Holiday pop quiz

We are just about to enter, well, you can call it the holidays if you like, but I prefer to use a more truthful description: Eating Season.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day we’re going to be feasting like there’s no tomorrow. Or should I say you are going to be feasting like there’s no tomorrow, because I had an operation that restricts my stomach capacity, and because I’ve lost a pile of weight and would like to keep it that way. I’m sitting this one out as much as humanly possible secure in the knowledge that – feasting notwithstanding – there is, in fact, a tomorrow, and that it will probably involve leftovers.

However, I still have a great deal of eating expertise to offer, a lifetime of useful gustatory knowledge gleaned one heaping forkful at a time, so I offer you this short quiz to help guide you through the next few weeks of gluttony.

1. A proper serving of Mexican wedding cakes is: a) Three, b) A multiple of three. Nine, for instance. Or 27, c) As many as you can glom onto with your hot little hands, using the front of your shirt as a basket or d) How many do you have? That many.

2. We eat turkey at Thanksgiving because: a) It’s traditional, b) It goes well with mashed potatoes, c) We don’t eat it the other 364 days of the year or d) Our ovens aren’t big enough to roast ostriches.

3. Stuffing is: a) A salmonella factory, b) A delicious salmonella factory, c) Something we do as well as something we eat or d) Gooey stale bread, which makes it kind of nasty when you think about it.

4. Pumpkin pie is: a) Necessary, b) Mandatory, c) Required or d) An important part of a good breakfast.

5. When preparing a holiday meal, you should always include a salad for: a) Color balance, b) Nutrition, c) Roughage or d) Comic relief.

6. Green bean casserole with the cream of mushroom soup and the little French fried onions on top is:a) Necessary, b) Mandatory, cc) Required or d) The official side dish of several Midwestern states and a couple of Canadian provinces too.

7. People who serve noodles along with turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing are: a) Piling on, b) Fortunate, c) Hoosiers, particularly Hoosiers from the “Noodle Belt,” the area north of Indianapolis where an Amish-Mennonite influence begins to assert itself on the menus and the waistlines or d) In for quite a melodious evening once all that starch starts moving through their digestive systems.

8. The best adult beverage to serve with a festive holiday meal is: a) Egg Nog, heavy on the Nog, b) Boone’s Farm, c) Cider and vodka or d) Wild Turkey, of course.

9. Although turkey is the traditional holiday roast, one might consider serving such alternatives as: a) Tofurkey, b) Tohicken, c) Torime rib or d) Something else made of soybeans that sort of resembles Play-Doh with gravy. No offense to our vegetarian friends. Or to Play-Doh.

10. When planning a festive seasonal repast, it’s important to consider: a) The dietary requirements of all involved, b) The balance of traditional tastes vs. contemporary culinary developments, c) The table pairings of sweet and savory, crunchy and smooth, Republican and Democrat or d) That you’re going to have to do this at least twice more before the season’s over. And good luck with that.


© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.

— Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at For information on speaking fees and availability, visit