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Now reading Stargrazing: Food Horoscopes for December 2016

Stargrazing: Food Horoscopes for December 2016

Let the stars guide your food this month.

Paige Mehrer December Stargrazing

Hello, and welcome to Stargrazing, where we’ll set our tables based on what our astrological fortunes hold in store for us. The season of Sagittarius pesters us to make our own plans, make our own dinners, and make peace with whatever unexpected end results occur despite our initial intentions for both, because Sagittarius is unpredictable in, sometimes, the best of ways. A beautiful thing about Sagittarius, the constellation: its shape is sometimes visualized as “the teapot,” and the Milky Way is considered the “steam” rising from its tipped spout. Look: 

Sagittarius is a vessel for many good things, but its by-products—in this case, galactic steam—are worthwhile in their own right. This season, we’ll cause worthwhile, noble accidents. Sagittarius isn’t deliberate, and that’s okay. Make a wish, but be prepared to watch a better one come true instead. Let’s put the kettle on and get to it.

SAGITTARIUS

It’s your time, Sagittarius, and it might as well be counted on a Dalí clock, because your personal schedule is a little unruly. You are inclined to eat dinner for breakfast, invent food holidays (my personal favorite is “Pizzaversary,” which I ratified at age nineteen: you can celebrate it anytime you want by eating pizza exclusively, for every meal, all day), order rice and beans with your cheesesteak, and generally sidestep the given rules for how eating is supposed to go.

For instance: I, your fellow archer, just made a barbecue pork and broccoli bowl and enjoyed it with a can of Modelo at a smooth 3:44 p.m. on a Sunday. I wanted a meal that was protein- and vegetable-centric, seeing as I ate macaroni and cheese for breakfast. I’d made that casserole two days ago along with a slow-cooked pork butt. I rustled up some greens, along with the can of beer next to it in the fridge, and assembled my meal. Healthy lunch!, I thought, sunnily forgetting about the unctuous, sweet barbecue sauce coating everything (except the beer). That is how a Sagittarius eats—with motivations that ultimately manifest in quite another form. Embrace your own bizarro habits, and happy birthday to you.

CAPRICORN

You’re funny, Capricorn: your people love you in part because you’re so orderly, but you know exactly when to act out. Your spontaneity is, in fact, deliberate. You cut up just enough to prove to us that the rest of your regimented, well-planned presence operates as it does in the name of a life lived well. Those tendencies will instruct you nicely this season.

I would like those qualities—your sensibility and your occasional conscious refusal of it—to get together on one plate. I’m thinking of meals that are practical, but also a bit absurd. This brussels sprouts gratin recipe, which is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever personally cooked, fits your criteria: It’s plant-based… but also cheese- and dairy-based. A strawberry-elderflower cake is dignified, but also frivolous as hell. Sweet potato fries, in their very nature, are Capricorn-y. Opt for meals that are serious, but at least a little goofy, like you.

AQUARIUS

Once upon a mad long time ago, Julius Caesar and some friends were in Milan, eating at this guy Valerius Leo’s house. One course included asparagus that wasn’t dressed in olive oil, as the guests expected, but miron, a sweeter kind of plant-based myrrh (no relation to mirin, I don’t think). Caesar’s pals were very rude and dismissive about the substitution, which infuriated Caesar. He rebuked them: “It were enough not to eat what you don’t like; but he who finds fault with ill-breeding like this is ill-bred himself.” That’s still a little shady, given that he’s backhand-insulting his host within this comment, too, but this was the first coinage of an adage that goes, “De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum,” or more simply (and bitchily, as Caesar would have liked it): There’s no accounting for taste (and color).

When you’re presented with people who live in a way that’s unusual to you, are you going to (a) feel put-down by the simple fact of their difference, or (b) expand your appreciation of the gamut of ways to respond to this weird earth, however dissonant they may be from your own? I know which feels better, Aquarius, and you’d do well not to squeeze your understanding of yourself/others into a character geometry that is, in fact, more arbitrary and damning than accepting people’s truer amorphous shapes, and the meals that they make. De gustibus et coloribus, etc.

