Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s a time of celebration, a time of gratitude, a time to gather your favorite rappers and homemakers together to cook meats with the most precious and secret ingredient of all: love. Just kidding, it’s weed.
Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party is the perfect show for a Thanksgiving episode. Most obviously because it’s a cooking show, and also because I’m fairly certain that Martha Stewart keeps some kind of fancy cornucopia on her person at all times, just in case she stumbles into a bountiful harvest. But also because, over and over, this show reveals that at its weird, sweet, drunk little core, it’s a sharing of cultures.
I’m not going to make any strained metaphors about the pilgrims and maize, but each week, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are bringing themselves to the table for an exchange within the open-minded bond of friendship and illustrious VH1 programming. Snoop teaches Martha how to punch up some bland chicken (hint: crushed-up barbecue potato chips); Martha teaches Snoop to always give a chicken vodka before you slaughter it; Snoop teaches Martha what kush means; Martha (maybe) begins an affair with Snoop’s pal Rick Ross in his 100-room mansion. Like I said, Thanksgiving is all about sharing. On to tonight’s episode!
The mission: Dressed in their holiday finery — chemistry teacher sweater vest for him, chic white blouse for her — Martha and Snoop have both signed up under the “meat entrée” section of their Friendsgiving’s Google Doc. Martha is teaching us how to make the Perfect Roasted Turkey (what, did you think Martha would make a Decently Roasted Turkey?), while Snoop proves once more that he is my culinary match by going for ham. When it comes to holiday meats, ham is just better than turkey. But when it comes to late-night cooking show guests …
The guests: TURKEYS ARE THE BEST! A couple of pigs in a pen would have been fun, but these Thanksgiving festivities include two live gobblers, lovingly named Roast Turkey and Fried Turkey. Why the names? Because Martha never lets you forget that an animal has died for your meal — probably by her own hands, and probably pretty hammered at the time of slaughter.
When Snoop whistles to the turkeys, they gobble back. Consider yourself not at all surprised that Snoop Dogg is a turkey whisperer, and get excited for his upcoming album, Snoop Turkey.
On the human guest front, actress Naya Rivera stops by with turkey hats in hand to help Snoop cook his ham, and 2 Chainz arrives with an herbal pie to assist Martha. As a longtime fan of Martha and a cookbook author himself, 2 Chainz requests a signed turkey from the Queen of Perfectly Cooked Poultry.
The recipes: Before the guests arrive, Martha has already crafted a signature cocktail for the evening. Her Cider Bourbon Cocktail contains, well, apple cider and bourbon, but she also brings out two copper contraptions to turn large ice blocks into large ice balls. Snoop imagines the fancy ice-ball maker as some sort of vaginal tunnel. I imagine what life must be like outside of a New York City apartment, where one might have enough space for an appliance the size of a large toaster that exists simply to make rounded ice.
With ice balls in hand — “I’ve never held ice balls!” exclaims Snoop, thrilled for this particular experience — Martha and 2 Chainz get to work on their turkey, while Snoop and Naya start glazing the ham. Excuse me, they start blazing the ham. The blaze includes honey, pineapple juice, a little milk, and brown sugar cooked for an hour at 420 degrees. Never change, Snoop, never change.
For Martha’s Perfect Roasted Turkey, we’re treated to a lengthy slow-motion montage of ol’ Marty rubbing butter into the turkey while sultry tones play in the background. The camera cuts to the turkey pen for what I can say with 80 percent certainty is an allusion to an erection via one of the turkey’s snoods, uh, in motion. (Note: Upon further research into snoods, I’m upping that certainty to 100 percent on the erection imagery.) After the suggestive buttering, Martha has 2 Chainz soak a cheesecloth in a pound of butter and full bottle of white wine — MARTHA! — which then covers the bird as it bakes to achieve “the most beautiful, glistening brown turkey.” Always listen to butter-and-booze enthusiast Martha Stewart.
With the turkey roasted and the ham blazed, it’s time to sit down and share an autumnal feast. Snoop offers his weekly blessing of the food, and famously nice basketball player Chris Bosh stops by to mix up the guest list. Chris immediately proves his worth when Naya mentions that they once met each other on vacation in Italy after his son had just … well, I’ll let him tell you: “Yeah, some people would say that he pooped in the pool.” Appetites officially in motion, everyone digs in, and it’s time for a little learnin’.
Chris wonders if Martha is left-handed, but she tells him she’s just eating European style. “She got different levels of eatery that you gotta understand,” Snoop informs their guests. Today’s level seems to involve a lot of delicate cutting and piling onto the back of the fork. 2 Chainz says that where he comes from, they do their piling with bread, and Snoop says, “Notice how I ain’t use one utensil — this would be considered Eastside Long Beach style.” A VH1 Thanksgiving: Where Cali meets Connecticut meets Georgia.
As Martha points out, Thanksgiving usually includes a few inappropriate family exchanges, which seems particularly pertinent this year. Snoop and Martha’s game mostly just features hypothetical creepy brother-in-laws and mama’s slipping wig, so when it comes to overcoming political differences at the Thanksgiving table, you’re on your own. Might I recommend a Cider Bourbon Cocktail and turkey soaked in butter and wine to ease the pain?
Finally, it’s time to break the wishbone as Chicago rapper Dreezy stops by to perform. Martha insists on taking the side of the wishbone that Snoop originally held because if prison taught her anything, it’s to trust no bitch, even when it comes to turkey bones. And would you look at that? Martha got her wish, and it’s one we can all get behind: a second season of Potluck Dinner Party. Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.