This weekend is Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates The Pilgrims and Indians commemorating the first turkey kill of winter by inventing football. They then played the historic first round of the game, and the astounding 47-3 victory by the pilgrims resulted in the Native Americans giving us the Louisiana purchase.
The modern American man has evolved since that first Thanksgiving. We have fast cars, rocket ships and instant access to a colossal database of porn (thanks for stopping here on your way to that last one), but I feel that we are not nearly as industrious as our forefathers. I have decided to make an effort to get back to those roots by modeling my life more closely after those of the American yester-times. I don’t mean I’m going to start wearing a lot of buckles, I just want to become more self-sufficient. Since it’s Thanksgiving, I decided that, for the first time in my quarter-century on this planet, I was going to make my own food.
We had a big gathering of friends, and everyone was making a dish, so I got my Nana’s recipe for pineapple casserole, which, since it has fruit in it, I assumed was healthy. But this thing demanded more butter and sugar than anything else. In fact, the only more expedient way to a heart attack than this dish would be to inject bacon fat directly into your veins - which is stupid, because then you couldn’t even taste the bacon. The recipe also instructed me to use the oven, which I’m assuming is that warm metallic cube in the kitchen I always walk by on the way to the microwave. Since I just got around to preparing my dish Wednesday night, I abandoned the pineapple idea in favor of something a bit more simple (or so I thought): a goat cheese dip.
I bravely pioneered new grocery store territory (anywhere but the frozen foods aisle) to forage for ingredients and set about making the dip from a friend’s recipe. The recipe calls for a lot of food processing, and since I don’t have a food processor, I spent most of the evening chopping up 3 cloves of garlic with a butter knife. I then put all the ingredients into a bowl and mashed them together with a spatula until I felt they were sufficiently mixed. The concoction was then poured into my classiest Ikea dish (presentation is everything) and left in the fridge overnight. I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself; it’s not a huge accomplishment, but I had made something I could be proud of. I imagined it would probably be the biggest success of Thanksgiving - everyone putting it on their turkey instead of gravy, lots of pats on the back, and maybe a chick throws some sex my way.
The first person to try my dip spit it out. As did the second person, on a dare to eat it by the first. I tasted it and, on principle, forced it down my thought. It was awful. The garlic burned inside my mouth. “How much garlic did you put in this?!” I was asked. I explained that the recipe called for 3 cloves of garlic, so I had gone out, purchased 3 garlics, chopped them all up, and put them in the dip. I was then given an explanation about the difference between a clove of garlic and a head of garlic. I had used 3 heads of garlic. We went into the kitchen and tried to dilute the concoction with a can of beans (garlic goat cheese hummus?), and then some cilantro, but the dip remained untouched for the rest of the day.
It’s sitting in my fridge now; this brown, lumpy mess. I can’t bring myself to throw it out. I’m still proud that I tried, and I’m strangely attached to it - much in the same way, I imagine, a mother loves her child even if it’s born retarded. I wonder if the pilgrims messed anything up this bad at that first Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s what caused our dispute with the Indians? Perhaps, if the American man were a better cook, we could have avoided the whole Civil War.