Thanksgiving is great, but let’s face it –sometimes it’s just not relatable enough for those of us obsessed with fantasy and sci-fi tales. If pilgrims and natives aren’t your thing, then turkey, cranberry and pumpkin might not cut it either. For those of you who are thankful for good contributions to geek culture, here are a few ideas to make your own Thanksgiving feast a little more memorable.
Game of Thrones
This fantasy epic is filled with so many delicious food and drink ideas that there is already more than one blog out there dedicated to creating the tasty treats in real life. Inn At The Crossroads is the best known of these blogs and the site even has a cookbook coming out soon. For those looking to spice up their Thanksgiving with some kingly delights, may I recommend the Rack of Lamb in a Crust of Garlic and Herbs served with a cup of Salladhor Saans Hot Wine. If you’d like something a little more exotic for your main course though, the Grilled Snake, served with a spicy mustard sauce, looks rather delightful.
If you’re familiar with Dune, then you know that it is all about the spices. That being said, the two best recipes from this story are both beverages. Whether you prefer Spice Beer or Spice Coffee, I’m sure either one would make a great contribution to your Thanksgiving menu. Grumpy Frenchman suggests adding cinnamon to your beer for Spice Beer, but he also warns that that makes the foam go crazy, so pour accordingly. Meanwhile, GeekChill has a fantastic recipe for Spice Coffee that blends Chai tea, coffee and cinnamon –yum!
Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit
Middle Earth is awash with great food and drink, but because most of Tolkien’s stories take place on the road, we tend to hear about the ones that are good for travel…which are not necessarily the most delicious treats around. That being said, while the hobbits seem to tire of Lembas bread, it is certainly the most delicious travel-friendly bread around and The Geeky Chef has a great recipe to make your own. As for The Hobbit, the many mentions of seed cake seem to indicate that it is certainly one of Bilbo’s favorite foods and Historical Foods has an excellent recipe based on the time period for which Tolkien based the setting for his classic tales. That means, this seed cake is about as close to what Bilbo would eat as possible.
Between the butterbeer, chocolate frogs and cauldron cakes, wizards and witches have quite a selection of tasty treats for any time of year. Of course, if there are any geek recipes that would actually go great with an otherwise traditional Thanksgiving feast, they would most certainly be Pumpkin Juice or Pumpkin Pasties. HarryPotterRecipes.Net has an absolutely delightful recipe for making your own Pumpkin Juice, sweetened with pineapple juice and spiced with a touch of nutmeg and allspice. For your Pumpkin Pasties fix, stop by The Geeky Chef and try out this delicious recipe that imagines them as a sort of pumpkin-filled pastry…like pumpkin pie turnovers.
These films contain very few references to food. Even when the characters eat or drink, they never really seem to bring attention to what, exactly, they are putting in their mouths. That being said, Wookiee-Ookies are specifically mentioned in the Star Wars Holiday Special. Although they are best known for being a Christmas treat, they can undoubtedly still be served for Thanksgiving, just like eggnog. You can find the recipe for these treats over on the website dedicated exclusively to the special, inventively called The Star Wars Holiday Special, and culled from The Star Wars Cookbook.
Like Star Wars, while the characters on Firefly do eat and drink on screen, they rarely explain what it is they are actually eating. We know they get most of their vitamins through nutrient bars that can provide a month’s worth of nutrition to someone although they still need to drink water and ingest calories, but aside from that, few foods are actually mentioned. A few exceptions are Mudder’s Milk, which is enjoyed in large quantities on Higgin’s Moon in the episode “Jaynestown,” and Ice Planets, which River Tam has difficulty eating in the episode “The Message.” You can find a non-alcoholic version of Mudder’s Milk on the Firefly Wikia and learn how to make your own Ice Planet (essentially ice cream on a string) over on Tasty Planner.
Of course, geek Thanksgivings don’t have to ignore the turkey entirely. After all, in the Star Trek episode “Charlie X,” Captain Kirk is upset because he wants to celebrate Thanksgiving properly with a turkey, but there were none on board. Instead, the crew was going to have to eat meatloaf. Strangely, while the meatloaf was cooking in the ovens, it suddenly transformed into turkey. It turns out that this was caused by Charles Evans, a young boy the crew recently brought on board, who has incredible powers. On the downside, he later uses those powers against everyone on board and tries to take over the ship, but hey, at least they got a nice Thanksgiving meal out of the ordeal. (For the record, yes, I know that is Picard and the Next Generation crew in the image, it was just the most holiday appropriate shot available.) While you can always serve turkey as your main course and just reference this episode, you can also try blending the storyline in a little more and serve turkey meatloaf that has been cooked in a turkey-shaped baking pan. What are your guy’s plans for Thanksgiving dinner? Are you planning to go traditional or do you guys like to mix things up a little more? Do any of you want to actually incorporate something from this article into your meal?