In 2002 I created a holiday. I called it All-Hallows’ Giving.
All-Hallows’ Giving (AHG) was born of two reasons. First, I always spend Thanksgiving with my family out of town and wanted to have a similar style-feast with friends. Second, I was fascinated by and curious about the Turducken.
So I combined, much like the Turducken combines three poultries, two holidays. I borrowed the “scary” from Halloween and combined that with the feasting gluttony of Thanksgiving. I scheduled the event to fall two weeks after Halloween and two weeks before Thanksgiving, and named this event All-Hallow’s Giving…a feast of frightening food. And, for the inaugural event, naturally, I served (the at the time fairly unheard of) Turducken.
That very first AHG took place on November 16, 2002. Besides the Turducken there were mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, vegetables…the whole gamut. And for dessert, something to stand side-by-side with the majesty of the Turducken, a concoction so intense it became known as “The Dirty Bomb”…a combination of Kit Kat bars, Snickers bars, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut M&Ms, caramel, crisped rice…all baked inside brownie batter. The resulting concoction would frighten dentists and level a diabetic.
It was a success. I’d have to do it again.
The following year I served “stuffed foods”, among them Meatloaf Muffins, containing, beyond your standard meatloaf ingredients: cheese, rice, corn kernels, sweet plantains…
In 2004 we feasted on the foods of Hawaii, including but not limited to Kalua Pig (smokey pork cooked in a pit), Poi (taro root mush), Spam Musubi (like sushi, but with fried Spam), Haupia (a coconut pudding)…
2005 was the year of the Hot Dog with an Iron Chef-inspired five preparations of hot dogs: Corn Dog Casserole, Buffalo “Wangs” (fried turkey dogs in wing sauce), PIG in blankets (cocktail wiener wrapped in ham, wrapped in bacon wrapped in puff pastry). Chicken Dogs Parmesan, and Hot Dog & Sauerkraut Pot Stickers. I can’t even remember what was for dessert that night.
Deep Fried Turkey and Elk & Bison Chili were the stars of 2006’s AHG, with Sweet Potato Casserole topped with Chocolate Sprinkles, Green Bean ‘n Cheese Casserole, and Stuff Puppies (deep fried corn bread stuffing croquettes) as the supporting cast. For dessert we sampled regional candies (Idaho Spud, Valomilk, Twin Bing, etc) and S’Mores made with Circus Peanuts in place of traditional marshmallow.
In 2007 I put the sandwich front and center, serving up Mufalettas, Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana, BLM (Bacon, Lettuce and Mango), The Rambocky, and as an nod to the first ever AHG, Turducken Sliders (w/cranberry ketchup), all served with a variety of pickles and assorted chips. Chocolate and Marshmallow on Graham Bread, Oreo Cookies, and Captain Crunch & Pixie Stix sandwiches (a.k.a. The Breakfast Club Sandwich) rounded out dessert.
And last year, 2008, I used Dia de Los Muertos as inspiration to fashion a Mexican Thanksgiving…Mole Braised Turkey, Cranberry Salsa, Corn Tortilla Stuffing, Creamed Nopales (cactus), Huitlacoche…and lots of chocolate…pumpkin pie-spiced chocolate truffles, sweet potato pie filling baked over chocolate brownie “crust”, Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists, Mexican wedding cookies and Mexican hot chocolate…
And with 2009 I embark on the 8th annual All-Hallows’ Giving…The Spaghetti Western, fusing Italian food with BBQ and Southern cuisine. Should be a good one.
So while to date only about 15-20 people are even aware of this made-up holiday, I wish you all a very happy, very filling, and maybe a slightly scary All-Hallows’ Giving. And this Saturday, November 14th, go ahead and celebrate by eating something…different.
Q: What came first, the chicken or the egg?
A: The Turducken.