We may be journalists here at The Miami Student, but damn, we can cook, too.
Well, some of us can, anyway.
We held our annual newspaper Friendsgiving the Sunday before break, and it did not disappoint. Nearly every section was represented, and everyone brought delicious food. But in the spirit of journalism, I thought I’d investigate… Who brought the best dish?
Though I’m an entertainment editor, I have a soft spot for the food section. So, without further ado, here is the Official Food Ranking of the 2022 The Miami Student (TMS) Friendsgiving.
#12 - Chicken and gravy
My dear Editor-in-Chief Cosette Gunter-Stratton, how I love you. Do not take this as an offense, but the chicken you brought was not my favorite. It was dry and took too much work to prepare (although you had some great carving skills for never having done it before). If you made it from scratch, I would be nicer because I personally hate cooking meat and would empathize — but since it was store-bought, I’m okay with being honest with you in saying it wasn’t my favorite meal of the night.
#11 - Pumpkin pie
One of our staff writers, Megan McConnell, made a delicious pumpkin pie (likely with the help of her boyfriend, our photo editor Jake Ruffer). The pie was good, I just don’t love sweet things and didn’t eat too much of it. So good job, Megan! Just not my cup of tea (or piece of pie).
#10 - Drinks
Luke Macy, you’ve done it again. One of our assistant Campus & Community editors brought drinks to our Friendsgiving, and yes, I know it may be controversial to have this as high as I do, or to even have it on the list at all, but listen — he brought cranberry soda. I LOVE cranberry soda. So good job on reading your audience, Luke.
#9 - Jell-O
Now, don’t get me wrong: Jell-O is absolutely not a Thanksgiving food. But Jell-O is one of the best desserts ever, and even if it wasn’t completely set and ate more like a soup, our design editor Macey Chamberlin pulled through with this unconventional red dish. Don’t let anyone tear you down about your Jell-O opinions, Macey. Not even Alice.
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#8 - Veggie/meat/cheese trays
Technically, there was a separate meat/cheese tray and a veggie tray, but since I snacked on them together, I am going to rank them together. My roommate and fellow editor Lexi Whitehead prepared one, and a new writer, Taylor Stumbaugh, brought the other. Lexi didn’t have ranch for her veggies, so she opted for chip dip. She was worried about this. She should not have been — the flavors actually complemented the vegetables well. And Taylor’s salami and cheese provided the perfect balance to the healthy snacks.
#7 - Chicken-fried mushrooms
Our talented food editor, Ames Radwan, graced us with their newest “Weekly Veg” menu item: chicken-fried mushrooms. And yes, contrary to the name, this dish is entirely vegetarian. Now, normally, I don’t like mushrooms; when I go to restaurants, I avoid anything with that fungus in it. But I’ll give Ames credit — they made me like a mushroom dish. Sure, their pepper gravy helped, but the crunchy outside of the mushrooms added a nice texture, and the spices packed a strong enough punch to remove my distaste for mushrooms.
#6 - Cornbread
I. Love. Bread. A lot. So when my roommate, Video Editor Hannah Horsington, brought out cornbread muffins, I knew I was in trouble… and I was. I ate SO many of these muffins. I especially liked how, even though they were a bit dry on the initial bite, they rehydrated so well in my mouth that it didn’t matter. And yes, I did stow away some muffins, and yes, I did eat them for several days after.
#5 - Stuffing
Fun fact: I used to hate stuffing. Something about all the little pieces of bread and spices floating around really didn’t do it for me. But as I’ve grown, so have my taste buds, and they really enjoyed the version of stuffing our assistant entertainment editor Reece Hollowell brought. The stuffing was light and flavorful, and I definitely took more than one serving of it.
#4 - Green bean casserole
Every year, my mom makes her famed green bean casserole. In reality, it’s a super weird dish — it’s literally just baked green beans, cream of mushroom soup, some milk and sometimes fried onions. That shouldn’t taste good. But oh my goodness, Ames pulled through on this one. I always ask my mom to put the fried onions on only half the casserole because I don’t like onions, but because Ames is not my mother, they did not know this, so there were onions throughout the whole thing. And you know what? I actually really liked the flavor. So thank you, Ames, for helping me turn a new leaf in my culinary journey. What else is a food editor for? <3
#3 - Mashed potatoes
I will admit that I am biased because I did make the mashed potatoes, but they were some of the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. They don’t compare to my mom’s, but for being instant potatoes from a pouch, they really shined through. And don’t just take my word for it — everyone was complimenting the top three items on this list, and I heard multiple praises for my 5-minute instant mashed potatoes.
#2 - Pancit canton
This was a new dish for me. It’s a Filipino noodle dish made with egg noodles and stir-fried with various vegetables. One of our senior sports writers, Michael Vestey, brought this, and Michael, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. This was one of the best foods I have had in a while. It had a savory yet tangy taste, and the texture was exactly what I expect from a stir-fried dish. It was so good I even kept some leftovers home.
#1 - Macaroni and cheese
Hannah did it again with her mac and cheese, and the funniest part is that she wasn’t even planning to make it. I’m a Kraft girl, but this mac and cheese may just have converted me. I have never tasted a mac and cheese with just the right amounts of mac and of cheese (not too creamy, not too dry), but Hannah’s recipe strikes the perfect balance. And the crumble on top, oh my God, the crumble on top. I don’t know what it’s made out of (maybe breadcrumbs? Maybe the most delicious substance on Earth?), but it shot the mac and cheese out of the park. And luckily for me, since Hannah made enough to feed the entire student body at Miami University and I live with her, I got plenty of leftovers.
Riley Crabtree, one of our newer writers, brought a pumpkin pie from Jungle Jim’s. Now, anyone who knows me knows I love Jungle Jim’s. But since we had a homemade pie, we (sadly) didn’t crack open this pie. I’m sure it was delicious, though.
We had a beautifully decorated TMS cake on our dessert table, brought by none other than Macey and her roommate, Campus and Community editor Alice Momany (the one who detests jello on Thanksgiving). I don’t have a sweet tooth, so I didn’t eat any, but it was uniquely decorated and mostly gone by the end of the night, so it seemed like a hit.
Finally, one of our entertainment writers, Chloe Southard, brought some desserts and cookies. Again, not a sweets person, so I didn’t try these, but I’m sure they were very good.
Here’s to another successful TMS Friendsgiving!