by Lindsay Robertson
Three years ago, my friend Stephanie and I were both invited to celebrate Thanksgiving at a mutual friend’s house. Most of the people coming, including the mutual friend, were crazy insane foodies. Just complete and total insufferable food snobs from hell (but were great otherwise!). So Stephanie and I, who are not foodies, and who are both from northern Florida, decided to bring a fake, disgusting casserole and pass it off as a Northern Florida/Southern Thanksgiving tradition that both of our families, who didn’t even know each other, made every year. (The other people at this Thanksgiving celebration, in addition to being foodies, were also Northerners.)
The idea was to make a huge deal about how excited we were about the casserole and to talk about it for weeks before the holiday and present it proudly and to laugh while recounting the little quarrel we had about our differing family traditions on a recipe ingredient and how it almost derailed the cooking project entirely before we finally reached a compromise. We also wanted to make sure every single person tried some of the casserole. We wanted to watch each person eat some and note their reactions and say things like “Right? Isn’t it delicious! We’ll email you the recipe if you promise not to share it!” We hoped to do all this with totally straight faces.
We also hoped that in the course of the evening, the other members of the party would get the chance to talk about our revolting casserole behind our backs while we were out of the room. We planned to go out for several long smoke breaks in order to facilitate this shit-talking.
At the end of the night, we would do our big reveal: “The casserole was a joke! What kind of trash did you guys think we were? We know how to cook normal food in Northern Florida! There is absolutely no culinary tradition that involves Cheerios as a topping on a casserole!! Hahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”
We got as far as co-authoring the recipe, adding ingredients back and forth over IM and making a shopping list. Then, when Thanksgiving Day actually arrived, we said fuck it and made a pumpkin pie. (You know, starving people and all.) But here’s What Could Have Been the Best Foodie-Shaming Practical Joke Ever Though In Retrospect We Would Have Been Found Out Because Our Friends Are Not Stupid:
Three boxes Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, prepared
2 cans of peas
2 cups mayonnaise
2 packages Oscar Meyer baloney
3 jars of tapioca pudding
1 bag of Cheetos
2 cups Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Ketchup, to taste
Mix everything except the baloney, Cheerios, and ketchup in a bowl.
Line a large casserole dish with the baloney, taking care to make sure it sticks out and hangs over the sides in an attractive manner.
Dump everything in the casserole dish.
Sprinkle the Cheerios evenly.
Cook at 350 for however long, until it looks on purpose.
Serves as many as you can get to try it.
Lindsay Robertson makes more evil plans than she executes.