Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner - Meat Pie

Okay, so it's not technically a food ad, but it does have a budget-saver recipe. Hey, what more could you ask? Besides, I omitted a contribution to the holiday groaning board yesterday so I owe you a double-dose.

This ad ran in 1942, the dark days of World War II when Thanksgiving meant being glad the boys had finally broken out of El Alamein and the Rommel and the Nazis were in retreat. On the home front mom was welding bomber fuselages while dad was carrying a rifle and rationing was in full swing so the big Turkey Day dinner wasn't all that big.

Hundreds of Victory recipes were printed in magazines and newspapers, all promising to stretch a dollar and put a hot, healthy meal on the table with as little effort as possible. Hence the Budget-Saver Meat Pie! Basically meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes. Nothing says "victory" like mashed potatoes.

But, maybe I'm missing the point here. You see, today we're in the midst of our own war. We've been in the midst of it for almost two decades now and the only thing on the horizon seems to be escalation as all the Middle East unravels and the Russians start putting their toe in to test the temperature. All the while we're still fixated on football, food, and the fakery of reality television. We don't share the pains of war, not even in the slightest, so why should we care to avoid it? It's become something that happens over there and involves a bunch of poor kids and immigrants in uniform. Nothing the privileged classes should worry about, we just have another helping of lotus and sleep on while others bleed.

So, maybe this Thanksgiving we should omit the turkey. Maybe this year we should send it to the troops or the impoverished or the refugees who've lost everything to conflict and hatred. Maybe we should set an empty platter in the center of the table, warmed for the day when we can truly be thankful that the war has ended and the families who've been torn apart by these conflicts can sit together around their own tables in their own homes.

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