Look, here's the frank talk: If you've been assigned a dish for Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps an appetizer, and you're only now yawning and stretching and cracking open the cupboards, to see what you might have on hand, well, things are not looking up.
Because your host will give you the hairy eyeball when you meekly walk in the door, empty-handed and full of apologies. Fact.
Best throw something stupendous together, and best do it fast. Thank goodness SoCal's own zazzy history-lovin', retro-food-makin' entertainer Charles Phoenix is there in a pinch, to help us out with our holiday cooking woes.
And his Snacksgiving Gobbler Platter requires no cooking whatsoever, just a crunchy array of crackers found at your local grocery store, and some cheese slices, salami, and a pimento'd green olive for the tasty not-made-of-turkey turkey's eyeball.
Easy, right? It's all in the sure-handed assembly, something that can be done while you listen to Christmas carols. (Stop with the "no carols before Thanksgiving" moaning and enjoy it, if that's your bag.)
Forget not the red bell pepper, which forms the not-made-of-turkey turkey's all-important gobbler.
If you're pondering if this is the culinary wizard who brought us the infamous three-pies-baked-inside-three-cakes dessert, ponder no longer: Charles Phoenix is the father of the Cherpumple, and all its various holiday incarnations.
We're looking at you, red, white, and blue Fourth of July Cherpumple. With affection.
Mr. Phoenix also created the baked meat rat for Halloween, and a host of other semi-vintage-y and always humorous dishes tied to holidays. It's all so LA, right? Food that's a bit funny and look-at-me-y? We like razzmatazz 'round these parts, and there's no need apologizing for it, in the way no one has to apologize for listening to carols before Thanksgiving.