by GABE MINICHIELLO and SABRINA RICHARD - January 12, 2021 - A Review of Honest Nature Pertaining to the Habits of Man During the Feasting Season and the Surrounding Accoutrements of the Lord’s Bounty (Of Puritanical Nature)
I’m Sabrina Richard, a former food network chef. I've cooked the entirety of Thanksgiving every year for me and my extended family since I was seven years old.
I’m Gabriel Minichiello, and I am accompanying Sabrina today because the only thing stronger than her cooking skills are my “hot takes.”
With everyone on their New Year’s diets, we wanted to look back at the most gluttonous day of the year: Thanksgiving.
S: “Are you a King’s Hawaiin family or a Pillsbury family?”
G: "King’s Hawaiian. The Pillsbury doughboy carries a malicious glare in his eyes that my family simply cannot bring into our home."
S: “Green beans is one of those dishes that are there because of their tradition, not because they’re actually good. I prefer other vegetables like asparagus, fried Brussel sprouts, even some nice steamed broccoli. So why did we end up with green beans on the table?”
G. “Perhaps the green color stems not from their chlorophyll but from their innate jealousy that they aren’t anyone’s favorite?"
S: “I love greens! (With the exception of Kale; check out my piece “Oh Kale No” on The Lantern.) To name a few: creamed spinach, a salad, baked greens, the variety, the possibilities!"
G. “Greens are too vague for me. I like to know what something is before I eat it, but then again, ignorance is bliss.”
Macaroni and Cheese
S: “Apparently not everyone has mac and cheese on Thanksgiving and honestly? Blasphemy. What with the potatoes, stuffing, rolls: it’s not like we have enough carbs.”
G: “I agree Sabrina, in fact, you know the macaroni and cheese is ready at the Minichiello house when it grabs the dog and you have to beat it back into the pot with a ladle.”
S: “I feel like with cranberry sauce/jelly it is ONLY on the table because like one or two people like it. You buy a whole can and they take a slice (Which by the way, what is up with having a slice of jelly) and they eat it with the turkey and they’re happy. How can they be happy with second-rate grape jelly? This is coming from a person who loves cranberry juice and other cranberry things, but the jelly - no thanks.”
G: “Spoken like a true chef who doesn’t know how to make cranberry sauce.”
G: “This is my grandpa's favorite because of how he caulked his bathroom with mashed potatoes during the hot summer of 1974. It was a long summer.”
S: “Honestly, if my future bathroom isn’t caulked with mashed potatoes, I simply don’t want it.”
S: “Mashed potatoes really are the classic Thanksgiving food. Like no matter what dietary, cultural, social change you have with the meal, mashed potatoes are always there. Usually with gravy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s really beautiful, actually.”
Scalloped Potatoes/Other Potatoes
S: “I really like potatoes, because in a meal of gluttony and consumerism used to celebrate imperialism, you know what we need? Starch and carbs. Why not have ~variety~? Crunchy baked potatoes, cheesy scalloped potatoes, celebrate two holidays at once and throw in some latkes.”
G: “Easy there Sabrina, eating carbs to survive the winter is the most important activity prior to the winter months, regardless of potato variety.”
S: “In my family, we do baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows; however, sweet potato pie is *chef’s kiss.*”
G: “This dish belongs in the dessert category, and I am not sorry. Too many potato dishes and they unionize for a 25% increase in Thanksgiving table space.”
Stove Top Stuffing
S: “I once spent like an hour on a homemade stuffing only for someone in my family to bring a case of Stove Top Stuffing and make it. I know Stove Top Stuffing is great! It is the classic Thanksgiving stuffing, but it can honestly become a textural mess in like five minutes.”
G: “An understandable position, but if you microwave everything after Thanksgiving like I do, it goes from a solid dish to an undistinguishable mass of terrible proportions.”
S: “Very different from Stovetop Stuffing! Of course, there is a big difference between Thanksgiving dressing and Thanksgiving stuffing. Technically, dressing is a mixture cooked outside of the bird - so Stovetop Stuffing is actually a dressing. Then stuffing is cooked in the bird, but potatoes/potatoes.”
G: ”Sabrina, I agree. The intricacies of naming the dish are a conundrum that will plague many a scholar till the end of days. My grandmother insists upon using an old Sumerian stuffing recipe. We have to eat it fast so it doesn’t sing the Epic of Gilgamesh throughout the entire meal.”
G: “Some dude killed one of these at Plymouth Rock and now everyone won’t shut up about it. My mouth is still dry and my stomach is sad."
S: “Listen, I hate turkey. You’re going to serve MASHED POTATOES, The mashed potatoes, with turkey?! Pack it up Benjamin Franklin, no one needs this dry, hard to cook, creepy not-chicken. Also, if we’re going to do turkey why are we doing whole turkeys?! Turkey breast cooks differently from the legs, white meat vs dark meat, throw your aesthetic out the door for the sake of a decently cooked bird.”
G: “A true gentleman’s delicacy. Reminds me of bureaucracy for some reason.”
S: “I celebrate Hanukkah and I still prefer ham.”
S: “Do you have a homemade apple pie? Or buy it?”
G: “The Minichiello family apple pie actually uses a lesser known seasoning to bring out that wholesome American apple pie flavor - theft.”
S: “Apple pie is the pie for any holiday - pumpkin pie is the pie for Thanksgiving.”
G: “Pumpkin pie is delicious, however my innate hatred for squashes compels me to maintain a neutral position on this matter. Truly, I experience the duality of man whenever I consume this dessert.”
S: “Pea-can or pe-cahn? I once said ‘pekin’ which is a type of duck, not a nut. The waiter gave me a very odd look in response to that.”
S: “Pecan Pie is so odd to me. It is nuts in a pie, but they’re soft and surrounded by this over glorified sugar syrup? Yeah, I don’t know about that, sus. It’s hard to trust a pie you can’t pronounce.”
G: “Definitely a nutty choice for sure. Anyone who voluntarily eats pecan pie might need to reevaluate their life choices.”