Anything but Ramen: Thanksgiving food is here!

Food columnist Aaron Pellish on preparing to take his culinary training back home to his mother

Guys, I have some good news and some bad news.

Most people want the bad news first, but I prefer hearing the good news first because I like good things more than I like bad things. I know that line of logic doesn’t really make sense, but it doesn’t matter because Thanksgiving is almost here! That’s great news! And the semester is almost over! Super-double-bonus great news!

The bad news, however, is tragic. Each MOVE column ends every semester and is reborn with fresh new writers eager to ramble to their hearts’ content. This means that my column, our sacred shared space of culinary adventures, will be ending soon.

I know, I’m just as torn up as you are, loyal readers.

The nearing end of the column means I have to attempt to fulfill my goal from the onset, which, if you loyal readers will recall, was to be able to go home for fall break with something that I could put on the table for Thanksgiving.

My all-time, hands down, favorite Thanksgiving food is stuffing because it’s not as obvious as turkey or mashed potatoes, but is still more satisfying and centrally important to the holiday than, for example, green beans or cranberries.

I decided to try out a fairly complicated stuffing recipe with the hopes of learning how to make a stuffing that I could make anytime I wanted instead of having to wait for the one day a year that it’s acceptable to eat stuffing until your belt buckle bursts.

The stuffing recipe I found online was a recipe to make stuffing from scratch, as opposed to the countless phony recipes that were simply the instructions for a box of the pre-made stuffing mix. However, it wasn’t overly complicated to the point that I felt it was out of my culinary skill set. I accepted the challenge and headed off to Walmart with dreams of endless bowls of stuffing running through my head.

One of the main ingredients in stuffing is bread. Typically, in stuffing, the bread is cut into cube shapes about one inch long on each side. Creating that particular shape in bread is not easy to do by hand, but I was fully prepared for the task of carving up little bread cubes if it meant hearty stuffing was the end result.

But sweet, sweet Walmart was one step ahead of me once again. As soon as I walked in, I saw a massive bag of pre-cut, pre-baked bread cubes made specifically for stuffing.

I cannot overstate how much I have connected with Walmart on an emotional level over the course of this column. I know they say it’s impossible to love a grocery store, but what do they know. They’ve never known something as real and true as what I have with Walmart. They don’t understand!

When I came home, I was a little flushed and very excited to get my stuffing made. It turned out to be a very simple process. I threw a whole bunch of bread cubes in a bowl, poured in a can of chicken broth and added some salt and pepper. Then I cooked a bunch of celery, onions and garlic in a saucepan with lots of margarine. Once that was done, I mixed the onion mixture in with the bread, added a couple eggs, stirred it up and baked it for an hour in the oven.

As soon as I pulled the stuffing out, my roommates pounced on it, leaving me not with the endless bowls of stuffing I had hoped for, but something even better; I have found that I really like feeding my friends with the food I make.

I’m glad they all enjoyed the stuffing so much, even though I thought it was a little too yolky. But I’ve learned starving college students will pretty much eat anything and say it tastes good.

I have no idea what my mom, who is probably a much harsher judge of food than my friends by virtue of not being insanely hungry all the time, would think of my stuffing or any of the food I have made.

I’ll just have to wait until I go home.

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