No, Thanksgiving/Footballsgiving/Foodsgiving/Fightsgiving/Shopsgiving/Bingegiving isn't a competition, but once I caught wind of the profession of love, adoration and profanity that Alice was going to publicly give my favorite American holiday, I realized I had to come forward with one of my own.
So, I fucking love you more, Thanksgiving. Let me count the ways:
FAT = AWESOME.
I love that during the days leading up to and long after Thanksgiving, we make dishes we enjoy only once a year, adding up to two more sticks of butter per food item than we ever would otherwise. I blame/thank butter enthusiast Paula Deen for that. And I can totally see why people of other countries think we're bat-shit crazy.
MEAT IS KING.
I love eating turkey birds. There are so many turkeys in this country that we give them away, sell them for 50 cents per pound, eat them for three weeks straight and still come back for more. They come from Butterball, they come organic, cage-free, grain-fed, vegetarian-fed, hormone-injected, petite, fresh or frozen. And we eat 'em up like there's no such thing as hunger in the world. We take those turkeys and we fry 'em, baste 'em, braise 'em, brine 'em, stuff 'em with everything from onions, carrots and celery to oranges, garlic and gym socks. We liquor 'em up, rub them silly with sticks of butter and bathe them in olive oil. I fucking love how the all-day process of preparing a turkey for an organized
meal group binge-eating competition is at once exhilarating and terrifying.
I love that Thanksgiving dinner starts at 3 p.m. Or 2 p.m. Or noon. Whatever, whenever, all day and all night. Growing up we'd go out to a fancy hotel for a Thanksgiving binge at noon and then eat an entire homemade Thanksgiving meal at 7 p.m. We'd never stop eating and I loved every minute of it.
I love tablescapes. Yes, that's a thing. It means a gorgeous dining table that has a theme like silver or white or birds or gourds. The whole dining room changes and is lit by candles and everybody knows candlelight makes you look pretty, and hides any unsavory-looking food mistakes and/or spills down your Thanksgiving outfit.
I LOVE Thanksgiving sides. My list of the sides I prepare is about 12 items long. That list does not include the sides I ask Thanksgiving attendees to bring or the sides I decide to make as I'm perusing no fewer than three separate grocery stores or markets in preparation for the cooking of the Thanksgiving meal. My favorite sides, in order, are as follows:
Macaroni and cheese: the year-round, no-excuses, fat + carbs dish that I love to see in a Thanksgiving supporting role.
Roasted veggies: the one-and-only acceptable healthy-ish item on the Thanksgiving table.
Mashed potatoes: the white item, for color balance. Please insert heavy cream, butter, cheese and/or potato skins into this dish.
Sweet potatoes: the dessert item we call a side. Candied, marshmallowed, smashed, crushed, riced, whatever. Gimme.
Salad: just kidding. Unless it's one of those "salads" made of sweet items like Cool Whip, pineapples, marshmallows and whatever the hell ambrosia is. I don't go anywhere near that shit, but I honestly fucking love that it's a perfectly acceptable side dish on Thanksgiving.
I love that one dessert doesn't even BEGIN to cut it during Thanksgiving week(s). Pecan pie, chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, apple pie, cherry pie, oatmeal cream pie, fudge, cookies, brownies, blondies, chess pie, buttermilk pie, chocolate mousse and that's just the first dessert course. You must top it all off with whipped cream, Cool Whip, Redi Whip, ice cream and/or all of the above. I also love that you can eat pie for breakfast (Or is that just me? Yes? Why aren't y'all eating pie for breakfast?!)
I also love the things that are associated with Thanksgiving, including but not limited to stretchy pants, gourds, feathers, the color orange, leaves changing colors, scarves, skinny women eating their weight in carbs, and especially dogs, cats and babies dressed up as turkeys.
I love the potluck aspect of Thanksgiving. I love that there are pots and there is a great deal of luck. I love that everybody, and I mean everybody, can make something amazing. You can't bake? That's cool, roast some veggies. You only have a can opener and a microwave? That's cool; create a candied yam situation. You want to buy a pie at the grocery store? [record scratch] Nope. Make something. Anything. With your own (well-washed) hands. This is Thanksgiving, people. If you absolutely must buy something because any amount of cooking will cause you to burn your house down, buy wine, beer or liquor and bring that. Because who am I to scold you for helping me get Turkey Day tipsy?
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But I fucking HATE when people talk shit about Thanksgiving. They clearly haven't tasted truly good Thanksgiving food! Or maybe they're
British jealous. Or worse, they hate butter. Maybe they dislike their families, but that's why things like Worksgiving and Friendsgiving exist. The point is, this holiday is about FOOD, and that's something everyone can get behind. So get on board, break the rules, make what's good and eat it all.