Going along with my family’s method of sticking to “new old traditions“, we did Thanksgiving our way. Perhaps you might want to change it up sometime, too? Here’s how.
1. The very first thing you do is make reservations at your favorite Brazilian steakhouse, which is also known as a churrascaria.
2. Start talking excitedly about “Meatsgiving” and make comments about the stretchy pants you’ll need to wear after it’s all over. Also, debate whether it’s best to starve yourself during the hours leading up to dinner or if it’s best to continue normal eating practices, thus keeping your stomach in practice.
3. Spend Thanksgiving Day completely relaxed and smiling. Enter the kitchen only when you’re looking for lunch or a snack—that is, if you’re not one of the people who prefers to eat little to nothing all day in preparation for dinner (see number two).
4. Arrive at the churrascaria on time for your reservation, because you know you’re not the only family who celebrates Meatsgiving and you don’t want to lose your table.
5. Make sure that your place setting includes silverware and a napkin, along with churrascaria mainstays, mini tongs and the two-sided (red for “stop” and green for “go”) paper disc that indicates whether you’re ready for meat.
6. Order the national cocktail of Brazil, the Caipirinha, because it’s a special occasion. AND it’s delicious. AND they usually make it pretty strong. (Only enjoy one if you’re driving later!)
7. Only eat ONE of the Brazilian Cheese Breads from the basket that is delivered to your table, because you don’t want to fill up before the meat arrives.
8. Go to the beautiful, expansive salad bar knowing that you should only get a couple of tiny pieces of non-filling foods, because meat is coming. Stay away from cheese (too filling), couscous (too filling), and potato salad (what??).
9. Finish your salad bar choices and then flip your disc to the green side. Soon your table will be visited by gauchos who bring all kinds of meat on a stick.
10. Ooh and aah at the first gaucho who comes by.
11. Try not to be overwhelmed when gauchos start swarming your table. IT’S MEAT. ON A STICK. Smile!
12. Enjoy your leisurely Meatsgiving dinner by eating an embarrassing amount of meat. Become extremely full.
13. Order dessert anyway in spite of the fact that you really don’t think you should, because it’s included and—if you’re me—you MUST have the creme brulee, even if you have to put yourself in danger of exploding. You just have to.
14. Somehow, get yourself out to your car and drive home.
15. Put on stretchy pants like the rest of America.
16. Think about next Meatsgiving.
*According to my family and me.