It’s that time of year where queers of every Zodiac sign gather for anti-Thanksgiving, for Friendsgiving, for a fall or autumnal celebration or for a fundraising potluck because we still want to gather but not in the name of genocide at a time when many of us have time off from work. This installment of Trashology is for the as-of-yet undecided, where I will suggest something that you can bring to the potluck/gathering/D&D dinner and a game of your choosing this coming week, all based on your Zodiac (sun) sign.
Hail seitan! Aries, whether you’re vegan or crushing on a vegan or just in the mood to challenge yourself, I see you making something that almost shirks convention — a seitan roast. Sure, it’s vegan, but it’s still decidedly a centerpiece, and while you may not be as known for seeking attention as your fellow fire sign, Leo, you certainly still enjoy it. And you’ll get that attention, too, if you can pull off making seitan from scratch! In my opinion, this is not easy.
(You also might want to bring a can of cranberry sauce because you genuinely like it and it reminds you of your childhood in a way that is comforting.)
Macaroni and Cheese
Comfort. Coziness. Macaroni in the pot. That’s you, Taurus — and it’s also what you’re bringing to your Sagittarius friend’s gathering. I don’t eat cow dairy, so had to ask the team what they’re favorite recipes are for you, dear Taurus, and they had Some Thoughts: Kayla our Managing Editor uses this anti-recipe for macaroni and cheese, Carmen, our Editor-in-Chief follows this recipe when she wants something fancy that takes effort and this recipe when she doesn’t have “Martha Stewart time.” If she REALLY does not have time, Carmen will use this recipe which she outlined coveniently for y’all! Riese, our co-founder and Senior Editor, likes this macaroni and cheese recipe that uses three cheeses. Kayla noted the gruyere was one of her favorite cheeses to use. Finally, if you’re vegan or dairy-free, there is still plenty of information out there on how to make a creamy and comforting vegan mac. Listen, so many of our gay hearts can be reached through our stomachs, but for you Taurus, that’s especially true, and making comfort food to share with your friends is one of the truest ways you show your love.
Air signs are all weird, actually. I know when it comes to the Zodiac that Gemini doesn’t usually get the Weird rep when Aquarius is around to be such an ALIEN about things, but listen, you’re an odd duck, often shirking convention in your own way, liking what you like, and maybe bringing an alcoholic beverage called a Milk Punch to the gathering. Who knows!
Brussels Sprouts (with Balsamic)
Much like your hard exterior disguises a rich, complex interior, Cancer, the idea and stigma around brussels sprouts (apparently because they used to be more bitter but are less so now!) keeps us from going deeper, realizing something way tastier. Balsamic vinegar and brussels sprouts are incredibly, deeply gay for each other, and here’s a recipe to prove it. I think that whatever you bring, whether it’s these balsamic brussels sprouts or another dish, it’ll either be an adult version of a childhood favorite or a completely transformed and accessible version of something usually considered an acquired taste.
Cheese Ball and Crackers
Leo, the holidays stress you out just as much as the next person, but when you get in the room and see all your favorite people there, you’re in your element. Your favorite time is the period before everyone sits down to tuck in, the hour or two of catching up with drinks and snacks, so you’re bringing some pre-dinner snacks with you! You really DO want to know how everyone’s DIY project or kids or grad school or rugby team is doing. If you’re going for some EXTRA nostalgia and the specific feeling of getting to eat something only once or twice a year, might I recommend revisiting the classic cheese ball and crackers? It’ll be a hoot!
Virgo, you are making mashed potatoes — but done Exactly Right. You’re a perfectionist, Virgo, but not a blatant show-off. No, your satisfaction will come when someone inevitably mutters these are the best mashed potatoes they’ve ever tasted, and you’ll know they’re not just saying that, because you are going to — even if it isn’t mashed potatoes exactly — take a simple dish and do it so well it’s an art form. Kayla recommends this mashed potato guide, and Carmen reiterated the key is an obscene amount of butter and also to use heavy cream. Kayla said she sometimes uses sour cream, and her “secret” ingredient is horseradish.
Latkes (samosa-spiced) or Something Similarly Complex
You’re making something that people might not expect, because you like to both delight people and catch them off guard! You’re definitely here for something complex, pretty, and above all — a recipe you can guarantee no one else is bringing. (Yes, there was a shared doc and a group chat, but you know there will always be someone who doesn’t listen, and you’d rather have your cavity stuffed with bread than be the one bringing the less-appetizing apple pie.) That’s why you’ve committed to peeling and shredding and chopping and frying and are bringing something that’ll be gorgeous on the palate and will leave your kitchen in ruins like these samosa-spiced latkes with pear chutney. And hey, that’s the beauty of someone else hosting. You can leave the dishes in the sink, focus on getting ready for the party, and worry about them later when you’re fueled by all the compliments you’re going to receive on your contribution.
You’re not ready for Halloween to be over, and you’ve got the pie to prove it. This is so scary, bud, but I would be into it, and gays love Halloween so I do think if your Scorpio self wants to bring a “scary face” apple or cherry pie to the function, you’ll get some rave reviews. Plus, it’s very you. Be sure to wear black. You’ll look stunning. Bonus points if you engage in some light knife play before cutting into this beaut.
You’re hosting, and you’ve also told everyone you’re roasting a whole turkey. A WHOLE TURKEY. You’ve got the whole day planned around this, though, including the entire vibe you will be feeling as you simultaneously attempt to make sure the turkey comes out just right AND flit around your apartment cleaning AND curate the perfect playlist. I’m exhausted for you, but as a Sag rising and moon, I also know you’re in your happy place! Anyway, if you’re looking for a recipe, I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten the episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown taught me how to roast a turkey.
Everyone is always like “Capricorns are like Bette Porter,” “Capricorns are one of the hardest working Zodiac signs,” “Capricorns never stop,” and yes, actually, these things are on point. But no matter what you’re working hard at (and you tend to tackle whatEVER you’re doing head on and thoroughly), you bring the same level of rigor to your play time. If you’re off work, if you’re eating and enjoying company, you’re going to elevate the occasion. That’s why I think you’re bringing pumpkin pot brownies (the pumpkin’s seasonal).
Creative Simple Syrups
You’re toting along some wild simple syrups that you have made from local ingredients you (sustainably, ethically, safely) foraged…and also sparkling water, so people can make sodas! You’re probably bringing these in still-sticky mason jars, because you’re more function than form a lot of the time, but that’s okay! It still tastes awesome. Just please label them. If it’s your vibe, you also brought some booze to mix in. In your mind, you know everyone else is going to be showing up to win when it comes to food, but you, dear water bearer, are into making sure there’s something interesting filling up every person’s cup, too. Plus, you like to make sure that your friends who aren’t drinking still have something adult and seasonal to sip. That’s the kind of considerate you are — seeing what other people might not think to account for. You also brought a boxed Tofurkey to heat up.
Pisces, I love you, and also you have managed to run yourself ragged once again. Somewhere between either being hyper-social or turning yourself into a human blanket burrito, you didn’t really prepare. But not to worry, my watery friend, because everyone loves tinned fish and it’ll make a great protein-based appetizer to keep everyone happy until the main event. It’s also a very nice thing to bring to a gathering!