The Secret to a Perfect Thanksgiving
I freaking love Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like filling the house with twenty friends, knowing at least two of them will end up making out on the pile of coats in my bedroom while the rest of us taunt them with pie.
I ignore the creepy and inaccurate pilgrim myth and all the newer politically correct grimness that counters it in favor of unironically celebrating the awesomeness that is America. We gave the world turkey, potatoes, corn and pumpkins. Once a year we revel in that greatness by manifesting our destiny to stuff ourselves with improbable quantities of our indigenous American foods. Then we watch athletes burn off all our calories for us in a ritual act of Football transference. What’s not to love?
Well, the turkey. It turns out I’ve got three vegetarian guests, a vegan, and one person with nitrate allergies, so no brined bird this year.
No problem. I offered to make the dressing with veggie broth and olive oil so it could be a main course for the vegetarians, but the paleo couple threw a fit. They tried sending me a recipe for an alternate dressing made out of onions, walnuts, mushrooms and ground pork. One of the celiac guests countered with a recipe made out of cornmeal, rice flour bread and oysters. It turned into a Pintrest nightmare with both of them posting competing recipes, health studies and veiled threats. Before it came to real-life blows I mercilessly abused Kosher as an excuse to veto both recipes then declared this to be a stuffing-free Thanksgiving.
That’s okay. The side dishes are the best parts of the meal. Well, they should be. I had to get rid of the sweet potato casserole because of a lethal nut allergy. The mashed potatoes and green bean casserole were nixed due to a lactose intolerance, though the paleo people pointed out they wouldn't eat dairy, either. In fact, the paleo folks also sided with the celiacs to remove pie from the menu since neither of them can eat the crust.
That leaves me with a huge bowl of homemade cranberry sauce. It’s vegan, kosher, paleo, celiac friendly, plus free of nitrates, nuts and dairy. It’s the perfect holiday food. In fact, this year, it’s the only holiday food. I have found the secret to a perfect Thanksgiving and it comes in one bowl with twenty straws. Bon appetit.