Thanksgiving leftovers, a latke and brisket-filled Chanukah party, a chocolate chip cookie tasting, and last night's ten-course meal—help!

20080306-scale.jpgThanksgiving leftovers by themselves are a buttery, greasy, slippery slope when it comes to serious dieting. Nothing good can come of availing yourself of the copious amounts of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and worst of all, pie. But then in my case, I add diet insult to injury by throwing in another early Chanukah party's worth of fattening leftovers into the mix. Needless to say, it wasn't a pretty week. Let me explain.

We had my wife's family over on Thanksgiving at 2 p.m., which means we're digging into leftovers by Thursday night. But because I was weighing in on Friday I managed to steer clear of the particularly dangerous uncontrollable substances: stuffing and pie.

But after my triumphant weigh-in last week the Thanksgiving leftover flood gates opened. It was a veritable stuffing and pie festival on Friday. Then to make matters worse, we went into full-on entertaining and cooking mode on Saturday when my family arrived for our annual Chanukah latke and brisket feed. Even though Chanukah almost invariably begins in early to mid-December, we celebrate it the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend in my family because that's the time my nieces and nephews are all in the New York area.

So picture this: a blizzard of Thanksgiving leftovers plus Vicky and I made a twelve-pound brisket and nearly 100 latkes for my family of twelve. Help!

I did the best I could, starting on Saturday. Like with Thanksgiving, I tried to limit myself to one plate of food. But consider the leftover possibilities in the wake of the two back-to-back feasts: turkey (which we ran out of quickly), gravy (which we unfortunately didn't run out of too quickly), mashed potatoes (made with equal parts heavy cream and butter), sweet potatoes (same deal), lots of cornbread, sausage-apple-pecan stuffing, five kinds of pies, brisket, potato pancakes, and Vicky's seriously delicious buttery date tart. Double help!

As the week wore on we kept trotting out leftovers. We didn't want to be wasteful, and everything stayed pretty delicious until Wednesday night, when we ditched whatever was still around.

That left Thursday to get my serious diet house in order, and wouldn't you know it, Carey had scheduled one of her blind chocolate chip cookie tastings for yesterday, so I was in deep serious diet doo-doo. Plus, Kenji Alt invited all the serious eaters over for a ten-course feast last night. Let's just say that Thursday turned out to be just as challenging as the rest of the week.

The Weigh-In

I'm obviously prepared for the worst. Here goes: 219. Up a pound from last week.

You know what? I'm feeling pretty good about only gaining a pound. Here is the question for all you serious eaters? Is there such a thing as a moral victory in a serious diet when you limit your gain in an insanely caloric land mine-filled week to one pound? I think so, so I'm hereby declaring one.


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