So…This holiday season should be interesting, eh?
That bitch Auntie Rona is still visiting and going to put the kibosh on our plans. Bummers all around: no big gatherings of family and friends, travel fraught with anxiety and guilt, the constant agony of wondering if you’re being too cautious, or whether you should just give in and go visit your old mum (you’re not, and you shouldn’t.)
Given everything that’s happening, it would be super easy to toss old Tom Turkey out and start a new Thanksgiving Pizza tradition.
But that would be a huge mistake.
I don’t care if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas with just yourself and a beer pong ball named Franklin. Celebrate the feast days.
It will make you feel better. No, seriously, I mean that. It’s science.
Here’s the thing… Though they’re called “feast days,” food is just one of the things that makes them important. Annual events like Thanksgiving are ingrained in our collective psyches. They’re important touchpoints, marks on the rulers of our lives that we can point out or remember things by. It’s a “That was your last Christmas before you had your kid!” sorta thing.
In addition to being the sun around which our familial and social lives orbit, the adherence to holiday/feast-day traditions actually buffer us from stress. It’s comforting to know exactly what to do and expect once in a while, given how fluid and uncertain life is otherwise. It’s why we continue and carry on traditions. It’s all very psychological and anthropological and smart people have been talking about it forever, much more intelligently than I can.
Trust me when I tell you, making an effort and eating good food will not only fill your belly with said food, but fulfilling that cell-deep need to maintain a pattern will release enough dopamine to drug you into happiness at least for a little while.
Plus, eff Auntie Rona – she doesn’t get to cancel holidays! Do you really want to remember Thanksgiving 2020 as “the year the pandemic beat me into submission and we ate freezer mac and cheese for dinner?”
Neither do I.
Of course, there will be challenges.
For instance, we’re headlong into a second (or third?) spike in plague cases. That means that it’s very likely limitations on going out and doing things will pop back up again. THAT means that there will be a run on what we in this country consider “staples” at the supermarket, namely canned soup and toilet paper (the overindulgence of one begets the increased need of the other.)
So what the hell are you going to put in Granny Mimi’s signature casserole when you can’t find a can of cream-of-sodium soup anywhere? And what will you do when, due to a potential miscalculation on behalf of the American turkey farmers, there are only huge 24 lb birds available? I mean it’s just you and Beer Pong Franklin. What the hell are you going to do with 24 lbs of foul fowl that no one really loves to eat anyway?
Good news. We got you. We got all of you (including Franklin).
The next series we’re publishing here is all about scaled down recipes fit for families of 4 (or two or one + leftovers,). From-scratch food substitutions for all the processed shit you won’t be able to get, and lots of ways to use all the parts of that 24 lb bird. Ways that will actually taste good.
Those are the things we can help with.
The soul crushing ennui produced by prolonged isolation and the utter disruption of all things you hold dear in the world? That’s a bit beyond our scope. But that’s where the cooking and eating come in.
But in all seriousness. Eat. Drink. Facetime with your crew while you eat the feasts you make. Show off your amazing culinary prowess and unlocked Turkey achievements on teh interwebs. Get your game face on and make yourself some killer latkes, or turkey, or roast beef or seven fishes or whatever the hell you grew up eating. And enjoy it!
Because now more than ever we need to celebrate. Celebrate the life you have. Celebrate the friends and family we’ll get reacquainted with on the other side. Celebrate the memories of those that have gone before. Hell, celebrate Franklin snogging Sam Adams or whatever else it takes to help you remember that life is full of small moments of joy and we can’t let them go even in the face of so much adversity.
Basters locked and loaded, people. Let’s do this.