With Thanksgiving fast approaching, you’re probably all being inundated with articles talking about cranberry sauce and travel tips. Am I going to be much different? Nope! But my cranberry sauce comes from a can and my travel tips are lessons learned from our favorite (only?) Thanksgiving classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
When people watch this movie, some see it as a delightful, friendly comedy that shows the blossoming of friendship from an unlikely situation. Others see it as a reminder to appreciate the things in life that matter, like family and those that are dear to you. And some see it as a representation of goofy 80s comedy where a guy gets picked up by his balls and his voice goes up three octaves. These are not the things I take away from this thing.
When I watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles, I take it as a warning against the one and only part of the holidays that I hate. Travel.
So um. Don’t do it. Just don’t travel during the holidays. Ask yourself: Is my family really worth it? The answer is probably no. And that same family will still be there a week later. Try seeing them then. But if you absolutely MUST travel for the holidays, then please take these lessons with you, compliments of John Hughes.
1. Don’t run through the streets of Midtown New York for a freaking cab. First of all, if it’s that crazy of a rush, someone is inevitably going to get the cab before you. Second, not worth getting hit by a cab for. No matter how adorable Will Ferrell makes it in Elf, it’s not gonna end well. Just hop on the subway and go to a less crazy part of town and catch a cab from there. Or call a cab company.
2. Don’t engage strangers in conversation. I feel like this is just good practice. But especially at the airport. Because you will end up getting stuck next to them on the plane. Then they try to talk to you the whole time and they are crazy and you just have to nervously laugh and smile because you’re sitting next to them at 35,000 feet in the air and you can’t be like, “Look psycho, I don’t actually think that it IS okay for your to flirt with your niece” and no one doesn’t want to be able to NOT say that to someone.
3. Don’t curse out the rental car lady. I know it’s tempting. Especially when she’s a horrible bitch. (Trust me, I live in Philadelphia, I have had experience with bitches at the rental car place.) But anything you throw at her is just going to anger her and right now, she’s got all of the power. Wait until after you’ve gotten what you need from her, then curse her out. Have some self control, if only temporarily.
4. Don’t leave your wallet in the glove compartment. Why would you even do that? I mean, your car probably isn’t going to catch on fire on the side of the highway, but why take the chance? It’s more likely that you’d go to use the bathroom somewhere, leave it in there and get robbed.
5. You’re probably going to get robbed. Then you won’t have any money and you’ll just generally be fucked. Well here’s where I’ve got you covered. I’m providing you with the recipes for a full on Thanksgiving dinner, fast food style. Cause if you’re traveling, you likely aren’t getting where you need to go in time to have that turkey. Sorry, guys.
I don’t think any fast food restaurants have Thanksgiving covered quite like this. What are we making? There’s the turkey burger, obviously. But the turkey burger, with turkey sausage blended into it, then topped with fontina (obviously), a fried mashed potato latke and cranberry mayo on a sage and thyme stuffing roll.
Then we have a side of green bean fries, coated in french fried onions with a mushroom casserole dipping sauce. Then finally, an adult pumpkin pie milkshake that’s super pumpkin pie-y. (I don’t think I have to say it, but I will. Don’t drink alcoholic pumpkin milkshakes and drive. Not only is drunk driving wrong, but with a milkshake, I’m inclined to think you’ll get a brain freeze and wreck from that.)
So there you have it, Thanksgiving-on-the-go for all of you travelin’ fools. Have a safe and happy holiday, kids!
The Six Bucks and My Right Nut Value Meal: Thanksgiving to Eat on a Plane, Train or Automobile
((Makes 6 servings))
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)
- 2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 3-3 1 /2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve your yeast in your warm water. Stir until murky and gross-looking. Add the oil and the sugar, then let sit for five minutes. Next add the egg, salt, sage and thyme. Finally start adding your flour. Add enough to get a soft, workable dough ball. Then, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the shit out of it for 3-5 minutes. You’ll want the consistency to be the same throughout, and be totally workable.
Divide it into six balls. Shape ‘em with your hands so they look very ball-like. Place on a greased baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Set on top of your oven and preheat your oven to 425. Let them rise for a half hour, then remove your towel, brush with butter and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- 1 /4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 /3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 1 /2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Blend ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.
Mashed Potato Latke-Topped Turkey Burger
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 lb. hot turkey sausage
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, prepared or store bought
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- oil, for frying
- 6 slices fontina cheese
- 6 homemade stuffing rolls (recipe above)
- cranberry mayo (recipe above)
Preheat skillet or grill pan over medium high heat.
In a bowl, mix together turkey burger, turkey sausage, salt and pepper and herbs. Shape into six patties and put little divots in the center so they are thicker around the outside. They should be about 3 /4” thick. Drizzle your pan with olive oil and place the patties on the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, then flip, cooking for another 5 minutes on the other side. (Try for 165 internal temp. You’ll want them cooked through since they are turkey, not beef.) Once they are done, top with cheese slices and place a lid over the pan to melt the cheese.
In the meantime, heat 2-3 inches of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Prepare your mashed potatoes into six patties. Set out three bowls. In the first, place your flour. In the second, beat together your egg and milk. In the third, put your panko breadcrumbs. Bread your patties, flour, then egg, then panko, and set aside. When oil is heated, fry each of your mashed potato patties until golden brown on each side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Assemble your burgers! Slather a good amount of cranberry mayo on the stuffing buns, and place cheesed-up burger and latke on top. Close it up and eat!!
Green Bean Fries with Mushroom Casserole Dipping Sauce
(Recipe adapted from Just A Pinch)
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, snapped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cup flour, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup french fried onions, crushed
- oil for frying
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- additional french fried onions for garnish
In a small saucepan, preheated over medium heat, drizzle olive oil. Drop in mushrooms and salt and pepper them. Cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a bowl, blend together sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir in mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Put into condiment cups and garnish with french fried onions. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Drop green beans in and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water.
Set up your breading station. A bowl with 1 cup flour, a bowl with 1 /2 cup flour, a bowl with milk and eggs (beaten) and a bowl with breadcrumbs and fried onions.
Remove beans from ice bath and shake dry. In sections, dredge them in flour, then individually dip them in egg mixture followed by breadcrumbs. Place in one layer on a cookie sheet.
In a saucepan, with 3 inches of oil heated over medium heat, cook beans in batches. Leave in oil until the breading is lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to paper towels and then repeat until all of the green bean fries are cooked.
Serve with mushroom dipping sauce.
Adult Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
- 6 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin cream liqueur
- whipped cream
- graham crackers, crumbled
- pumpkin pie spice, for garnish
In a blender, mix (in two batches) ice cream, pumpkin pie filling, milk and liqueur. Divide into glasses and top with whipped cream, graham crackers and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Shove a straw in them and suck until your brain hurts.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.