Thanksgiving, by nature, is a holiday that tests, that challenges. Whether it's a guaranteed hit recipe, a simple yet flawless kitchen gadget, an inspiring playlist consisting of Aaron Copland and Heart's radio hits, or a very specific and pleasant strain of marijuana, we all have our standbys that get us through the day. What are yours?
My Thanksgiving standby used to be this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Hollowing out the onions is something that must be done the night before and that fills the kitchen with an onion vapor cloud for a few hours, but the tears are worth it. It's always been a hit wherever I've taken it, and the finished product is cute as hell. If I'm not on main course duty, I always bring a pan of Paula Deen's peach cobbler. Nobody bakes up old fashioned treats (or piping-hot racism) quite like Paula, y'all.
Also, drinking. Mimosas in the morning and red wine, all day. It's just more fun that way. Other Jezebel (and Gawker media) staffers have their own "secret wapons." Kate Dries's is "more mashed potatoes than you think you need. Like 3x as many." Julianne Escobedo Shepherd lives for the dumplings that are made alongside tofurkey. Jessica Coen goes with "klonopin and a good zinfandel." Mark Shrayber, similarly, went with "Ativan." Madeleine Davies's secret to a bomb-ass Thanksgiving is "not going home." Gawker Media Editorial Director Joel Johnson claims he has the recipe for "the best pumpkin pie," a pie so good that all other pies upset him, but he has yet to share. (Recipes or it didn't happen, Joel!)
But I'm sure you've all got your own. Here's the place to share 'em, thus weaponizing your online peers with secrets that allow Thanksgiving to be more than simply a holiday you survive. It's a holiday you conquer.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby.