“No, no no no, please, I’ll say anything you want, just please stop making me eat these dishes, NOT ON THANKSGIVING GODDAMNIT!”
~AFFotD Food Critic, John Goodman
Thanksgiving is one of the most incredible American holidays imaginable. If you’re anything like our staff, you relish the opportunity to drink beer and watch football as your family members awkwardly assume outdated gender roles while you wait to get drunk enough to start lecturing your nieces and nephews about the unfair pricing practices of the local Filipino rub and tug massage parlor. Listen, we’re just saying, given how much the happy ending costs, we’re pretty sure that tip should be included in the price already. But we digress.
This is a wonderful time of year, a time where we can sit back and reflect on all the Indians we’ve brutally slaughtered in the past, and give thanks for the fact that turkeys are so ugly that they’re just begging to be beheaded, plucked, and put in an oven for half a day.
But sometimes, dark storm clouds gather over what should be a joyous day. Maybe there’s a Lions fan in your family. Maybe everyone tries another one of those pesky “interventions” because “when you drink you get angry and say hurtful things” which would mean, you know, no day drinking. Or maybe, God forbid…a vegetarian somehow ends up being in charge of your food options.
So when we were made aware of this article by the Mother Nature Network entitled “5 Amazingly Tasty Vegetarian Thanksgiving Options” we couldn’t contain our bloodlust. No turkey? Really? Fuck Mother Nature Network for even positing such a terrifying alternate reality.
Let’s take a look at this list. May God have mercy on our souls.
Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash
If we ever asked someone what they were bringing to our Thanksgiving dinner, and they started off by saying “baked stuff…” we’d get really excited because we’d assume they’re bringing stuffing, and stuffing is delicious. But you know what makes stuffing delicious? The fact that you don’t put meat in it, but it’s still not a vegetarian food because it’s cooked by the kitchen appliance commonly known as “a turkey carcass.” However, when they finished the sentence with “..ed acorn squash” they’d no longer be our friends, because what the hell kind of sick joke are they playing at?
The recipe for this includes mushrooms, cherries, sage, bread crumbs, and half a cup of hot water, which honestly is the most worrisome ingredient on the whole list. We’re not going to read what the recipe entails because, eww, it sounds like it’s trying to be healthy, but if you’re using water as a primary ingredient and you’re not making a soup, we just don’t trust you. Then again we also won’t trust you if you try to bring a fucking baked squash to sabotage our dinner of green bean casserole, canned cranberry sauce, and gravy doused turkey, you asshole.
Lentil, Mushroom, and Spinach Gratin
The beauty of Thanksgiving is that you know exactly what you’re eating by its name, which is conveniently in English. Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Makers Mark. You know, the staples. But what the fuck is gratin? Sounds French to us, so we already hate it. And the ingredients required for this particular dish include… fat-free egg substitute? That’s a thing? God, see this is exactly the problem with all these so-called “healthy dishes.” You show up to a thanksgiving dinner bringing some vegetarian fat-free egg substitute containing lentil, mushroom, and spinach dish expecting it to help you live a longer, healthier life, when really the host is going to poison it since they’re 100% sure you’re the only one who is going to eat it, and no one will miss you when you’re gone.
You know how in Clockwork Orange they brainwash that guy into having a visceral, agonizing reaction every time he listens to Beethoven because it was something that he once deeply loved? We think that’s what the Mother Nature Network is doing to us with cake. We love cake. Cake is delicious and it sometimes gives you a reason to pretend to give a shit about your co-workers birthday so you can get a sanctioned twenty minute break. Why the hell would you do this to cake? What did cake ever do to you, you monsters? This is like finding out that those stories about snakes coming up through the toilet while people use them are real—even though we’ll probably never encounter it, we’re going to spend the rest of our life assuming we will. Every time someone offers us cake from now on, we’re going to have to ask “…not spinach barleycake, though, right?” Goddamn it. Goddamn it so much.
Quick Garbanzo Gravy
Okay now you’re just fucking with us. You’re honestly going to try to make one of the best things slather on your food from Thanksgiving and try to take the meat out of it? You think that beans are an appropriate substitute for the very essence of a turkey’s soul? Who hurt you, Mother Nature Network? Who hurt you to make you this way?
If you’ve managed to get to the point where you’re describing your fifth and final vegetarian dish to the people sharing the table with you, and you’ve not yet been tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail, you might want to double check and make sure you’re not just celebrating Thanksgiving by setting up eerily lifelike mannequins around the table in your studio apartment again like last year. Quick, are there PAX re-runs of Touched By An Angel on the twenty inch box screen TV that flickers the only light in the room? Does your fridge have multiple soy-based protein products? When you read “Meat is delicious” is your initial instinct to go on a diatribe about the poor conditions livestock are raised in? Did you let yourself get excited about five “vegetarian” Thanksgiving dinner suggestions? Well, at this point are you really surprised no one wanted to spend Thanksgiving with you? Given the choice between inviting “the loner who doesn’t eat meat” and “the guy who shows up drunk with this” every host in America is going to choose the latter every time.
And, because we actually care about this great holiday, and we care about you, here’s a picture of a bacon-wrapped Turducken as our way of apologizing for showing you such foul, foul foods.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, America.