Friend Thanksgiving, Firestarter and THANKSGIVUKKAH: Greatest Holiday Ever

Fab lighting for Drew, all my supplies (including Star of David shaped pasta thanks to SAGL), Martha's stock photo of Matzo Ball Soup, and my pumpkin meringue pie from Friend Thanksgiving

Fab lighting for Drew, all my supplies (including Star of David shaped pasta thanks to SAGL), Martha's stock photo of Matzo Ball Soup, and my pumpkin meringue pie from Friend Thanksgiving

This week I was walking down Minneapolis’s own Champs Elysees, Nicollet Mall, when two I tell you two people stopped and asked why I had not posted on the blog for such a long time. After I assured them they had the wrong person out of pure shame I scurried to my glamorous corner office on the 24th floor overlooking the bubbling Mighty Mississippi. 

Doesn’t my life sound painfully spectacular?

In reality two friends who do read my blog kindly pointed out that I have been absent online as of late. I will confess of general food malaise and a crammed schedule of bunching man panties for work.

However in my defense this Thanksgiving post has been rattling around in my head for a while now. Mostly because it is one holiday that I see very little tradition with regards to me.

It is the eve of Thanks (and my first night of Hanukkah as a Jew) and I am in bed stricken with some demon illness catching up on Netflix. I kindly slept through The Truman Show and plan next to view the classic After School Special: Valley of The Dolls. Pass the pill box sweetie…daddy needs a pick me up.

Back to Thanksgiving and all the emotional stuffing that comes with it. In thinking of my own Thanksgiving pasts I can only recall three really. The first being with my father’s family at my childhood home, passing the relish tray to my right I look up to see my North by Northwest Uncle with two giant green olives shoved up his nose and a Cheshire grin so wide you would think he was Steve Martin with an arrow through his head. After composing ourselves the memory fades.

Others have come and gone. Some with a lingering hurt of heartache (spent in penthouse luxury) and others with the awkwardness of looming infidelity. Not I mind you. But some crazy couple I knew when I hosted in my Vermont pied a terre.

He was sleeping with his professor. Quelle Surprise.

This year I had the pleasure of attending another Friend Thanksgiving. I brought along a "date" who I gladly brought up to speed on the history of Friend Thanksgiving and how I became a part of it. However we were most excited that this years hostess was three days from her due date and I had money riding on a pre pumpkin pie slicing water break. I did not go home a winner.

A few weeks ago I did reach out to The Matriarch, Aunt Sunshine and Just Joni to get the family history of Thanksgiving. They wove romantic tales of chasing Granny’s apron strings while she made homemade stuffing, mincemeat pies and rutabagas.

Aunt Sunshine disclosed her novice mistake of leaving the giblets in her first turkey for her own family.

Just Joni recalled a tale of an ER doc that crashed her mother’s Thanksgiving and had to leave because a local man decided to take on the snow blower with his hand and the snow blower won.

This year brings some extra special Thanksgivingness to the table. As noted above it is also Hanukkah. According to the venerable news source Buzzfeed, “Thanksgivinukkah”, is the greatest meshing of holidays ever. And I am partial to agree.

Not one to force my Jewity on people this is a chance to get a BOGO on holidays. And we all know Jews love a deal. So this Black Friday (Sister is keeping the villagers across the river safe tomorrow from deep fried fires) my family and a few friends are gathering at a classy IKEA table (seriously it really is IKEA and you would never know) to light the lights and pass the cranberry sauce. We will at once be thankful for the oil that allowed the Jews to see for eight long nights and a bunch of pilgrims “sharing” land with Native Americans.

Traditionally I post after the holiday in hopes that you bookmark the page and try the recipes that I try.

This year I am going to post before.

The day before. So you can rush to your local gas station tomorrow morning and try to create what I plan to test out in two days.

Thanksgivinukkah 2013 (it will never happen again in my lifetime):


Lee’s Celery Sticks:

1 part Roca Blue Cheese (find it in the Velveeta section of the store), 1 part crumbled blue cheese, 1 part Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 1 part chopped walnuts. Smear the mixture down the gut of a celery stalk and enjoy!

Turkey Matzo Ball Soup

At the request of my Brother In Law this is just a mild twist on the classic Matzo Ball Soup. Please Google Martha Stewart’s Matzo Ball Soup. I’ve used it once before. She is a God.


I have never stuck to one recipe for the bird. And this year I might go classic and just use an herbed butter rub and baste the shit out of it. Because the jury is still out on basting. This holiday is very young.

Thanksgivinukkah Sides:

Cranberry Latkes – they just sound amazing.

Thank you Bon Appetit for this one.

Again – GOOGLE.

Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing:

Gluten free cornbread, onions, garlic, crumbled bacon (soooo not kosher), celery, parsley, eggs, chicken stock and kosher salt (trying to take away from the bacon).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pastrami and Pickled Red Onion:

It’s all in the title. Learn to experiment.

Horseradish Chive Mashed Potatoes:

Again you have all made mashed potatoes before. Just add what’s in the title.

Can you tell the drugs have kicked in? I’m about to take a Nyquil Cocktail and prop my pillow up so I don’t choke on my own tongue.

French’s Green Bean Casserole:

This is Sister’s favorite and it has been requested that I just not put it on the table and she will come to the kitchen and help herself so as to make sure it’s all hers.

Chorizo – Almond Stuffing:

Cubed bread, butter, onion, celery, garlic, chorizo sausage, toasted almonds, oregano, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper, chicken broth.


Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

If the crust works out it will come with a meringue top. I did a test run on Friend Thanksgiving. If you follow me on the Instangrams (benjaminplante_) you saw what I can do with a hand held torch. Don’t piss me off. I will go Drew Barrymore Firestarter on you.

I kid. Maybe.

Damn cold drugs.

Spiked Coffee:

This is coming from a dark horse attendee. She insisted on bringing Frangelico. Who could say no to booze.

And I will probably make some chocolate chip cookies so I have something for dinner this week.

As my head gets cloudy with OTC meds and Jacqueline Susann suggests the inappropriate on the iMac I should sign off. Tomorrow is a big day for all of you. I plan to stay in bed and do dirty things to Netflix and anticipate this looming death of a cold will be gone later in the day so I can cook.

Happy Thanksgivinukkah! It only happens once so as RuPaul says, “Don’t F*** It UP!”