Prioritize tastes outside of your own this season. If a friend wants to have lunch at Carl’s Jr. and you’re more of a Hardee’s person, suck it up and have yourself a Thickburger. Try to detect subtle differences between it and the one you’d have at Hardee’s, but only to the end of appreciating them—not as gotcha-style proof. If an acquaintance mentions the absolute best Georgian food in town, but you’re craving Thai, go to the restaurant she’s raving about anyway, and enjoy it. Caesar was a real dick sandwich in many ways, but he had the right idea this time around, Aquarius, and it’ll help you have a better time of it this season if you take his words here to heart.

PISCES

Smile with all your teeth stretched out and repeat after me, Pisces: “NEW YEAR!! NEW ME!!” Reprise this in your most rabid-sounding tone of voice until January, because you are in the prime mental zone to make the most of a chipper, enthusiastic, near-to-unhinged approach to resolutions/change/NEW YEAR!!/NEW ME!!, however jarring it seems or afraid your friends may become.

What version of yourself will you become in 2017, and what foods will support that vision? Like, if you wanted to embody the crunchy, Be Here Now–worshipping form of yourself, you could internalize the koan “painted rice cakes do not satisfy hunger” and possibly bother to learn about granola. If you wanted to be Yourself: Scion of Business, you might attempt to emulate this meal plan and start cutting up lemons in your water, or something. Figure out what your next self’s favorite foods are. Eat your aspirations.

ARIES

Your horoscope is this: Drink a glass of clean water and be grateful for it, then pass that fortune on as best you can. The recent blockage of the Dakota Access (or Bakken) Pipeline through sacred Sioux land (thanks to the valiant efforts of Standing Rock, a Sioux tribe who have held their own despite hardship and violence) can be the vector for continued attention, support, and recognition of water pollution and privatization. It’s not necessarily over in North Dakota.

(Just in case: The pipeline was supposed to be an underground privatized oil-delivery system running southeast from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. It will disrupt sacred, Native-owned lands that the company and government have chosen not to fund protection for, regardless of breaks, spills, leaks, or other routine problems with pipelines that are liable to contaminate and destroy the supply of ecological necessities surrounding the Dakota Access project. The impact will also extend to the quality of air, land, and so, life.)

Aries, please keep your well-attuned attentions fixed on North Dakota in the short- and long-term future: the company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has expressed that they will continue building along their proposed route, despite orders to the contrary. Our scabrous president-elect can reverse the order to change the pipeline’s route once he’s in office. He almost certainly will, as his vested financial interest in the pipeline, spoken support of it, and general fuckhood have made clear. Trump’s backing of the DAPL is very likely why ETP isn’t halting construction now, along with why Democratic North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been groomed for a Trump Cabinet position in a meeting with him last week and still considers her indigenous constituents’ cause “not winnable.” (UNWINNABLE, YOU SNAKE. THE WORD IS UNWINNABLE, AND YOU’D HAVE THAT WRONG EVEN IF YOU SAID IT RIGHT.)

Don’t look away, Aries. You’re too shrewd, anyway, to do so. You know, too, that Flint, Michigan, is still in crisis and lacking clean water, as it has been since 2011, and no one will do much about it on local, state, or federal levels. (Here are ways to be of use.)

Obviously: the whole world needs water, but the luck of having access to it is selective. If you’ve got it, Aries, and you can afford to contribute your money, time, or platform, that’s a valiant and characteristically wise way to round out your year.

TAURUS

Your well-functioning sense of productivity might run at even higher speeds than usual this season, so let’s make sure your diet matches its demands. Eat for energy above all else this season (until, of course, you power down at the end of the month and eat the sluggish-feeling foods that the holidays may demand you scarf).

Almonds and other nuts, fishes, and greens will be to you what a toadstool is to Mario. Peruse this list of the most energy-imparting ways to eat (including something called “the five-piece puzzle,” which is barely a puzzle—those need thirty pieces, minimum, to qualify—but whatever). Power the hell up, Super Taurus.

GEMINI

You’ve been feeling a little stuck, huh, Gemini? Unburden yourself. You’re too light on your feet to be scraping psychic chewing gum off their soles so often. Now is the time for newness, whatever that means to you.

