Hannah Beach – Turkey:
Thanksgiving marks the start of that downward slide into the Christmas season (at least for normal people, who don’t put up their Christmas tree the day after Halloween). And the best part: the food. Rolls, mashed potatoes, grandma’s pistachio pudding, but then there’s the turkey. The turkey tends to get overlooked when you’ve got the Jell-O and the pumpkin
pie, but it’s practically the symbol of the holiday. Not only is the turkey the spirit of Thanksgiving, but it’s also such a versatile food. It has dark meat, light meat and the coveted wishbone. You can cover it in gravy or cranberry sauce. You can put salt and pepper on it. You can eat it with your mashed potatoes or by itself. And it will provide enough leftovers for a whole week after Thanksgiving. Clearly, the turkey is
the superior holiday food. Please appreciate your turkey this holiday season.
Katherine Manwell – Cranberry Relish:
Cranberry relish, not to be confused with the cranberry jelly that comes out of a
can, is usually made with slightly cooked cranberries, orange or lemon zest and sugar. This tends to have a lot of texture and crunch as opposed to the gelatinous consistency of its cheaper, easier brother. Regardless of your “cranberry relish” or “cranberry jelly” preferences, the origin of the cranberry in the American holiday Thanksgiving is noteworthy. Native Americans used them as a cure-all. This fruit is high in antioxidants and believed to help prevent heart disease. Though Europe had cranberries, it gained significance in North America after the settlers arrived and were taught by the Native Americans. The current cranberry industry is worth over $300 million. Its many health benefits and rich history in mind, the best thing about cranberries at this time of year is throwing them in a food processor, because they taste fantastic with turkey.
Taylor Stockton – Pecan Pie:
No list of Thanksgiving food would be complete without dessert, the best of which being pecan pie. We are talking a buttery and flaky crust filled with brown sugar-encrusted gooey pecans. It’s that good stuff that sticks right on your ribs and promises to increase your blood pressure by a few clicks. It’s that good stuff that makes you come back to the table after you swore that you couldn’t take another bite. It’s just plain good. My grandmother always makes the pies for our family, and bless her heart, because she is a wizard in the kitchen. To her and all the grandmothers out there, thank you for your contributions to the Thanksgiving table, and please teach us how to make that out of this world pecan pie.
Kaitlyn Farley – Pierogi
Pierogi: Yes, that Polish food you know exists that isn’t a paczki or a blood sausage. As a Polish person, no holiday is complete without these homemade, doughy, fatty, fried dumplings. Stuff them with apples and cinnamon, mashed potatoes or, my favorite, sour kraut (yes, meat is an option, but I am not the fan, so there you go). If you make it yourself (or have your mother slave in the kitchen by herself for, like, 10 hours and eat them all in, like, 10 minutes; your choice) and put sour cream and sugar on top, you’re good to go. If you’re on a diet, though, you may want to pass. They’re made with tubs of sour cream, our, butter and a bunch of other crap that you’re going to fry up and hope it doesn’t clog your arteries instantly. That’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m fine with dying young, thank you very much.
Brian Fox – Tofurkey:
Ah, Thanksgiving. Seeing your family together again. Being thankful for the
good things in life. Whitewashing and glorifying the genocide of natives upon which our civilization was founded. Consuming the cooked carcass of a grotesquely fattened bird that was pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, kept in cruel and inhumane conditions and then slaughtered by the millions because they pair well with cranberry sauce and gravy. I actually think turkey is delicious, but can’t ignore the horrors of the factory farms that bring poultry to our family tables. These are the times that test a vegetarian’s soul, but luckily, most families are understanding and at least willing to nuke a processed tofu construction that decently approximates the taste and texture of turkey and stuffing. This year, consider taking activists like Farm Sanctuary up on their offer to adopt a turkey from a brutal and unnecessary death.