The healing properties of cooking cannot be denied. Following a set of instructions and busying your hands is like hitting the reset button on your brain. With Thanksgiving coming up, odds are, you’re going to be in the kitchen in one way or another. Whether it’s slicing radishes for a side salad, or being head chef calling all the turkey shots, let this holiday be the one where you pop on The Big Chill soundtrack, mash the crap out of some potatoes and bliss the hell out. Combining my two favorite things (being encouraged to overeat in America’s honor and divorce), I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up some great Thanksgiving recipes from my favorite divorced chefs.
Alton Brown is divorced. Did you know that? Me neither! Maybe his ex-wife couldn’t stand hearing about yeast budding for one more minute, and hit the bricks. We’ll never know. But what we do know is appetizers are a key component of Thanksgiving. They keep the hanger away and the pre-dinner whining to a minimum. Alton’s mushroom caps look like a great starter, as do these spicy pecans.
You probably know Bobby Flay is divorced. A couple of times actually. His most recent split from Stephanie March was all over the papers. Perhaps you heard about the airplane that flew over his Walk of Fame ceremony with a banner in tow that read “CHEATER”? It is good not to be Bobby Flay right now. Almost as good as this potato gratin recipe looks. And what’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? This one looks extra decadent.
Giada De Laurentiis, she of the tiny spoons and over-pronunciation, is also divorced and boy was it a pricey split. Hey, readers, for the millionth time, get a prenup! And make this roasted root salad, it looks delicious.
I’d argue the closest the Food Network ever got to pornography was Down Home With the Neelys. While Gina and Pat Neely could make baked potatoes sensual, they could not make their love last. Gina filed for divorce in 2014. Depressing, I know. Drown your sorrows in this chorizo and collard green stuffing recipe, a perfect addition to your holiday table.
As this is the big show, and we’re not messing around, the turkey recipe will of course be courtesy of Martha. Martha Stewart, la grande dame de entertaining, was divorced in 1990, and while it was not pretty, it was in fact a good thing. Martha’s dedication to building her empire only grew stronger and she launched Martha Stewart Living the following year, and is — hang on let me get my calculator — currently worth a kajillion dollars. There is no one else I would trust with a turkey or gravy for that matter.
Nigella Lawson’s divorce hit the headlines with a fury. Lots of seedy and sad details were spilled but nothing can come between Nigella and her loyal following. Nobody cared about the mud slung at her and her ex-husband came out the big, giant loser. To be the big winner at your holiday, make one of Nigella’s desserts. This pecan pie looks picture perfect and this pumpkin cheesecake looks seriously delicious.
Just one more even though I know you’re really pooped from all the cooking and family and entertaining and everything. But you know what would be great fuel for Black Friday shopping? Why, Kris Jenner’s pumpkin bread obviously. While Kris isn’t a “chef” per se, she is divorced. And if you make this bread, when you hand it out you can tell everyone it is KRIS JENNER’S PUMPKIN BREAD and I don’t know what would be better than that. There are three cups of sugar in the recipe and it looks terrible, so bake at your own risk.
So there you have it. An entire holiday catered by divorcées. Quite an interesting theme if you ask me. When you gather your family around the table, feel free to explain the bounty before them is all thanks to cheating, bitterness, strife, nagging, sadness and broken dreams. Then go around the table and make everyone say what they’re thankful for. If they’re having trouble getting started, kick it off with, “Well I’m pretty thankful Denise isn’t here,” and let the gratitude flow from there.
James J. Sexton
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