Dear readers,

It’s the most wonderful time of year again: pre-Thanksgiving! Here at Manger, we’ve been wracking our brains for weeks to give you new content about a holiday that’s had the same menu for three centuries and change.

So what’s it going to be this year? Let’s start at ethnic riffs on the classics. Last year’s “Gaucho Thanksgiving” was warmly received by at least one of you, so we’ve drawn up an even more specific Oaxaca Thanksgiving Feast (p. 12). Think chile relleno — but it’s a turkey — pumpkin pie tacos, and calling your gravy mole. You may also like Thanksgiving à la Balkan Peninsula (p. 43) with imminent family favorites like turkey kebab, sour cabbage casserole, and mastic-liqueur punch. Or General Tso’s Thanksgiving (p. 50), with Kung Pao turkey, Panda Express™ sweet and sour broccoli, and squash-flavored fortune cookies. (I’m obligated to mention that this menu is generously sponsored by Panda Express™.)

But why not draw inspiration from our own great country? Our Historically Accurate Thanksgiving spread (p. 90) is almost completely inedible, but acclaimed gastronomist Clive Winterford has appended a lot of footnotes to recipes like Damp Cornmeal and Boiled Waterfowl. You could even subject your family to the novelty of a Great American Theme Parks Thanksgiving (p.41), because why not replace pie with Dip’n Dots, and I have to justify my intern’s expensed trip to Six Flags. If you’ve ever thought your Thanksgiving table had one too many plates, you’ll love Turduckensgiving (p. 6), a menu of four simple dishes that each consist of several nested food items.

Are you still reading? Great. We’ll reveal these next menus in full in a few days on our website, because we need your clicks even if you’re making your mom’s biscuits for the sixteenth year in a row. Our Life-Hacked Turkey Day (p. 54) comes together entirely within 60 minutes thanks to some ingenious shortcuts like pre-boiling water and catering. Every dish on our Instagramsgiving Menu (p. 71) looks terrific in aerial photography, though we aren’t sure how any of them taste. And we hope our All-Sandwich Thanksgiving (p. 32) at least shares well on Facebook, because it is just a regular Thanksgiving menu with every item between slices of bread.

If all goes well, you should have leftovers for a week and you’ll have no excuse not to finally finish your novel, which would usher you discreetly from the food-writing sphere altogether, because you didn’t know what you were getting into when you started blogging recipes on LiveJournal so long ago, where have the years gone? And whatever you serve this year, don’t forget the magic ingredient — table wine.

Epicuriously yours,
Glen Garfield
Editor-in-Chief, MANGER