Sunday, November 27, 2011

turkey manhattan, leftover manhattan

Once a year leftover turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing hog up precious fridge real estate and combined throw an enormous and deep shadow onto every kind of sandwich but one, the turkey Manhattan.  What?  You don't know what a turkey Manhattan is?  You've been living under a panini?  It's been raining around your meatball sub?  You've had your ear buds in for the last ten years, listening to the Dixie Chicks ad nauseum?  Manhattan is only another word for open-faced sandwich, and the turkey Manhattan is the king of Manhattans.  No sandwich compares to the heavily buttered slice of cheap white bread crowned by a pile of Thanksgiving leftovers that is the turkey Manhattan.  I'm dead serious about this.  The king of sandwiches lies flat upon its back.  Here's one, glorious turkey Manhattan—yesterday's—the soft, mid-day light gleaming upon a little chunk of celery.          

A lot of people would probably try to tell you that this sandwich could be bested by swapping out the cheap white bread for some fancy-pants slice of 59-grain this or that, but I disagree.  I am rigidly traditional, and tradition demands the worst bread on the planet.  The bread is the foundation of the sandwich.  One doesn't go about swapping out foundations if one wants his house to stand.  The turkey Manhattan is not a house, but I am firm in my conviction, especially when there is an entire loaf of this junk to be plowed through.

Once a year this bread comes home, the Prodigal Son of White Bread.  What a dream!  It's unsliced and of the lowest quality. I buy it for pure comedy value.  It cracks me up.  You could stuff a couch with it.  In this rich country, this poor bread barely qualifies as food anymore, and for 360 days each year it hides itself.  This, of course, is giving agency to a loaf of foam, but how boring would it be to say that the white bread manufacturers make this seasonal product?  This bread pops onto the supermarket shelves, enters a million turkeys that have been raised in a manner that will make your stomach turn, and then it disappears again, gone for another year, just like me.  I go home once a year to see my family—for Christmas—and then I leave again.  I don't go home for Thanksgiving—I miss home on Thanksgiving.  To respect my own nostalgia, I do not mess with the white bread tradition.  Cheap white bread gives me comfort.  I could use it for a pillow. 

1 comment:

Dr. Crowbar said...

My mom used to use waffles instead of bread for the manhattan. Shitty waffles make a shitty meal, and I hated it as a child. Once I made such a thing with a good waffle, made by myself, my opinion changed. The concept wasn't wrong, the execution was. All hail the turkey manhattan, eaten by manhattoes everywhere.