Grandmothers truly are angels among us: cast out of heaven by God for unspecified crimes, forced to be on their best behavior at all times so that when He calls them back to Paradise to reevaluate the terms of their exile, they can be readmitted without issue, and forget all about their difficult lives on earth. Grandmothers have the wit of Dorothy Parker, the fashion sense of Coco Chanel, and the personality of bae. The only thing they love more than their grandchildren is feeding their grandchildren.
But while a grandmother's instinct to nurture harbors no restrictions, sometimes a person's stupid diet does. For many of those family members who find themselves away from their own ovens and dining rooms (toasters, tables in front of the TV), the joy of this festive season is undercut by a gnawing dread: with interlopers typically banned from kitchens during high-stakes holiday meal preparations, those who elect not to eat the traditional family meal—those who think outside the bun—are left at the mercy of their well-intentioned, harried, loving, resentful, this is what I made and you can eat it or not hosts.
This season, what sorts of meal substitutions will be Frankenstein'd up in your loved ones' kitchens to accommodate your family members' finicky requests? A plain baked potato and a glass of Campari for the vegetarian? A Thanksgiving feast of corn and rolls? A napkin (vegan), microwaved until warm, served with a side of gravy because gravy is not meat, it's a liquid? Or will your grandmother simply lie when quizzed about the components of various dishes, because she feels you are too pale?
Please share your Thanksgiving food horror stories in the comments and then call your grandmother and tell her you love her. Don't bother explaining again what gluten is. She doesn't need to know. She is perfect.