As is required when you join the ToughPigs staff, I’ve seen The Muppet Christmas Carol. Like, a lot. And when you start to get comfortable with the movie and know it by heart, you start to notice things that other, less intense fans may not. And I’m not talking about little Easter eggs hidden throughout the film, like Statler and Waldorf’s names on one of the buildings, or a reference to Michael Caine’s birth name. I am fully convinced there’s a hidden message in the movie.
Wait, did I say message? I meant to say menu. There’s a hidden menu in The Muppet Christmas Carol. That’s right, fellow Muppet fans, you too can find a new, tasty way to enjoy this timeless holiday classic by eating the foods that are mentioned in sync with the film! It’s like playing “Dark Side of the Moon” over The Wizard of Oz, but you don’t have the munchies afterward. Now for the sake of everyone’s stomachs, I’m not going to list every single item referenced in the dialogue, but there’s still a feast for the taste buds as well as the eyes. And of course, as Ebenezer Scrooge suggests, “you keep Christmas in your own way and let me keep it in mine.” By that, of course he means feel free to make alterations to accommodate your dietary needs. Vegetarian, vegan, keto, kosher, halal, dairy or gluten-free, there’s no wrong way to watch this movie. I’m sure that’s what he intended by that.
When to Serve: When we first see Gonzo and Rizzo
This isn’t a long film, so get the party started early! The sweet taste of a McIntosh or Red Delicious will get you right into the culinary mood. Just make sure you have enough to go around, I hear the prices are going up due to some rat-related scarcity.
When to Serve: “No cheeses for us meeces.”
Cut the sweetness of the apple you’re likely still chewing with the tang of some cheese. Some sharp (like a flint) cheddar is a great complement to apples, but whatever variety you like will do well. Of course, for the full experience, you can also save this for the end, in solidarity with the meeces.
Piña Coladas and/or Daiquiris
When to Serve: “Heat Wave!”
You’ve got to wash all this food down with something, and these tropical drinks are a fine choice to join the bookkeepers in on their island-inspired celebration. You can skip the margaritas unless you’re at a midnight buffet, but that’s a menu for a different movie.
When to Serve: As Scrooge walks home, just after “One More Sleep ‘til Christmas”
Gonzo won’t eat it while he’s working, but you can! I recommend a rustic bread to match the early-industrial Victorian era the film takes place in. Just be sure not to fill up on it, because we haven’t even seen any ghosts yet!
A Sampler of Roast Beef, served with Mustard, Cheese, and Gravy
When to Serve: Just before “Marley and Marley”
We’re not at the main course just yet, but with Scrooge dishing out some savory recollections of meals past, we couldn’t pass that up! The good news is that pretty much any beef you serve will be undigested, as the movie describes. For best results, only use a blot of mustard, and a lot of gravy, as this dish is more gravy than of grave. You might also want to consider using leftover cheese cubes and bread to make a beef slider. Scrooge would value your thrift.
When to Serve: When Rizzo finds his jelly beans
We’ve been making healthy picks so far, so I think it’s time to sneak in some sweets. Serving suggestion: keep them in your pocket, then forget about them until this moment. It worked for Rizzo!
White Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
When to Serve: When Gonzo pulls Rizzo out of the icy water
I would never suggest eating rats, least of all Rizzo, but there’s something about his icy shell that’s always looked appetizing. So why not replicate his appearance with some chocolate? Something tells me he’d approve.
When to Serve: The Swedish Chef’s appearance
It’s a good party snack, worthy of old Fozziwig. Just make sure they’re not singing before you eat them.
When to Serve: When Rizzo lands on the goose
So if you’re like me, you may not have tasted goose before. Having researched the topic for an extended period of time… okay, I Googled it during “When Love is Gone.” Regardless, my search revealed that several sources claim that while being poultry, goose actually tastes closer to rare roast beef than chicken or turkey. So if your grocery budget’s on par with the Cratchits, break out the Tupperware and grab some leftover roast beef from the Marleys’ visit. For extra authenticity, season with soot and singed rat hairs.
When to Serve: When Emily Cratchit checks the chestnuts
If Miss Piggy says it’s a chef’s thing, it’s a chef’s thing. Are you going to correct her? More importantly, eat up, because Christmas Yet to Come is light on cuisine. We’ve had a lot to digest, both in food and story, but we’ve still yet to get to the big finish.
When to Serve: When Old Joe appears
Old Joe’s body shape looks like a large melon, and his red lips suggest this perfect summertime treat. Which I’m asking you to eat in December. To be fair, this might work better if you watch this for Christmas in July. Or if you live in the Southern Hemisphere.
A Cold Glass of Water
When to Serve: During the Cratchits’ first Christmas without Tiny Tim
Christmas Yet to Come sure does serve as a wake-up call to Scrooge, much like cold water to the face. But to save on cleanup, you can just put that water to your lips.
When to Serve: When you hear “The Love We Found”
We made it! At long last, we’ve made it to the main course! Scrooge is redeemed, the Cratchits’ lives are improved, and Tiny Tim’s going to live, so LET’S EAT!!! But be quick, because you only have until the credits are over. Otherwise, you’ll have to start shoving down shredded wheat and cranberry sauce when you put on “A Muppet Family Christmas.”
A special thanks to Shane Keating for providing the screenshots! Click here to not mind going (if lunch is provided) to the ToughPigs Discord!
by Matthew Soberman – Matthew@ToughPigs.com