Tribune Food, Digested: Thanksgiving. You’re Welcome.

It’s not that we hate Thanksgiving — we don’t, we absolutely completely don’t. Thanksgiving is, in fact, our absolute all-time favorite holiday, being as it is devoid of political, religious, or romantic overtones and instead focusing all its holiday powers on the consumption of food. Much of which is covered in delicious, delicious gravy.

But what we do hate is Thanksgiving coverage. We realize that it is impossible, in this day and age, to be a food-related media outlet that does not immediately do the journalistic equivalent of shouting “how high!?” at the merest mention of locavorism, bacon, or Top Chef. And we understand that thematic holiday eating — especially when the entirety of the holiday is eating — is a welcome injection of topical focus for the otherwise freewheeling and trend-driven world of food writing. You can pre-write your Thanksgiving articles months ahead of time — if not years — and then sit back and watch as your little bit of Thanksgiving How To (make your own turducken / de-lump your gravy / inject some ethnic flair to the table decor / not strangle your vegan in-laws) trickles into the stream that joins other streams that forms the massive Thanksgiving How To ocean, all of it culminating in a gestalt of turkey puns and Butterball white noise that renders impossible the likelihood that any one particular journalistic droplet could stand out for its angle, wit, or helpfulness. Not a chance. It’s all been done.

None of this is to knock the valiant efforts of our biffles over at the Tribune. They are required by law to commit today’s food section in its entirety to pre-Thanksgiving coverage, so it is not their fault. Though we are curious who, specifically, was in charge of calling the section “Holidaily.”

• Bill Daley kicks off the centerpiece suite of articles, a sort of less-horrible-Sandra-Lee take on Thanksgiving that relies on precooked purchased foods to round out a homemade turkey. We have absolutely no problem with this as a technique (in fact, we don’t see how anyone who regularly eats at restaurants can wrinkle their nose at outsourcing the creamed spinach), and are further swayed by the fact that when we were at Whole Foods recently, it was in fact significantly cheaper to buy pre-chopped onions than it was to buy the whole onions themselves.

• JenMarie Brownson goes the “Traditions With A Twist” route. No, that is actually the title of her article. You don’t even need to read it now.

• Renée Enna finds herself on the compare-contrast beat: a maple syrup roundup (winner: Maple Grove Farms) and an alternative parts of the turkey price check (Jennie-O Turkey Store Lean Turkey & Gravy frozen oven-ready entree: 32 ounces, $5.99 ).

• Bill Daley again (HoliDaley?), recommending Riesling as the perfect pairing for a Thanksgiving table. On a related note, we’ve noticed a particular spate of Thanksgiving wine articles this season. Are there actually more this year, or are we simply noticing more of them because we have finally reached a point in our young adulthood at which we feel unembarrassed to be seen reading a wine article?

• If all else fails, call someone who cares.

[Photo: A turkey float from the ‘05 Thanksgiving parade, via →lulu←’s Flickr]


Tribune Food, Digested: Thanksgiving. You’re Welcome.