Thanksgiving Dishes That Will Help You Passive-Aggressively Bring Up Politics


Ah, Thanksgiving, that most unpolitical of holidays, where families get together at table overflowing with produce picked by hands unknown to them, having a genial conversation about “safe topics” while a Redskins game, beginning just after the National Anthem, plays in the next room.

There are some who continue to maintain that talking about politics over a meal, particularly a holiday meal, is bad form. While, it’s true that an antagonistic discourse has been inserted into every waking moment of our lives (and many nightmares!) the solution probably isn’t talking less, but rather talking smarter. Since an overt introduction of supposedly hot-button topics, like basic human rights, may devolve into a shouting match, you may want to try including the following dishes on your menu, all of which will allow you to passive-aggressively steer the conversation toward the thing that everybody is thinking about anyway.

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A Pie with 232 Blueberries and 200 Cranberries

Mixed Berry Pie

Getty Imagesusrjrey

Your family may not notice that this pie reflects the new configuration of the House of Representatives after what was unequivocally a blue wave, so you’ll need to subtly remind them by saying “This pie reflects the new configuration of the House of Representatives after what was unequivocally a blue wave.” If you’re really feeling saucy, feel free to launch into a discussion of gerrymandering while you’re cutting the slices. This recipe is fine if you mix the berries together, but will pack even more of a punch if you make 46 percent of the pie cranberries and 54 percent of it blueberries. How will you construct this? I don’t know! This isn’t a cooking blog. This is America.

A Gingerbread House In Disrepair

ginger bread house remains

Getty Imageskislev

Your family may think this is yet another commentary on the House but it is not. It is a reminder that Ben Carson is the Housing and Urban Development Secretary even though he himself said he was not qualified. “What’s up with that guy?” you should genially ask your family, as you casually knock the crumbling chimney of the home over. “Last time we heard about him he was trying to blame his wife for buying $31,000 of furniture for the HUD Office. But that was like seven months ago. Do you think he’s been focusing on doing a good job since then? You think that’s a likely development in housing?”

Instant Pot Stuffing

Instant Pot Super Bowl cookoff

Getty ImagesPortland Press Herald

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It’s quick and easy and dirties so few dishes because who has time for washing pots and stirring noodles at such a time as this? You’re busy marching and knocking on doors and very expressively refusing plastic straws when they are offered to you at restaurants. But it’s not just the ease of preparation that makes this dish a winner. When your family asks where you got the idea for this, you can reply proudly, “From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram stories! While other politicians are out dining at Trump Hotels with oil barons and Bane from Batman, AOC is at home making Instant Pot recipes and talking about policy. What kind of person do you want representing your interests? Someone who won’t even hold a town hall because they’re afraid of being spoken to harshly or an energetic public servant willingly exposing herself to comments on social media? Ocasio-Cortez gave me the idea for this recipe and also the idea that Election Day should be a national holiday and also hope and, frankly, those are the building blocks of my food pyramid. Pass the salt.”

The Un-Pardoned Turkey

President Donald Trump...

Getty ImagesThe Washington Post

No shade to our sterling criminal justice system with its perfect record and flaw-free organizing principles but this turkey pardoning is outrageous. The whole premise is like “We’re going to straight up murder this turkey for crimes unknown, like they’re a character in The Green Mile unless the leader of the free world intervenes.” Wow. Weird flex, but okay. This is a very American tradition and by that I mean, blithely ignoring a unimaginable darkness and structurally sanctioned miscarriage of justice. Obviously, Trump loves it. Traditionally, the president pardons both turkeys although one is low-key given a cabinet appointment, but Trump would sentence both turkeys to execution if he could.

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And that’s what you should say when you throw the Un-pardoned Turkey down on the table, reminding your family that the president will gleefully pardon his scurrilous friends like Joe Arpaio but has to be lobbied by celebrities to intercede in the lives of Americans who he is supposed to be representing. At that point, some snarky relative will probably make some crack about Kim Kardashian’s political acumen, which will be your cue to snap off a drumstick and launch yourself across the table while screaming “Kim Kardashian is leveraging her immense fame and popularity to get through the narcissistic haze of a truly bad man in hopes of freeing Americans who have served their time. What you you done to combat structural inequality, Curt?! A fat lot of nothing, that’s what. Trump could execute that Mandarin Duck from Central Park and you’d probably give yourself an aneurysm cheering him on. Pass the gravy, you toad.”

And speaking of the Glamour Duck


The Mandarin Duck in Central Park

Getty ImagesAnadolu Agency

Note: do not serve the Glamour Duck. Everyone will rise up against you and destroy you. Literally, people in New York do not care about anything as much as they care about this drag queen bird. But, you could serve a duck and then segue into a conversation about how the Glamour Duck is native to East Asia and, with its presence, has brought delight and renewed interest to an American city and isn’t that a great metaphor for the way this country is enriched and expanded by immigrants from all nations. And did you know, Cousin Greg, that the president has made xenophobia and nationalism his core policies? Of course you did. That’s why you voted for him, because you mistakenly think that it’s immigrants and not profit-hungry corporations that are keeping you underemployed. Did the Glamour Duck take your job, Greg? Did it? Just a question.

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Mashed Potatoes

Bowl of mashed potatoes

Getty ImagesSheri L Giblin

Nothing particularly political about mashed potatoes. Unless you serve only mashed potatoes. At which point everyone will be like, “Uh… what’s this?” Which is your cue to segue in Ellen Pompeo’s “There’s not enough color” monologue:

Your family will be like, “Is this is a metaphor for diversity?” And you’ll be like, “I don’t know, Shelby. Is this what diversity looks like to you?!”

A Fruit Cake Inside of A Jell-O Mold

Jello fruit cake dessert

Getty ImagesEdyta Guhl

A combination of two of the least popular holiday dishes. Your family will say, “Who asked for this?” And you’ll respond, “although the majority of the family did not want this dish, the menu was swayed by disproportionate representation and an influx of corporate money. In the form of coupons I found on a very long CVS receipt. I will not be holding a town hall to discuss this. Also, it’s worth noting that while support for this dish does seem to be beginning to wane with white women, white men continue to vote for it in staggering numbers. Look at Uncle Bill; he’s already getting seconds even though the food is not good for him and seems to be actively choking him. Uncle Bill, would you care for a glass of clean water?”

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