Are you ready for Tacosgiving?

I used to really dread this holiday. For the most part, it’s all about food. I mean, the true meaning is obviously gathering and giving thanks, but in a lot of ways, at its core, this holiday is just a highly ritualized meal. Most Americans eat a handful of the same things. We’re expected to overeat, we’re supposed to overeat, it’s part of the ritual. Thanksgiving isn’t about moderation, it’s about a lush, beautiful table, overflowing with bounty.

I hesitate to write this part, because I really don’t like blaming any of my body image issues on my family. They got it from their parents just as bad, and usually worse, than they dished it out… but my grandmother was truly an evil genius at this holiday. She’d routinely prepare ten times the food that we needed. She’d insist that you have seconds, and force leftovers into your hands, and in the same breath mention that oh, looks like she needs to start buying you LARGE sweaters instead of MEDIUM ones. I know she never meant to do it, she never did it on purpose, she probably never even realized what kind of massively mixed signals she was sending out. Eat all of this food that I lovingly made for you! and oh my aren’t you packing on the pounds lately?

So it’s taken me some time to untangle my brain from all of this insane conditioning and realize that it is okay to love food as much as I do. It’s not a symptom of being a fat chick, there are plenty of skinny people that nerd out about food too. It is just a thing about me: I love food, I love its history, I love when it’s surprising and innovative, I love picking out the best possible ingredients and I love spending hours preparing a dish. And there’s no need to feel guilty about that.

I love this holiday now that I feel free to get excited about food, and I’m not legally obligated to make turkey! Now that I’ve rambled on, here’s my blueprint. Originally I was going to do carne asada, shrimp, lamb chorizo and lobster tacos. But it was pointed out to me that it’s probably just going to be three of us, and that many different kinds of tacos – even for Tacosgiving – might be overkill. So now we’re eschewing the beef and lamb, and I’m defrosting some pork instead. Niles and I had a long conversation about whether it should be barbacoa or al pastor, and in the end, barbacoa won out. I can have it cooking long and slow all day long without much work on my part. And if I prepare the shrimp and lobster together, I can still have my seafood taco, and it’ll be twice as tasty.

The best part of Tacosgiving? I can get all the ingredients at the little carniceria across the street, so I can skip the crowds at the grocery store. I’m really excited about the barbacoa, I’ve never tried making it before. And the barbacoa recipes I’ve found all call for cola, and my little carniceria has Jarritos Mexican cola, made with real sugar instead of HFCS, and that should give it a good, strong flavor. I’ll let you guys know how it turns out!

IN OTHER NEWS: I’m about 3/4 of the way there on my Kickstarter! I’ve got an extra long weekend with all sorts of time set aside for working on this Shuteye project. Take a look at the latest update, I’ve gotten pretty far on that print design – I’m hoping to finish it sometime this weekend. I’m also going to be working on prepping pages for the printer; it’s a long time before I have to send it off, but it’s also a pretty long book, and I want to get a head start.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!