“I want to make something really fancy this year for Thanksgiving,” I told my mom on the phone.
“OK, so what are you going to give up making that you usually make so that you have time?” asked Mom practically. “Pecan pie?”
“God no, I only get that once a year.”
“Sweet potato casserole?”
“NO! I love that!”
“You want to eat rolls from the store?” I asked her, aghast.
And thus we agreed that we’d both be making the same old, same old for Thanksgiving dinner. Just like Christopher Kimball knew we would. As the Cook’s Illustrated editor and America’s Test Kitchen host affirmed bluntly in an interview with Serious Eats’ Ed Levine:
How we approach Thanksgiving goes to the heart of our philosophy. Today, most people’s repertoire in the kitchen is unlimited. (Once upon a time people knew how to make 100 dishes, at most.) As a result, nobody ever gets good at anything, because they don’t do anything twice. In our magazine, we keep doing the same thing over and over again. So in our Thanksgiving issue we stay focused on the things people want to make: turkey, mashed potatoes, pie crust, biscuits.
Kimball also dissed the yearly T-giving coverage at other food magazines. Those editors, he says, “write for their friends and themselves. They feel compelled to do something different every year because they’re bored. People want mainstream American cooking, and that’s what we give them.”
OK, Mr. Kimball: Guilty as charged. And God knows I love you, even if your monthly editorials in Cook’s are so folksy they might as well be embroidered on a sampler. But really, you went off the rails at this point:
People have to get over their fixation with green vegetables. Green beans are disgusting. Our meal is all shades of white, brown, and orange.
You’ve never had a good green bean casserole, have you?