The extended Smith-Duft clans will be gathering in Beaufort, South Carolina today to give thanks and then eat ourselves into food comas. It’s been quite some time since all of us have been together in the Low Country that spewed us forth, so I sent the following “Thanksgiving Rules of Decorum” out as a refresher to remind everyone how we roll at this most gluttonous of gatherings. Here’s hoping your family traditions result in similarly successful results.
1. Gristle may be sucked off bones at the table, but cracking bones to remove the marrow must be done in the kitchen.
2. If there are no pets in the room to blame, all flatulence must be held until such time as a particularly funny joke is told, and the accidental emission adds to the mirth.
3. The tube of cranberry sauce is a decoration, not a food. No touching!
4. You must clear your plate of all objects put upon it before beginning round two. Even stuffed tomatoes.
5. You may only hide peas within a roll if there enough rolls to ensure that everyone else gets as many as they want. If rolls run out, you must eat your pea filled roll before you leave the table.
6. No matter how you hold the fork, it is wrong. If anyone chooses to notice this fact, you must skip a round and look contrite while others eat.
7. Discussion of bodily functions should be reserved for the pause between main course and desert. Comparisons of bodily functions to objects on the table may result in a fork mishandling penalty and forfeiture of dessert rights.
8. If someone disappears for more than 90 seconds, everyone at the table must loudly enquire as to their whereabouts, and whether everything is okay in there.
9. No additional butter is required on the Stouffers Mac and Cheese, unless it touches anything green and you need to offset the effect of the vitamins and minerals.
10. You may not take the hambone out of the green beans and pass them on without taking at least six beans, and not hiding them in your roll. You may elect to butter them before eating.