For the longest time, Thanksgiving has ruled like a proud peacock at the top of any chef’s holiday menu. The big bird has gone unchallenged for centuries, by avoiding the nostalgia of Christmas or the spirituality of Easter, but purely sustaining itself as one gigantic meal. Well that’s all about to change, because there’s a new turkey in town, and it’s my birthday. My birthday has all the things people love about Thanksgiving, football games, copious amounts of food, all in a much more successful time-slot than Thanksgiving. Think about it, Thanksgiving always gets cut off by the ever encroaching Christmas season, and everyone is still recovering from the sugar comas caused by Halloween, so they can’t fully enjoy the plethora of food that Thanksgiving always brings. My birthday comes at the perfect sweet spot between the 4th of July and Halloween, just before the weather starts to turn so you could get a good layer of “warmth” before the cold comes. Really it’s a wonder that my birthday isn’t already a national holiday yet (I’ll be writing a letter to the big guy to get this all straightened out).
This year I decided to push my birthday to Thanksgiving proportions (just to make sure the world could handle such an awesome holiday). I invited over a test group of average American teenagers (or as average as I could find) to sample this revolutionary holiday. I kept a few traditions, of course there was pie, but that’s where I left the puritan housewives behind. Quesadillas? Sure! Falafel? Why not? Pierogies? Of course! Potato Skins? Well there is a football game going on. Pizza? It wouldn’t be a party without pizza! …needless to say, when I allowed myself 2 1/2 days of non-stop cooking, I went a little over board (but that’s all part of the plan), the smells of pie filling simmering on the stove, and pieroghies sauteing in a skillet drifted through the house days before the party. Despite my intimidatingly long procession to and from the kitchen carrying a new dish each time, my test group dove in unphased and left me with way fewer leftovers than I planned for and several very thoughtful presents. After this success, I plan on making this “My Birthday” thing a yearly celebration, mark your calendars.