Articles, Food, Q&A

WTF, Bon Appetit? Thanksgiving 2015 Edition

November 4, 2015

Bon Appetit has its fair share of delightful recipes, but every so often there’s a heaping helping of “what in the world were you thinking?!”

This month is one of those months. Something about Thanksgiving makes magazines especially desperate for content. Maybe it’s the endless, yearly pressure to come up with clever holiday material, or an attempt to keep print media relevant in the internet age.

Whatever the reason, as soon as I pulled my BA issue out of the mailbox, I stared. Then I snort-laughed. Then I realized I had to post about it.

The cover this month features a turkey–pretty standard so far. But then at the bottom there’s a tiny cartoon pioneer woman.

Who is this lady? I wondered, narrowing my eyes. And… what the heck is she holding?

Is that… an iPhone?

It is an iPhone!

What is an iPhone-wielding pioneer doing on the cover of Bon Appetit? 

I wonder how many (if any) of their creative staff had an argument about whether to put iPhone Pioneer on the cover, and what those conference room discussions must have been like.

“All right folks… we need ideas for the Thanksgiving issue! And we need to appeal to millennials this year!”

*collective groans*

“No groaning. We got this, people! We can think of something.”

*silence, punctuated by an intern furiously scribbling notes in the background*

“Okay, okay, let’s start simple. What do millennials like?”

“Um, well… they… iPhones?”

“Brilliant! Great work, Jen. Keep the ideas coming!”

“Uh… Starbucks?”

“Yes! Hashtag PSL! What else?”

“On… fleek?”

“Love! It!  Make it ‘on leek’ and it’s a food reference! Okay, now what do millennials hate?”

“Being… uh…”


“Perfect! Yes! They can’t be basic! How do we tie it all together? Anyone?”

“Um… uh…”

*silence dampens the room, until the intern slowly raises her hand*

“Yes, Gwen?”

*everyone turns to stare*

“Um… howabout about hipster pioneers?”

“Oh. My. God. It’s. Brilliant. Venison-eating, ironic turkey-bag toting pioneers with iPhones! Gwen, you are a genius. The kids’ll never know what hit ’em!”

What really goes on behind closed doors at BA headquarters? The world may never know.

But what I do know is this: in addition to featuring ironic hipster pioneers, this magazine is a Q&A edition. Floating in the empty space above the unnaturally shiny turkey are speech bubbles with such hard-hitting questions as, “Can I serve un-mashed potatoes?” and “Does my pumpkin pie need pumpkin?”

So, brace yourselves: in the spirit of honoring this noble, deeply-investigative journalism, I will be semi-seriously answering their cover-page questions myself. Grab your popcorn, because it’s about to get real over pie and potatoes.

Can I serve un-mashed potatoes?

Yes. Then they’re just called potatoes. They have many different preparations, just ask a Hobbit

Can I just wrap the turkey in bacon?

Yes–the more bacon, the better. But, maybe don’t tell the World Health Organization. They’re terribly confused about the whole bacon thing.

How do I keep everyone sober(ish) until dinner?

Don’t serve booze… until dinner. This isn’t rocket science, people.

What would my parents do?

No clue, because I don’t know your parents. But, hey–you do you. They’re your Thanksgiving traditions to make (or break) now!

Some people like their gravy lumpy, right?

What? No.

Just… no.


How much stuffing is okay to eat?

However much you want. Eat none of the stuffing. Eat all of the stuffing! Stuff yourself with stuffing! Become a veritable human-turkey-stuffed-with-stuffing!

Does my pumpkin pie need pumpkin?

Well, if you’re going to call it pumpkin pie, then yes–you need to put pumpkin in it. Otherwise it’s false advertisement and someone with a whatever-that’s-not-pumpkin-that-you-put-in-your-pumpkin-pie-allergy might up and die, which can make Thanksgiving kind of a drag. But! You can also substitute pumpkin with other squash or sweet potato. Easy peasy, and no one dies in the process. Just don’t call it a pumpkin pie, and we’re good.

How do I roast a Norman Rockwell worthy turkey?

Who’s Norman Rockwell, who invited him over for Thanksgiving, and why’s he judging my turkey? I feel like Mr. Rockwell better check himself and quit crashing other people’s Thanksgivings if he knows what’s good for him.

Also, I bet he likes lumpy gravy. He’s got the name of someone who likes lumpy gravy. What a jerk.

Well, how did I do? Do you feel more enlightened than when you started? Should “WTF, Bon Appetit” become a regular blog installment? It would at least give me something to do with all these magazines…

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: yes, they really did throw in an “on leek” joke and use hipster pioneers as their theme in this issue. You can’t make this stuff up. For better or worse, it all begins on page 80.


  • Reply Lindana November 5, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Wow. Just… That whole cover and theme is terrifying and sad.

    • Reply Kimberly November 6, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      It was ridiculous! I wouldn’t say it made me sad, but they were definitely trying way too hard to appeal to younger audiences with this issue. To their credit, the inanity of the cover wasn’t nearly as bad inside (well, aside from the hipster pioneers. Those were pretty hilariously terrible.)

  • Reply Genevieve January 7, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I realize this post was from about two years ago but I feel that I have to remark because just ripped them on two other sites as well for their ongoing pandering to this hipster whatever generation. I don’t understand this identity crisis that includes vulgarity, opinions? Like I mentioned on another site…WHO CARES if Anna Stockwell hates greek yogurt????? Is it really great decorum to treat her letter from the editor page or whatever it is on the site to rant about a food she cannot stand? INAPPROPRIATE!!! Also, please, stop with the bad update and new POORLY designed web page. I’m sad, disgusted and annoyed. You think the cover of this 2015 edition was bad? The guts of the entire show has gone down the tubes, in my opinion.

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