A certain kind of women’s magazine might have you believe that the key to a good hangover cure is to take things out of your body, by detoxing or sweating or puking. But we know that nursing your body back from the brink of death is much more about what you put into it.

New Year’s Eve/Day comes at a weird time for food shopping—if you’ve been traveling like I have, you likely haven’t had a chance to grocery shop, especially because that is your 2016 resolution and it would be weird to start before 2016 officially begins. So, here’s what to do now that you’ve woken up gasping for water at like 11:20 a.m., and all the good Seamless restaurants are closed, using only ingredients that I have in my fridge right now.

The ingredients:

  • Apple cider
  • Two percent milk
  • One carton of Japanese eggplant from a fancy deli
  • The worst pieces of watermelon in a watermelon container
  • Jar of pickled okra
  • Half-empty box of water crackers
  • Container of Earth Balance “buttery spread”
  • Cottage cheese
  • Blueberries
  • Opened can of pea soup
  • 100 jars of salsa
  • One jar expensive paté
  • Two bags of shredded “Mexican-style” cheese
  • Three old tortillas
  • One can of Dr. Pepper
  • One unpopped bag of movie theater popcorn
  • One opened box of Junior Mints
  • Two bags of uncooked rice

Here comes the tough love: you have to pitch like three quarters of this stuff. Those jars of salsa are the culinary equivalent of the gold lamé bandeau you have dutifully brought from high school to college to four apartments in case you ever need it. You’ll never need it. Say goodbye.

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Anyway, my personal approach to the hangover meal is water, caffeine, salty, fatty. You need water to stay alive, and you need caffeine to get rid of your headache. I will say that I am often tempted by dairy, but now is not the time. Do not drink a glass of milk now; it will not do what you think it will do.

Using the caffeine-salty-fatty metric really cuts down on the food you can incorporate, basically to paté, shredded cheese, Dr. Pepper, and popcorn, and I’ll go ahead and allow the tortillas and water crackers because although you could eat paté and shredded cheese alone, it’s weird and hard to do that. Also, I think we should add the Junior Mints so it’s like you’re brushing your teeth, which feels healthy. These ingredients have natural partners, and the key to this meal will be uniting the codependent ingredients, and serving in courses.

Dr. Pepper will be your Drink. Directions: Open and drink it whenever.

Paté on water crackers will be your Appetizer. Directions: Spread a lot of paté on the crackers with a knife. Eat them first.

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A cheese quesadilla will be your Entrée. Directions: Melt Earth Balance into a pan and rub two tortillas in it, coating both sides in the buttery spread. Pour as much shredded cheese as will fit onto one tortilla. Place the second tortilla on top of the cheese like a hat. Apply pressure with a spatula for a few minutes; flip when you feel the time is right. Eat this second.

A “movie lover’s delight” will be your Dessert. Directions: Pop popcorn in microwave. Open popcorn bag, pour every Junior Mint into it. Eat this third.

After your meal, you might have to throw up—that’s totally natural after eating so much garbage. But don’t forget to rehydrate afterwards.

May your 2016 be filled with light, love, and good health. Namaste.


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

Image via wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.