June 7, 2020

Trashgiving: Make the most of what’s in the fridge

Have you heard the story of Trashgiving? There is no doubt that you have heard of Friendsgiving. Chances are you have either had a Thanksgiving-style meal with your friend group or seen it happen without you on social media. Trashgiving follows the same general idea, only improved.

This holiday is usually celebrated the week of Thanksgiving, but earlier in the week, before the celebrants leave for break. Some food is cooked, but most of the food shared among friends is made up of leftovers. Food that cannot stay in the fridge over break or food that you simply do not want anymore make up the bulk of the Trashgiving meal. This idea puts the “trash” in Trashgiving, and makes sure food does not go to waste over the break.

Trashgiving and Thanksgiving aren’t too different, sharing food and quality time with people you hold dear.

This was the plan on November 20th, 2017, the day of the First Trashgiving. Myself and seven other roommates were simply preparing for Thanksgiving break when the idea for Trashgiving began to take shape. What was supposed to be a meal dedicated to cleaning out the multiple refrigerators in our College Ave. Hall suite quickly turned into a makeshift Thanksgiving dinner, once we realized how much food we actually had. We invited friends to share our food, as well as help get rid of it. It turned out to be such a good time and a nearly foolproof method of cleaning out the fridge that we declared it a tradition.

This year, Trashgiving was bigger and better but still in keeping with the traditional values. Making bacon is one of the more established traditions, in honor of the valiant effort put forth by the guys of College Ave. 301 on the First Trashgiving. Cooking bacon in a residence hall is challenging for a number of reasons. The hotplate on which we cooked the bacon was forbidden in the residence halls by the university, so we had to cook it rather quietly. Having smoke detectors in every room of the suite made this a challenge.

The hotplate on which we cooked was set up near the window so we could waft the smoke out. Setting off the fire alarm would spell disaster. College Ave. Hall is set up so if one fire alarm goes off, the firefighters and Public Safety officers that arrive can pinpoint the room from which the alarm came.

This meant that if we did set off the fire alarm, we would have to stash our dishes before exiting the building. That meant hiding a large hotplate that was still very warm as well as a big pan full of hot bacon grease. At worst, Public Safety would find dishes and we would be fined, at the very least, they would smell bacon and be suspicious. And there was the added inconvenience of emptying the entire dorm building simply because we all wanted bacon.

The window was open, several fans were on, and if you were not actively cooking the bacon, you were helping keep it a secret. I vividly remember standing on a couch with a pillow wafting the bacon smoke towards the window, actually cooking the bacon, and holding a paper bowl over the smoke detector at different points in the evening. Just as Native Americans helped the Plymouth settlers throughout the year leading up to the first Thanksgiving, so our cooperation was needed to make the First Trashgiving a success.

Other Trashgiving traditions include dress code and the viewing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Dress code for Trashgiving is optional, but wearing something extremely unstylish will help get you in the holiday spirit. Examples of this include a vest or suit jacket with no shirt underneath, a sports jersey tucked into your underwear without any pants, and flannel shirts with the buttons in the wrong holes are all solid clothing choices. Sleeveless “wife-beater” undershirts are very welcome, and accessories such as ties, hats, and eyepatches will add to any outfit.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the go-to movie. It is a feel-good classic for a night already full of good feelings. Although there is not a whole lot of a plot, seeing Snoopy fight a lawn chair always pleases the crowd. Alcohol is not a must, but is encouraged.

Although I am sure Trashgiving is not a completely original idea, there is something to be said for starting a holiday with its own lore and traditions. With some social coordination and enough food, I am certain that our holiday will live on into the future, long past college and its inception in College Ave. Hall.

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