Turkey Day – The Most Smokin’ of All Holidays, by Tommy Zman

turkey copyThere’s just no question whatsoever that Thanksgiving is America’s favorite holiday. While all other holidays are either days of remembrance or religious in nature, this particular day off from work celebrates your ability to stuff your gourd with more food and drink than the human body is actually capable of containing. I’m not sure the pilgrims could have conceived that what they started hundreds of years ago would have turned into a gluttonous gorge-fest, complete with drunken uncles, NFL football, and yes, cigars a plenty to heighten the food-filled festivities. But none-the-less, it is by far everybody’s fave!

This year, it is T-Day at our home… 23 people, including a gaggle of yard apes who will invade the Zmandome, making me work like a mother-fugger: grocery shopping the Saturday before, prepping the house, and cleaning afterwards – all on top of bingeing like a mental case on a cavalcade of homespun goodness. Did I mention we’re having a sick amount of food? Well, my wife’s family goes bonkers and my mother in-law is the worst culprit of all. On top of the turkey, mashed taters, stuffing, and gravy, this woman spends days making more side dishes than people who are actually coming… Kielbasa and sauerkraut, homemade coleslaw, mac n’ cheese, ziti with vodka sauce, meatballs, sausage, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, salad, cheeses, pierogies, various breads and rolls, and we’re trying to stop her from bringing a ham. NO HAM GODDAMMIT! Enough woman! I’m serious, if I don’t swallow a case of Pepcid AC early that day, I will have the kind acid reflux that could melt the hair off a rhino. (Do rhinos have hair? I don’t know, but you see where I’m going with this.)

My ritual is to always have a mid-to-late-morning cigar before the throng arrives and the first football game begins, this year featuring the Packers and a vastly improved Detroit Lions. Now this first cigar is generally a mild-medium robusto in order to take on some early day flavor, and not too long where the wife starts beeotching that I’m not helping out in the house. This year it’ll be the AVO Classic 5 x 50, a toasty Dominican made, Connecticut shade wrapped smoke that has always been a pre-game stick for me. After wolfing down some appetizers and a couple of Belgian Ales, halftime calls for another smoke, this time a medium bodied delight will do as I need a bit more body to cut through the wings and pepperoni slices. I’ve decided I’m going for a new favorite of mine, the Punch 10th Anniversary Rare Corojo, 5.5 x 50 – sweet, spicy, woody, and smooth with the richest of dark Sumatra wrappers grown in the mountains of Ecuador. Freakin’ yum, boys!

Picture 5After the first ball game is over, much like all of the Who’s down in Whoville, we will feast, feast, feast on roast beast… and anything else that isn’t nailed to the table, counter, oven, or windowsill. With multiple tables joined together, bodies and arms reach for food while thrashing about like a heavy metal holiday mosh pit! And when the moshing is finally done and over, clean-up begins as my mother in-law starts bringing out the desserts, a sheer spectacle of sugar and butter laden treats that are sure to send blood sugar levels into the stratosphere. So while the coffee is brewing and all dinner remnants are being cleared, I gather up the stogie loving faithful for a nice hearty cup of java along with the mandatory post-meal smoke. Yes, I’ve made my decision, and this year’s choice is the full-bodied and oh-so flavorful, Nicaraguan treat known as the Cain F made by Oliva. It’s a 5.75 x 50 remarkably rolled gem made with three ligero leaf longfillers and a delicious Habano wrapper… smooth, yet a full blown kick in the taste buds… something you need to cut through the battery of proteins and carbs you’ve ingested. Then it’s onto the dessert-a-thon, along with that one wafer thin little mint that Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote was coaxed into eating.

Holy, good lord, I am now ready to eat my freakin’ shoes, I made myself so damned hungry. Well, it’s just a few days away from a day of gluttony, pigskin, and premium aged tobacco and I wish you and your throng a wonderful day of god-given goodness.

Enjoy my Peeps,


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