This Thanksgiving, I mourn the holiday of old when Grandma put the bird, stuffing, a slew of sides and pies on the table and the grateful gang gobbled up every morsel.
Now, cooking this traditional American meal – which has always been the easiest menu to plan — has become, I would imagine, exhausting, stressful and, frankly, annoying.
First off, frozen Butterballs bought out of the case at Stop & Shop are history. If you’re not buying an organic, free-range bird that was humanely put to death, let’s just skip dinner and be first in line at Macy’s midnight madness sale.
Forget the green beans almondine and roasted chestnuts because Bobby has a nut allergy. And his mother, “Lululemon,” is wary of wheat so the stuffing needs to be made with gluten-free bread. As for those mashed potatoes, Sam is lactose intolerant so please don’t use milk or butter. Oh, and don’t use chicken stock because Dan, who brought his own “turkey” made with sticks, soy and seeds, is a vegetarian.
That pumpkin pie with the all-butter pie crust? Maybe two people will indulge because, you know, half the table is lactose intolerant. And Suzy’s tattoo-ed friend from college is “paleo” – whatever the hell that means.
I was reminded of this demise of the Pilgrims’ repast, by New Girl goofball Zooey Deschanel who kicked off her interview with Jimmy Kimmel the other night by slagging Thanksgiving dinner.
I wanted to slap her.
“Most of it is beige or gray, which I don’t find appetizing,” said the New Girl who was described by Kimmel as radiating “rainbows, unicorns and mutli-colored Tootsie Rolls.”
“It’s a lot of beige…I have a problem with the color scheme,” she dished.
The FOX sitcom star, 33, doesn’t like roasted turkey because it’s beige, but she has no problem with chicken or duck. Stuffing is just beige “salty, wet, soggy bread.” Mashed potatoes are off-white and pumpkin pie, is an orange-beige, she wah-wah-wahed.
“I love Thanksgiving for the family togetherness,” spun Zooey, finally making some sense. “I don’t love the food, which is which most people love. I understand it’s controversssssssial.”
Come to find out through a quickie Google search, the actress doesn’t like Thanksgiving because she’s allergic to wheat, dairy and eggs. So maybe she should have kept her mouth shut.
Sidenote: Her sister, Bones TV doc Emily Deschanel, is a vegetarian.
Maybe I should send their mother an Edible Arrangements. Poor woman.
Yesssssssss, I know the holiday is all about giving thanks and being with ones nearest and dearest. I get it. And I – like Zooey — love that about Thanksgiving.
At my family dinner, prepared by my aunt and the rest of us, there are no food issues except, of course, if you’re pre-diabetic. The pies get their own table.
But I cannot help to feel for those hosts/cooks who must stress out about their loved ones’ diets. Years ago, when I flirted with being a vegetarian (more like flexatarian), I ate everything but the turkey and shut up about it. I certainly wasn’t going to be THAT girl who stuck her nose up at the meat eaters at the table.
So, for those Thanksgiving cooks who take the time to bake or buy gluten-free bread and maneuver around a mountain of dairy-free and egg-free products in their overstuffed refrigerators, I salute you. That’s a real show of love.
Just make sure Lululemon helps with the dishes. Tell her it will help with her core.
Laura Raposa blogs as “The Foodsmith” at www.lauraraposa.com.