As temperate October gives way to mercurial fall the sounds of impending holiday cheer beckons legions of folks to wonder just how much more food will be ingested between now and the New Year, leading to the inevitable affirmations to diet and exercise as soon as the ball has dropped. No one asks themselves "Should eat that?" before January, only "how much can I eat without looking unseemly?" Right before the excesses of Halloween threaten to turn adults into kid-like candy monsters, processed food manufacturers are already tempting our collectively vulnerable will power to "add a Kit Kat to your daily coffee break". Or "have a pumpkin muffin with your latte." The sugary snacking possibilities are endless. Then comes the great American friendship celebration of Thanksgiving, replete with artery-hardening buttery laded whipped mashed potatoes, tooth aching servings of pumpkin pie topped with sweet cream and endless portions of honey ham topped w succulent brown sugar sauce. By the time December and the obligatory holiday parties rolls around most of us are ready to abandon all resolve to go get fitted with a lap band and artery cleaning surgery.
All of these tried and true machinations begs the question- is it ever a real celebration without food? Why is it that conspicuous gastromonic consumption equals a good time? Can we learn to enjoy ourselves and have fun without the need to feed? Or is it inherent to human nature that excess is the only way? I shall be reflecting over this age old question as I help myself to a healthy dose of guilt and sweet potato pie.