time to warn him about me!!

        *talking normally again* Yes, it will be a pleasure… And to what adress shall I send that? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • do NOT try Freezingland cranberry sauce! No, no, good Southern boys do NOT need Freezingland products………..what you need instead is good old SOUTHERN Cranberry sauce made from fresh cranberries, mandarin oranges and a ton of sugar, sugar! This can be accomplished by attending to Madame Suze on a fairly regular basis at which point she shall deign to notice you and mail you mason QUART jars of said deliciousness to your humble abode.
        Ignore those screams of frustration emanating from north of the Mason-Dixon line…that’s just the echo of Freezingland seductresses crying out their frustration of failing to send cranberries on time for Thanksgiving.


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