A Silly Holiday List


It’s almost Thanksgiving, that beloved American day-off-from-work that celebrates…well, food. Everyone who can make the trip converges on one family member’s home with a casserole or a dessert or maybe both. The adults sit at the dining table while the kids get the folding card table in the living room, with warnings of dire consequences should food begin to fly through the air. It’s the day we gather together to eat. Well, okay, these days it also appears to be the prep day before 24 hours of insane shopping frenzies. Seriously, just try and run to the grocery store for eggs and a loaf of bread between now and Thursday night. You need the skills of a master hunter, a Nascar driver and a downhill skier to navigate the aisles of the store, which are filled with people frantically trying to remember if Aunt Grace likes the jellied cranberry sauce or the whole berry and where on earth the store keeps that stuff anyway. It’s a mini-Black Friday ordeal, and my yearly reminder of why I don’t leave the house on the day after Thanksgiving.
But anyway… food. Yum! In the Massey home, we’re having turkey, green beans, corn on the cob, stuffing, brussels sprouts and homemade cherry pie. Not entirely the traditional fare, I know. No sweet potatoes, and no pumpkin pie, but since I don’t love them, and I’m in charge of the menu, I didn’t choose those items. The fun of Thanksgiving is in eating too much of things that you like, right? Which got me to wondering, what would some of my favorite characters serve on their Thanksgiving tables?

Brother Cadfael
Being a Benedictine monk, Cadfael wouldn’t have an overabundance of food lying around. He knows his gardening, though, so I could almost guarantee an amazing salad of greens and fresh veggies. He’d likely feed you and any guests, and only eat when everyone else was settled. Like someone’s grandma, except with a tonsure.

Jamie Fraser
Assuming he wasn’t in the midst of battle (or lovemaking – he’s a lusty one, that man), Jamie’s table would be groaning under a platter of venison, tatties and curly kale, warm oatcakes and plenty of hearty heather ale.

Hiro Protagonist
Anything but pizza.

A bright pink fish with rainbow eyes, whose flesh grows back no matter how many slices are taken, a bowl of candylions and a baked sugar castle with fairy wings for windows, and diamond wine. What did you expect from a Chaos Lord?

Temeraire and Captain Laurence
The captain would enjoy a fine repast consisting of a roasted joint, potatoes and assorted vegetables, slices of a good sharp Stilton and a lovely Yorkshire pudding with gravy, finishing with a bit of crystalized ginger to aid in the proper digestion.
Temeraire has simpler tastes – one cow should do it.

A delicious lamb madras, with sausage stuffed poblanos and a big mug of milled wine to wash it down. The spice must flow!

Feel free to share your favorite characters’ menu ideas in the comments. Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers, and a happy Thursday to everyone else!


8 comments to A Silly Holiday List

  • And Kestrel?

    Will Hawthorne will go for a perfectly roasted rossel with a sweet berry glaze, all the timmings, and several glasses of whatever is in that dust covered bottle behind the bar that no one ever touches. Then he’ll get it all billed to someone else’s table.

  • Kestrel would be happy with a plate of fresh beryls, a bowl of savory stew and a loaf of crusty bread. But no salted fish – she hates it. Which makes most meals aboard ship a little problematic…

  • Unicorn

    Hilarious! And good for character development, too, if in a roundabout kind of way. Unfortunately I don’t know much about Thanksgiving, living in Africa, but if it has food in it, it’s bound to be good. 🙂
    Terry Pratchett’s Sam Vimes would probably have anything greasy, slightly burnt or both. Especially (quote from The Fifth Elephant) “eggs that go boing when you stick a fork in them”, or mash with crunchy grey bits. How about some sausages? “And that’s cutting me own throat!” (You’ll have to be a Discworld fan to understand).
    As for my own characters… some of them like hay, and oats. The MC is very particular about dessert; apple crumble with lots of home-churned butter and cream. The MC’s sister would just like to stuff herself with as much food as is possible. The villain wants fresh MC. Well, he’s the villain after all.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Beast = a small horse. Or maybe a bison. She way one on TV and has always been intrigued.

    Jane = steak (beef, please, not horse) and double baked potatoes. And beer. No salad, nothing green, unless it comes with hot bacon dressing.

    Thorn St. Croix = grilled fish, roasted potatoes, a lovely red, and a massage. Just sayin’.

  • Ethan Kaille, of Thieftaker unfame (for now): Living in Boston, in the 1760s, he would probably have something far closer to the first “Thanksgiving” than we have now. Wild Turkey, perhaps. Venison, almost certainly. Fish, or fish chowder, without a doubt. Corn, squash, and beans. He’s also partial to Madeira wine or a pale ale brewed in Kent.

  • Equally unfamous (equally for now) is my darling MC, Malja — kick-butt warrior in a post-apocalyptic world brought on by magic. Her perfect food — one, crisp, ripe apple.

  • Sarah

    Unicorn beat me to Vimes, so my own (unpublished) MC Harvey (a woman) would have a traditional turkey with all the fixings (cranberry out of a can! thank you very much) including succotash and whipped acorn squash because that’s what’s traditional dammit, even though no one in her family would eat any of the vegetables. And she’d have hot crusty bread made by hand the way her mother taught her. All of it would get eaten with butter and honey, except one loaf would be set aside to be used later to reinforce the wards around the thresholds.

    But there would also be pierogis from the little old lady down the street who sells them to her neighbors. And lots of beer. Lots of beer and a football game playing too loud in the background until she forced anyone not cooking to go outside and work up an appetite raking leaves or playing touch football.

  • Tom G

    My MC Sable Hart would enjoy a young, healthy quarterback. Or a cowboy. Hey, she’s a vampire.

    Ok, we’ll move to Fantasy…
    Eric Dragonsbane always enjoys roated wild boar at the harvest feast, along with roasted potatos and lots of ale to wash it down.
    Karl Laughingbear – ale. And more ale. Hey, he’s a barbarian.
    Last but no least – Raven. She’d like to have Eric, but she’ll settle for lots of strong ale. Hey, she’s also a barbarian.