I’m on a train. On the internet. Kind of.. Not enough interwebs to put cool stuff in my post. Stick it out. A thick glasses-type wearing a Yale sweatshirt across the aisle seems to have found the solution to the debt crisis at the top of his left nasal passage. DIG NERD! DIG! The Amtrak Northeast Regional feels like the Hogwarts Express. Random ‘Cac sweatshirts lift n roight. Despite the disparate nature of my traveling companions, our destination is common. Fat beds, our own showers, our dogs, and, perhaps most importantly, an all-access refrigerator stocked full of pre- and post-Thanksgiving delicacies begging us to indulge our wildest and most creative edible fantasies. Yes, mom might miss half of her pumpkin pie when the feast’s finale rolls around, but Aunt Kathy lived through the 60’s, she’ll back you up when you plead the
(munchies) fif. Yes, the fridge will still be there when you get back from the bar Wednesday night, and no, turducken is not best served raw, walking, or with your right arm shoved up its lil turducken pooter, you neanderthal. You wait until your saint of a mother has cooked that bad bird up and you eat it with your family, like the Mom-fearing tuition beneficiary that you are. Cut her some slack. She knows you’re a collegiate calorie hound with an insatiable desire for melted cheese and Turtle Bars. What she may not know though, is that you played in or watched an epic Turkey (mud) Bowl touch football game on Turkey Day, and that you were in your bent-up element with your high school’s finest the night before. Watching football is strenuous. So are hangovers. Chay mom, and make me some chili. With Velveeta.
When it comes to the actual feast, ‘Cac traditions are as plentiful as they are varied. From communism-esque task and food distribution, to Adam Smith-style dog-eat-dog dinner table warfare, each family handles the crush a little differently. Allow me to offer up a few strategies to upgrade your own tryptophanic pheasant pheast. These can be combined and altered to suit your nomming needs.
1. the T-Givswich.
- Dependent on the size and quality of your family’s dinner roll situation, the T-Givswich functions either as a full dinner replacement, or as a small break from the knife-fork shoveling standard. First, if you are a small dinner roll family, split your roll. If you’re more about the sliced bread, cut two thin but sizeable slices. Regardless of bread size, lump some of everything on your plate onto the ‘Givswich, layering and combining flavors as you see fit. Shunning fork and knife in favor of God-given digits, indulge, and watch as the relatives and friends around your table kowtow in your superior Thanksgiving presence.
2. Tater Crater
- A classic, and an obvious solution for the OCD-no-food-touching-types at your table. When ladling the gravy onto your mashed potatoes, use the bottom of the spoon to push a “crater” of sorts down into your mountain of mashies. Slowly turn the spoon over, pouring the gravy into your newly-formed receptacle. (NB: don’t be the guy or girl who gets potato stuck all on the underside of the gravy spoon when you put it back in the gravy bowl. Don’t.)
3. Cran/Stuff combo
- Thanksgiving dinner was served a few days early in the Jane Addams dining hall at Connecticut College, to accommodate asshole Californians who left like a week before we were supposed to get out. At said dinner I found the stuffing offered to be, at first glance, rather repulsive. Brown, green, and goldenrod are all acceptable colors to find in stuffing. Not maroon. Nothing other than divine intervention could have moved me to spoon this strange substance onto my plate. Upon returning to my seat and tackling my first bite, my audacity was rewarded with a sweet and hearty stuffing mash, and I could not have been happier with myself. Cranberry sauce and stuffing. That’s what South Dakota does. Maybe?
4. Late-stage Turkey + BBQ/Béarnaise Sauce Dip Maneuver
- This is a tactic that rewards self-restraint and delayed gratification. If you see the other feasters beginning to slow down on their meal and you still have some room for more bird, consider this. Though the feast could be prolonged at this point, it is clear that, as a ‘Cacian, and thus an assumed late-nighter, you will without a doubt have first dibs on leftover turkey. Late at night, arise from your domain. Take the leftover turkey. Take it. Cold. Fill a receptacle (upside down beer cans work well) with (Sweet Baby Ray’s) barbecue sauce or béarnaise sauce. Nip it and dip it. Goddammmmajestic.
- “Hey Grandpa, that your new Caddy outside? Yeah okay, you see that Volvo wagon I got in the driveway? Yeahhh the one with the sunroof AND the side airbags. You blew it right? Coulda had one of these bad boys… Well listen, I got a proposition for ya. You finish that tater crater before I finish this here turkey leg and you get the eating title; I seen the way that tooth of yours still works. But if I win, it’s pink slips. No questions asked, you n Granny roll back to Albany in the ‘wagon and the coup Deville is mine.”
6. Gravy Douse
- For the gravy enthusiast. Especially valuable in households where A. all the food sucks or B. the gravy is on point. Self-explanatory for the most part, but the gist here is that your whole plate should be brown. Gravy on gravy on taters on gravy on turkey on gravy, all on yer plate.
7. Wine Potatoes
- I henceforth issue simultaneously a challenge and a request to all ‘Cacites whose parents have so graciously allowed them red wine with their Thanksgiving dinners. Instead of gravy for your spuds, add the wine. This can be either a table-turning show of machismo and powerful libido, or an under-the-table, sleight-of-hand rinse, leaving your taters a doughy purple. I plan to try this at my own table, and I will report back, but for the bold among you, WHOS COMIN WITH ME?
8. mid-meal dumpski
- Fast metabolism? 3-hour meal? Too much cranberry sauce? Gotta make room for dessert. Subtlety is the better part of the facility. Christopher Columbus said that once. He invented Thanksgiving too.
Alright team. Yale nerd is a Baltimoron as well, it seems. Guess I gotta watch the gold rush all the way home. Happy Turkey Day to all of you. Enjoy family, friends, food, n football, and I hope you have a great holiday. It’s been a minute and we added some new writers, and they all suck. Jokes. They’re all the tits. Eat hard ‘Cac.