This post first appeared on the Austen Authors’ blog on September 13, 2020 by Amanda Kai. I thought it was pretty great! Click here to read it in full.
Here in the United States, we are preparing for one of my favorite holidays coming up in a couple weeks: Thanksgiving! Where I’m from, we have many traditions around this holiday involving gathering… Personally, I plan to watch the Macy’s parade, cook a big meal for my family, and after we’ve all stuffed ourselves, have an Austen movie marathon. Which got me thinking, what if the Austen men were Thanksgiving dishes? Now, there are a LOT of men in all of Austen’s books, so to keep it simple, I included the main leading men, the secondary leads, and the rakes, plus a couple others, for fun. Austen wrote some very yummy male characters, and I just couldn’t help but compare them to some of my favorite foods.
Veggie tray- Mr. Elliot (Persuasion)
On the outset, it seems like a good option, right? After all, veggies are healthy! Until you realize that you’re adding all those extra calories by dipping everything in Ranch dip…not unlike the way Mr. Elliot turned out to be a real weasel. Besides, who eats veggies on Thanksgiving with everything else there is? Pass the mashed potatoes please!
Tossed salad- Mr. Elton (Emma)
Salad is another one of those dishes that likes to masquerade as a healthy option. And it can be– when it’s not loaded with fancy toppings and rich dressings. Mr. Elton, too, initially looks like a decent catch, but his haughty attitude and petty behavior is no different than drowning a good bowl of veggies in bacon, cheese, fried toppings, and full-fat creamy dressing (though to be honest, that sounds pretty tasty! Maybe I’m a closet Mrs. Elton…)
Ambrosia salad- Captain Benwick (Persuasion)
The flip-side to a Jell-O salad: an Ambrosia salad. They come in many varieties, usually with different types of canned fruit, marshmallows, shredded coconut and whipped cream. My sister-in-law makes an amazing one she calls “Heavenly Hash” that has maraschino cherries and pineapple in it, along with the other stuff, and we always beg for more! Captain Benwick reminds me of this salad: chock full of sweetness and good things. He’s a character that I wish we could have seen more of in the story. I would have liked some scenes of him reading poetry to Louisa Musgrove.
Green bean casserole- Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility)
A crunchy exterior of fried onions, but underneath, the mushy goodness of green beans and cream of mushroom. Edward’s shy nature and untold secrets makes him a bit hard to get to know, but underneath that crust is a man with a soft nature and a heart of gold. Besides, aren’t the fried onions kind of the best part of the casserole anyways?
Deviled eggs- Mr. Wickham (Pride and Prejudice)
I remember my Nana used to make deviled eggs every year for Thanksgiving. Perfectly hard-boiled, the insides scooped out and mixed with mayonnaise, mustard, and spices, then stuffed back in the egg whites and dusted with paprika. Mr. Wickham’s one tasty devil too– charming to a T, handsome, but just waiting to give you trouble, like those eggs that have been sitting out way too long on the buffet counter, breeding salmonella…
There’s a ton more, plus all the pictures! Go decide what your favorites are and let me know. 🙂