Practice run for sauteed turnips with baby carrots and micro greens hoping to be served Thanksgiving day. All sourced from an amazing farmers market in the Berkshires. I’m taking full credit for this even though I didn’t have anything to do with its construction. But it was a labor of love and it tasted amazing. The garlic didn’t hurt.
I’m also taking this time to come out as a Thanksgiving Food Hater. When did it devolve into canned, packaged, powdered and tinned crap resembling food? I doubt the pilgrims were slicing high fructose corn syrup/gelatin laden cranberry sauce at the table. Their turkeys wouldn’t have ingested enough hormones and antibiotics to keep Pfizer in business through the 17th Century.
I understand for many the ordeal of producing very specific food items for a large group of people can be overwhelming in an already frantic life. And sometimes shit out of a box tastes great. And sometimes because you’ve eaten it a certain way your whole life it’s a bit frightening to imagine Green Bean Casserole without heart-attack-on-the-spot levels of salt and preservatives. But Thanksgiving is a really cool day and should be celebrated not just with gluttonous revelry (but I would judge you if you didn’t), but with mindfulness too.
There is a certain amount of privilege inherent in this rant. I am able to both source and afford meat and vegetables made by people who love what they do. Who sell eggs from happy chickens with bright orange yolks. Whose veggies are often unrecognizable because they have dirt or leaves on them agribusiness removes for uniformity purposes. There is a pretentious element to the insistence on organic food. I know this. I also know that shit be getting messed up in our environments, both globally and personally.
So wouldn’t it be great if Thanksgiving could be a celebration of food made from actual food. Whole, fresh, local. Really, it could be the one time of year there is a conscious effort to lay a table to make you proud, and not just in the Martha Stewart sense. Imagine if our communities tried to make sure everyone could taste a pumpkin pie made from an actual pumpkin or a tiny potato freshly dug from the ground. Then we could all hold hands and sing kumbaya. I know. I know.
What’s your holiday table looking like this year? Do you have any suggestions for reinventing traditional dishes? In particular, if anyone knows how to make a “responsible” Green Bean Casserole I am all ears. (Edit: I found one! But I still wanna hear yours.)
- From scratch: Green bean casserole [RECIPE] (grist.org)