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Happy Thanksgiving week, clowns!
Hope you’re all geared up for the holiday. I can’t believe we’re already practically at the end of November, can you?
As a food writer I often get asked if there’s any tricks or tips I have for improving classic Thanksgiving dishes. My recommendation is to just add kimchi to pretty much everything. Your family will think you are quite worldly, and when they ask you, “Where did you learn to use such an interesting ingredient?” tell them it was your Korean friend Dannis.
They will respond, “Did you just say Dannis? Dannis Ree?! You know the greatest food writer in all of history?”
The entire Thanksgiving table will stand up, give you a rousing round of applause, and you will have a new heirloom recipe to pass down, like “Auntie Simone’s Kimchi Pumpkin Pie with Kimchi Crust and Kimchi Whipped Cream.”
Actually, I made that all up. Nobody ever asks me for Thanksgiving advice. Since everybody knows I write about food for a living, most people are too intimidated to ask me for anything. Or perhaps they read this newsletter and realize that asking me anything about real cooking is a fatal decision.
Now this year, I have decided to put my own unsolicited twist on Thanksgiving, by simplifying the dumbest Thanksgiving dish ever created: The Turducken.
But how could I improve upon such a creation? Honestly, anything would be an innovation. The traditional method of creating a turducken from scratch basically involves complicated bone-removal surgery from three dead birds, none of whom deserved to sacrifice their lives just to be shoved up each other’s ass. I’d make a version that was so easy and affordable, yet so elegant, that would make you look like a goddamn champion in front of your family.
So let us welcome: The Turfucken.
First of all, we’d create the Turfucken with only convenience foods.
This includes turkey Spam, frozen chicken nuggets, and duck-based cat food. Yes, cat food. It’s still called food, isn’t it?
I have a confession to make: I’ve never had turkey Spam before.
I love the original version, so I was interested in tucking into this shit. What’s really remarkable is that it tastes nearly identical to the real thing, which is kind of alarming. Apparently the source meat isn’t important. Does that mean you could make Spam out of a person? Who wants to dedicate their body to science?
The first thing you need to do is hollow out the turkey Spam brick.
Once I did that, I used it as binoculars to stare at Mr. Bee, who didn’t find my antics amusing. I must appease him in order to survive every night.
Then, I chopped up some frozen chicken nuggets.
If you can’t tell by the photo, they’re still frozen. Why I decided to chop them up the hard way (I could have just microwaved the damn things first), I don’t know.
Then, I’d have to prepare my duck component.
Duck is expensive as shit for some reason. I wish it wasn’t, because it’s fuckin’ delicious. I see ducks wandering around outside all the time. Why I can’t just eat one of those, I will never understand.
But rather than pay $25 for a whole duck, I wanted to save some money, plus make prep easier on myself. So I got this little cat food packet from the pet store, that only cost me about $1! Can you believe the savings? Now I can go around bragging that I ate duck for dinner! And cat food!
Listen, when you’re saving money sometimes you have to sacrifice quality.
I did not know an animal could come in such a smooth, fine, paste.
I mashed that duck puke in with the chicken nuggets, which I’d microwaved to soften.
I’m sorry, I think I blacked out slightly. Did I say puke? I meant pate. I get the two confused occasionally.
Then I stuffed the cat food and chicken nugget mixture into the hollowed out block of turkey Spam.
I’m sorry, did I black out again? Where am I?
I then pan-seared the whole Turfucken loaf in my decrepit, likely carcinogen-emitting non-stick pan.
I…I should get rid of that thing. It’s bad enough I’m purposely preparing myself to eat cat food.
Now the Turfucken loaf was pretty much ready to serve.
What an affordable turkey, duck, and chicken dish! In total I’m pretty sure everything was under $7. I have made luxury available to everyone. In the not-so-distant dystopian future I see for humanity, this is how we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving from now on.
I plated the Turfucken on top of some instant store-bought stuffing (the ultra-cheap shit, not even Stove Top), and doused it in jarred turkey gravy.
It actually looked sort of okay! Let’s be optimistic, people.
I grabbed a forkful of the Turfucken, and gave it a cheerful attempt at ingestion.
I hate to admit it, but this wasn’t even close to the worst thing I’ve ever eaten. Does that mean it was good? Absolutely not. Turkey Spam and chicken nuggets are totally fine together, but duck-based cat paste leaves a very strong lingering aftertaste in your mouth. I will be haunted by its flavor for the rest of my days, which is probably down to two, as the Turfucken moves slowly through my digestive system, poisoning me.
On that cheerful note, may your Thanksgiving this year be infinitely better than this Turfucken. Have a fantastic holiday, get some rest, and don’t forget to put kimchi into every single dish you make this year.
Turfucken. I’m a goddamn genius. If you’re at all thankful for me after reading this (I don’t blame you if you currently feel the opposite way), please share this post on social media. It keeps the newsletter growing, and after the boost I got from Substack itself this week, I’d love to keep that momentum going.
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As always, don’t forget, I love you all very much. Really.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and I’ll hop into your inboxes soon, I promise.