On Monday afternoon, sometime between President Trump’s tweet about Maine lobsters and his decision to shit on Lady Gaga during a campaign rally, I received a push notification from New York Times Cooking titled, “Our Best Ideas For Your Election Day Menu.” The curated list included elevated Super Bowl party options like Tater Tot Casserole and Bricklayer Style Nachos and Real Sour Cream Onion Dip, to more intricate fare like a Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich, Spicy Tamarind Pork Ribs, Butternut Squash Pasta, Spicy Tomato-Coconut Bisque, and Mad Men-friendly drinks like Manhattans.
I couldn’t help but scoff at the alert, not because the selections weren’t tempting (I have the nacho dish saved), but because the very idea of mustering up the energy to prepare an elaborate spread of delectable foodstuffs on election night—while watching election results—is unfathomable. Days ago, as I was loosely meal planning for the week ahead, I left Tuesday, November 3, empty for a reason. “Here are some comforting dishes to cook and eat as the results roll in,” read the dek of the recipe list. Comforting, sure. But I won’t be dirtying pots or pans or bringing out the chopping board and salad spinner while CNN’s Gloria Borger breaks down some exit polling. No, my boyfriend and I are going to order a massive pepperoni pizza drown our election anxiety in cheese grease and garlic knots instead.
When I shared this plan with my Jezebel colleagues, Senior Editor Kelly Faircloth mentioned a plan of her own.
“I’m going to abandon my family, get a takeout burger, and sit in my car and eat it,” she wrote via Slack. “In silence.”
Also on her menu: French toast sticks.
I’ll accept, at a push, stress baking while Florida’s votes are being tabulated (The New York Times had menu ideas on that front too), but even that will result in a mess of dirty mixing bowls and measuring spoons that will taunt you as they pile up in the sink.
Avoid the mess entirely: Pick up some food from a local restaurant that could use the business (whether you eat it in your car, in silence, away from your family is up to you). If you’re ordering delivery, remember to tip your delivery driver generously (if you’ve been tipping less than $8-$10 for delivery during the pandemic, you’re not seeing heaven). Maybe just throw some leftovers in the microwave or toss a frozen dinner in the oven (not very exciting, but you’ll avoid a big mess). The last thing you, I, or anyone with a lick of sense wants is to have MSNBC board monkey, Steve Kornacki, screaming in your ear about some county in Virginia while you’re trying not to burn garlic in your skillet.
Plan ahead. Prepare leftovers from Monday night’s dinner. Tip the delivery drivers handsomely. Do whatever you can to avoid a sink full of dishes the next day. Because if Trump ekes out a win on Tuesday, there’s no way you’ll have the energy to clean that shit up, trust.
I might make that Manhattan, though.