Thanksgiving’s Samba Beat: Mexicali Trot Enchiladas

28 Nov

Is Stephen horrified? Pleased? Delighted? Disgusted? I doubt even he knows. Welcome to the holiday season, folks.

Thanksgiving is so hard to pin down.

Time to roll!

It’s a series of smiles, grimaces, guffaws, silent primal screams behind closed doors, cries of panic in the night, unsuccessful attempts to find a small island for your happy place as a heaving storm of personality quirks breaks at the dangerously eroded shores of your sanity.

Lifeguard! (Or, in my case, bartender!)

Make it a double, Dad.

Stick of melted butter with parsley and salt lathered on the skin, cheesecloth, half-stick of cold butter in chunks. Divine.

But then before you know it, 12 hours have passed – your home is squeaky clean, your oven is packed to the gills, your living room is full of screaming relatives, you’ve been sipping wine and popping cubes of incredible blue cheese in your mouth for hours, and it’s time for dinner.


You’re done, darling (now you just have to do the dishes).

But my favorite part of Thanksgiving? The leftovers.

My fridge looks like it is being held hostage by an obese family of 20 who has stocked up just in case of famine. It’s thrilling! I can’t help but open it and just peek every once in a while at the possibilities.

Burnt pumpkin, pumpkin mousse or apple? Apple every time.

My mind, still addled from the holiday hoopla, wandered all weekend. It took my body (and Stephen and Penny’s) for a jaunt to the house that has been abandoned near our own home. It’s the talk of our little town, and I’ve heard at least a dozen different rumors about its owners and the reasons for which it has been left in the state of low-rent Grey Gardens decrepitude to which it rather picturesquely sunk, apparently many years ago.

Insert ailin' well pun here

Bringing the organic design concept full circle; a tree-house for the "new economy"

The driveway has been subsumed by hungry weeds

Penny busts a move for the exit

It’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving jaunt: surreal, creepy, almost inspiring in its mule-headed refusal to keep up with the world around it, just like everyone’s favorite wacky uncle.

Between little field trips around our ‘hood, cackling with delight at our newly messy but blissfully empty house, celebrating our holiday weekend with early happy hours and eating pie for breakfast (my mom won the annual Willcox Thanksgiving pie-making contest with her incomparable apple; we both made pumpkin – both were good, but nothing’s like her gorgeous and delicious apple), we munched on turkey clubs until we didn’t want to look at mayo or toast for at least an hour.

To tide us over, I made a batch of turkey enchiladas that sway to the post-Thanksgiving slurry, bloated beat with a Mexican samba. Oh, baby, arriba!

Farewell, Thanksgiving.

Bring it on holiday season!

A welcome e-visit from Amy and Beth in Providence. Keep it real, ladies.

Click on for the recipe.

Make a run for the border


Makes 4 servings


  • 2 cups shredded turkey meat
  • 2/3 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2/3 cup of mashed potatoes
  • ½ a pickled jalapeno (optional – it adds a great little spicy, vinegar kick! A regular jalapeno or diced red onion would work too)
  • 2/3 cup gravy
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • ½ avocado, chopped into hearty chunks, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro and chives, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray shallow baking dish with vegetable oil spray and set aside.
  • Mix together the turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes in a bowl with the jalapeno, if using.
  • Dollop into corn tortillas and roll up like a cigar. Place seam down in the baking dish.
  • Top with gravy, grated cheese. Cover with foil and pop in the oven until warmed through and the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Add desired garnishes and serve.

Nutritional Breakdown of Mexicali-Trot-Enchilada: Let’s face it – who knows? And more importantly, I don’t want to. Not on Thanksgiving.

Cost Breakdown of Mexicali-Trot-Enchilada: Free-ish. Hey, they’re leftovers! If I dipped them in caviar and threw them on edible gold leaflets, they’d still be free-ish.

Verdict / In the Future: The cranberry sauce and jalapenos cut the richness of the turkey, cheese and avocado. The potatoes bind it together. The gravy makes it marvelous.

This beats the club

One Response to “Thanksgiving’s Samba Beat: Mexicali Trot Enchiladas”

  1. Susan November 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    A thoroughly entertaining read!

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