Notes For An Elegant Thanksgiving

Notes For An Elegant Thanksgiving November 23, 2017


Gobble Gobble, everyone! It’s time to talk turkey with some entertaining tips from the Marchioness of Manners, Mary Pezzulo!

First of all, a word about the recipes I keep seeing from Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has been filling my facebook news feed with those irritating fast-motion recipe demonstrations for weeks now, and most of them seem to involve adding processed cheese, bacon and jalapeño peppers to things that don’t require them: things like cornbread, corn pudding and biscuits. It is my opinion that the intended purpose of cornbread, corn pudding and biscuits is to soak up sausage gravy, and I just don’t see how more grease and jalapeño peppers enhances the sausage gravy experience. Two years ago everything had to have pumpkin spice; last year it was salted caramel; this year it’s processed cheese, bacon and jalapeño peppers. Next year maybe they’ll be dipping pumpkin spice cheese-stuffed jalapeños in salted caramel at Thanksgiving. I’ll pass.

Buzzfeed’s additional suggestion is that you coat the turkey in Flamin’ Hot Cheeto crumbs until it looks kind of like a decapitated Elmo. To anyone excited to try this unique recipe, let me just say: spices. Spices. There are things called spices. They’re similar to Flamin’ Hot Cheeto crumbs only they come in little jars and are either pre-crushed for your convenience or can be crushed at the table with a fun ratchety grinder crank. Not to mention, there’s considerably more varieties of spices than there are of Cheetos.  True, between five hundred and a thousand years ago spices were prohibitively expensive, but they’re reasonably priced now and you can buy them at your local grocery store. Stuffing the bird with some chopped aromatics along with the spices is also nice. Use a plastic knife for safety, don’t forget to wash your hands, and ask a grown-up to turn on the oven for you.

Next, a word about sportsball. Apparently, many people like to sit around and watch some kind of televised sporting event after Thanksgiving dinner. This places them at odds with the people who think they’re supposed to use that time to perform a contrived family bonding exercise like playing Charades. I don’t have first hand experience with either of those two activities, because I always take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner. But it’s my opinion that people who enjoy sporting events should be allowed to watch them without guilt from the contrived-activity-loving people. Enjoy your game. Go team go. Score many points, unless it’s one of those games where you’re supposed to do the opposite.

Finally, a friendly warning: a recent poll has suggested that one in three Americans dread political talk at the Thanksgiving table. This number seems odd to me. It suggests that two out of three Americans either have no opinion or like it. I can’t imagine anything I’d like to do less while I’m trying to digest a dense wad of hot peppers than talk about politics.  I do understand the urge to discuss politics at Thanksgiving. After all, politics are the reason we have a Thanksgiving. Politics drove the Pilgrims across the sea in search of the liberty to establish their own repressive theocracy; politics created the government that grants everyone who doesn’t work in retail or restaurants a day off to celebrate; politics governs and rigs the economy that depends so desperately on Black Friday. The whole thing is politics. But none of those topics is remotely appetizing. For a more pleasant and civilized Thanksgiving, try guiding the conversation to something else, such as kegels, circumcision, Amoris Laetitia, or whether or not Harry Potter is demonic. You can escape during the ensuing chaos and find a Chinese restaurant.

The Chinese restaurant will certainly not sprinkle Cheeto crumbs on anything, and you’ll get back just in time for pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!


(image via Pixabay) 









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