Hello, everyone here at Pajiba. How was your Thanksgiving? (If you’re in Canada and reading this, you can just tell us all how your regular-degular-schmegular Thursday went.) Good time with family? Happy to read that! No infuriating conversations about politics that ended with someone flipping a table in anger as if their Spades partner completely fucked things up? Fantastic! (I risk having my Black card revoked by saying this, but I know little to nothing about Spades, except that not knowing how to play, and causing you and your partner to lose, can and will result in someone getting fucked the fuck up, Lana Del Rey-style.) Enjoyed plenty of delicious food that left you happy, tired, and pregnant with many a Food Baby? Well, that’s just wonderful!
Unfortunately, not everyone had the good fortune of being able to enjoy many a plate of delicious food on Black Friday Eve. In this particular case, it had nothing to do with homelessness, unemployment, or the many other reasons that too many people in this country are down on their luck a lot more than they should be. No, this is all about Struggle Plates, and how every family has at least one person who provides them on a somewhat regular basis.
What is a Struggle Plate, you ask because you didn’t feel like opening another tab on your Internet browser of choice and going to UrbanDictionary.com? To answer your question via Urban Dictionary:
A dish of food that either looks like nasty, unappetizing slop or is simply ugly in presentation, even if it might actually taste good.
Term even applies to when one posts a picture that exposes his or her lack of culinary savvy. Person who prepared said food is usually quite delusional, really believing they just threw down like a gourmet chef at a restaurant rated tops in a Zagat survey.
Term known to have originated as a trending topic hashtag on Twitter, most often triggered on Thanksgiving. Spread to a Tumblr site, Instagram, and elsewhere on the net.
I could provide many an example and visual aid of what a Struggle Plate looks like, especially those that have been posted on Twitter, but I’ll be merciful and spare you the disturbing imagery. If you’ve seen any meal in which Hot Flavored Cheetos has actually been used as a seasoning, you know exactly what a Struggle Plate looks like.
This particular article you’re reading is about how Twitter user @Miami_Babbyyy recorded her aunt going off on her poor, unfortunate cousin who made the grave mistake of using cream cheese as an ingredient in the macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving this year. Now I’m sure that some of you don’t really see what the big deal is, as it’s just macaroni and cheese, and it’s not as if the turkey was ruined. Which only means that you don’t know too many Black families, and you don’t know how macaroni and cheese is valued just as much as the turkey, if not more so at Thanksgiving dinner. Enough that there are still ongoing debates as to whether or not macaroni and cheese should be considered a meal or a side dish.
Anyway, here’s the video of said aunt going off on said cousin who should have never experimented with the macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving:
Y’all please listen to My auntie snap ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜ðŸ˜‚she was soooo mad because my cousin tried to make some macaroni yesterday with cream cheese and messed up the whole mealðŸ¤¦ðŸ½â€â™€ï¸ From Miami to Tally for some foolishness ðŸ¤£ pic.twitter.com/Rkc0ti9Yu4— Î±Ð¸Î±ÑƒÑ•Î¹Î±ðŸ’•ðŸ§šðŸ½â€â™€ï¸ (@Miami_Babbyyy) November 23, 2018
In case the original tweet is deleted, or protected under the Twitter account being locked, here is the video, courtesy of YouTube.
Not surprisingly, Twitter had something to say about this failed attempt at experimenting with the macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving:
Three things will happen from this.— I*Am*Not*The*One* (@thegeehen) November 23, 2018
1. She will never be allowed to bring mac & cheese again.
2. She shall remain on cleanup for the rest of her natural life.
3. They will talk about this at every family gathering.
“Y’all remember the year she put cream cheese in the mac and cheese? Messed up the whole meal.”— Lauren Legary (@laurenlegary) November 23, 2018
Your auntie is saying what folks say EVERY year, and still your cousin decided to act up. Please tell your auntie that I stan for her. This video needs to be play each year, everyday from November 1 until Thanksgiving because folk think this is a game.— Sometimes. That means some times. (@senorantonio) November 23, 2018
When your auntie said, “Auntie Karen gave you the recipe,” there was absolutely no recourse for your cousin. I thought, “Well, this case is closed.”— Sometimes. That means some times. (@senorantonio) November 23, 2018
When you hear she was given a whole recipe (probably handed down the generations) & she still decided to Barefoot Contessa the mac 'n' cheese I felt like I needed a one-on-one conversation with her! Lawd!!— Lord Ninnycock (@LordNinnycock) November 24, 2018
"Don't experiment on Thanksgiving…Experiment on your own" is the new best book in the Bible. Put that passage on a needlepoint & hang it in the Kitchen!— #FreeCyntoiaBrown (@Jwd76Dunn) November 24, 2018
"Don't experiment on Thanksgiving!"— Bim Adewunmi (@bimadew) November 23, 2018
— a whole sermon, should you wish to receive it.
May these words by your aunt forever echo in our hearts, that her Thanksgiving sorrow not be in vain. But a lesson for others looking to experiment on their family. #CreamCheeseInTheMac pic.twitter.com/uQeLngFT0Y— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr) November 23, 2018
Teacher to Class Monday: So what did we all learn this Thanksgiving Weekend?— Sleepy Woke (@TheresOnly1Stef) November 25, 2018
Class: Don’t experiment on DAMN Thanksgiving, Don’t experiment on THANKSGIVING!”
Whether this is an incident that actually happened in someone else’s household last week, or if this is all bullshit, and is actually just an audition tape for some random play not written by/produced by/directed by/starring Tyler Perry that is about to open on the Chitlin Circuit, and was really used by someone on Twitter to gain some clout? Let this be a lesson for all of us to learn for next Thanksgiving, and every other Thanksgiving dinner that follows in the years to come:
If you’re going to experiment with the food that you cook, don’t experiment with food that’s going to be served to others at Thanksgiving dinner. Or you will get cursed the fuck out, and you won’t be trusted to bring anything to dinner other than a bottle of ginger ale.
What’s the worst cooking decision that you or somebody else made or experienced, whether it was for Thanksgiving or any other day of the year? Please share your answers in the Comments section.