In Season Cuisine: Taking up Smoking

So the big day has passed.  Too much food, although most of it fantastic.  The corks were popping, yet a pleasant pace set.  No post-turkey naps necessary, no outbursts conjuring long ago wounds.

My traditional Thanksgiving experience is a marathon “visit”.  A family spread across the fruited plane, gets together once a year, and crams in so much conversation that the brains may burst before the bellies.  Although the backdrop of football and dusted-off board games offer some reprieve, they come too late in the day – a day, which often starts the day before.

What’s the best way to make a non-stop visit more palatable?  Give it a break, an interlude.  This is unheard of in my family.  So I took up smoking.

I’ve never been a cigarette guy, although I have inhaled.  I’m not from a smoking family.  I did have a cigar phase, but determined they take a toll on me – either unnecessarily amplifying the buzz factor or killing my voice the next day.  I reserve my cigar chomping for those truly special occasions, which are always initiated by others.  It was my time to initiate.  This was a “special” occasion.  My sanity depended on it.

So I just belt it out, “I’m going outside for a cigar”.  The heads turned in response to the abnormal declaration.  I brought an extra, suspecting company may join me.  After 5 seconds of furrowed brows, I stepped outside alone.

A Punch champion is a $5, medium body, medium length cigar, that takes about a half hour to smoke at a normal pace.  The weather in the north was top notch this year.  I brought my field coat – enough to keep warm and the smoke off my cardigan.  I decided to venture on a walk.  The half-hour went by quickly, but I felt great but the time I got back.  The fresh air refreshed, and the exercise got the belly full of gravy and stuffing to begin the un-congealing process.  I was able to reenter the visiting process revived, and eager to engage.

My only regret was not pushing for company.  The 1:1 “visit” would have been more memorable (for both of us).  I have a goal for next year now.

(I guess I could have just gone for a walk, sans cigar, but after all, it’s about doing everything in style!)

Also: Smoking is bad for you, as the Surgeon General will tell you.  If you partake, understand and accept the risks.