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The ideal hipster Thanksgiving

Prepare your single-origin beans, elaborate cocktails, and yam rants

Dear Hipster:

While I bet a lot of people would say that Thanksgiving is way too mainstream for hipsters, I think that’s a misunderstanding. Today’s hispters are so much more earnest and wholesome than the hipsters of ten years ago. I can really see them getting into the idea of togetherness and home-cooked meals. Would you agree with that? If so, what would the ultimate hipster Thanksgiving menu look like?

— Stacy

As I’ve pointed out before, no holiday lacks the potential for a hipster makeover. Thanksgiving is no exception. Not only is it nestled comfortably between epic Halloween costumes and ugly-Christmas-sweater parties, November’s fourth Thursday corners the market on ritualized overeating. Lest we forget, hipsters as a whole have embraced gluttonous foods. Who was it that first incorporated bacon into donuts and cupcakes? Hipsters. Who were the first white people to insist that their tortillas and pie crusts be made with lard? Hipsters. Who figured out that one might charge double for chicken and waffles just by incorporating some herbes de Provence and a drizzle of artisanal honey? Hipsters. You might say (I certainly do) that hipsters make up the perfect demographic for enjoying a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast — with some caveats, of course.

The perfect hipster Thanksgiving meal begins not with food, but with several rounds of elaborate cocktails, ideally prepared as seen on a local bartender’s Instagram. Any hipster worth his smugness will be half-cocked on mulled wine and hot buttered rum long before the turkey’s even out of the oven.

Did I say “oven”? I meant to say “deep fryer,” or perhaps “sous vide bath,” or maybe even “smoker.” Even the most detached hipsters can’t ironically appreciate a dried-out bird, no matter how much nitrate-free sausage gravy (obviously much healthier, especially when made with organic cream) they pour over it, and thus embrace alternative means of turkey preparation.

Suitable hipster side dishes include Stove Top stuffing; ironic, canned cranberry sauce; morbid conversation on the subject of European atrocities committed against American Indians; abject disavowment of Black Friday; sweet potatoes baked with marshmallows and served with at least one smug lecture on the subject of yams†; and/or mashed potatoes.

The biggest problem most hipsters face during Thanksgiving is selecting the perfect, single-origin coffee to pair with pumpkin pie. I recommend consulting with your favorite local coffee roaster well ahead of the holiday, because who wants to be running around on Wednesday trying to find a batch of delicately roasted 100% Guatemalan arabica? You’ve no one but yourself to blame if you have to settle for Colombian and your hipster guests snort disapprovingly after the first whiff of inadequate java.

†“Yams” refers to a group of root vegetables, none of which are native to North America. “Sweet potatoes” are a tuber, and they come in orange and white. The orange variety are commonly, and incorrectly, referred to as “yams” in the U.S. Etymologists suspect that they initially picked up the name courtesy of East African slaves, for whom actual yams are a major crop, and who ate orange sweet potatoes while enslaved in the American South. Ideally, this diatribe on the horrors of colonialism should be met with a muttered chorus of approval at the lecturer’s trivial knowledge, and a group vow to eliminate references to non-yam yams from one’s diction.

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Dear Hipster:

While I bet a lot of people would say that Thanksgiving is way too mainstream for hipsters, I think that’s a misunderstanding. Today’s hispters are so much more earnest and wholesome than the hipsters of ten years ago. I can really see them getting into the idea of togetherness and home-cooked meals. Would you agree with that? If so, what would the ultimate hipster Thanksgiving menu look like?

— Stacy

As I’ve pointed out before, no holiday lacks the potential for a hipster makeover. Thanksgiving is no exception. Not only is it nestled comfortably between epic Halloween costumes and ugly-Christmas-sweater parties, November’s fourth Thursday corners the market on ritualized overeating. Lest we forget, hipsters as a whole have embraced gluttonous foods. Who was it that first incorporated bacon into donuts and cupcakes? Hipsters. Who were the first white people to insist that their tortillas and pie crusts be made with lard? Hipsters. Who figured out that one might charge double for chicken and waffles just by incorporating some herbes de Provence and a drizzle of artisanal honey? Hipsters. You might say (I certainly do) that hipsters make up the perfect demographic for enjoying a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast — with some caveats, of course.

The perfect hipster Thanksgiving meal begins not with food, but with several rounds of elaborate cocktails, ideally prepared as seen on a local bartender’s Instagram. Any hipster worth his smugness will be half-cocked on mulled wine and hot buttered rum long before the turkey’s even out of the oven.

Did I say “oven”? I meant to say “deep fryer,” or perhaps “sous vide bath,” or maybe even “smoker.” Even the most detached hipsters can’t ironically appreciate a dried-out bird, no matter how much nitrate-free sausage gravy (obviously much healthier, especially when made with organic cream) they pour over it, and thus embrace alternative means of turkey preparation.

Suitable hipster side dishes include Stove Top stuffing; ironic, canned cranberry sauce; morbid conversation on the subject of European atrocities committed against American Indians; abject disavowment of Black Friday; sweet potatoes baked with marshmallows and served with at least one smug lecture on the subject of yams†; and/or mashed potatoes.

The biggest problem most hipsters face during Thanksgiving is selecting the perfect, single-origin coffee to pair with pumpkin pie. I recommend consulting with your favorite local coffee roaster well ahead of the holiday, because who wants to be running around on Wednesday trying to find a batch of delicately roasted 100% Guatemalan arabica? You’ve no one but yourself to blame if you have to settle for Colombian and your hipster guests snort disapprovingly after the first whiff of inadequate java.

†“Yams” refers to a group of root vegetables, none of which are native to North America. “Sweet potatoes” are a tuber, and they come in orange and white. The orange variety are commonly, and incorrectly, referred to as “yams” in the U.S. Etymologists suspect that they initially picked up the name courtesy of East African slaves, for whom actual yams are a major crop, and who ate orange sweet potatoes while enslaved in the American South. Ideally, this diatribe on the horrors of colonialism should be met with a muttered chorus of approval at the lecturer’s trivial knowledge, and a group vow to eliminate references to non-yam yams from one’s diction.

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