As this extends to food: Have you been adhering to the same few repasts—that, truth be told, may not be all that thrilling on such a regular rotation, given your penchant for variety in all aspects of your life? Cut ’em loose! The amount of new-to-us food in each and all of our lives will outlast our time spent sampling them. This would be true even if we were, like, TV guys whose jobs were to try every species of testicle on this beautiful and diverse planet.

Since that is not in fact my job, I’m going to suggest instead that you eat previously uncharted types of viscous foods. Consider it a way to ceremonially trash your gluey food feelings. These coconut caramels are worth every moment of their other purpose (self-induced TMJ). Are you familiar with Danny Macaroons, the world welterweight champion of his baked-good class? Leave your fate in really good hands with one of his “seasonal assortment” Primetime Mega Fun-Paks (they’re not called this, but I wish they were). Chase down one of my favorite foods in the world: spreadable halvah with cocoa. Specifically: this kind, which is a Schedule I narcotic as far as I’m concerned. My friend Lindsay bought it on a lark from a Polish bodega near my house, not having known it from Adam, and we freaked out immediately upon sampling it. It’s like Nutella, but less cloying, and with—naturally—more of a sesame thing happening all up within it.

Regardless of the stickiness of what you eat this month, be like Lindsay: make mystery moves instead of relying on the same ol’. And, fine: if you have to eat exotic nuts in order to truly surprise yourself, I steadfastly support you in that decision.

CANCER

Your tendency to BE RIGHT, NO MATTER WHAT can sometimes send you somersaulting down the slippery hillside of your own arrogance. That’s not the case this season. Your footholds, right now, will come from the same self-sure modes that occasionally trip you up.

I think a lot about how self-aggrandizing any of us, at any moment, has to be in order to achieve even the simplest-feeling tasks, let alone our highest hopes for our purposes and ourselves. So, to quote a thought the god Frank O’Hara wrote about in Personism: A Manifesto: “Just go on your nerve.” You can’t be too audacious this season, and you’re going to make great headway if you can stick to your beliefs against any and all opposition. (Something tells me you’re more than capable of this, Cancer that you are.)

Feel free to suggest an excellent alternative if someone’s college best friend is slightly pressuring everyone to go to an expensive restaurant with “a fun theme.” (It’s not only right, but the kindest thing to do for everyone.) Make the mashed potatoes exactly as you like them. Don’t be too polite around your food allergies or preferences and be “okay just with salad,” and not only because that is never okay. Sometimes, what you want is what’s ultimately best. Just figure out how to have it gracefully.

LEO

This season, you’re going to find yourself thinking goopily and gratefully about all the many facets of the luck you’ve got. Your friends, your work, your dinners: all of these will be subjected to the tractor beam of your appreciation. Set it on “stun” by phasering on all your targets at once and making a mondo batch of a nice edible you can deliver to your colleagues, pals, and other loved ones; you can pass it off as a holiday offering instead of the pure heart mush it actually is.

Make double-ginger scones, a cannabis vegetable tart, brownies out of a box—anything that’s easily divided and delivered to those in your life who deserve it. It’s nice to quantify all the abundance you have by translating it into batches of baked goods. Make your love visible and edible via your oven. Congratulations on all the cookies/fulfillment you’ve earned this year; reciprocate it joyously.

VIRGO

Virgo! Close all your tabs besides this one, and when you’re done reading this horoscope, get the hell out of here, too! You’ve been working too hard (no such thing, you’re thinking, but hang with me for a sec here), and you’ve got to take a little time to do you to the exclusion of all else this season.

The other day, a frenetic Virgo pal recited her anxieties: politics, work, a book project, a boyfriend, a recently abandoned cigarette habit. There is so much for her to do; it’s true. But, right then, she had an unregimented hour at hand, so I asked her something I’d like you to consider, too: “If no one else were around, what would you choose to do right now? How would you spend your time if it were only yours? Because, right now, it is, so you can and should go do exactly what you want, if for just a little while.” You can find an hour here and there, Virgo, and it doesn’t mean you’re abandoning your various posts. Being cool to yourself is as much of a pressing responsibility as the rest of ’em.

How does that extend to food this season? Well, maybe there’s a cooking project that appeals to you, like this beef “bourguignonne” pot pie, that you can feel pleasant about passing an afternoon with. Or maybe you don’t want to turn your leisure into effort, in which case, order in a quarter of a chicken and some dank sides, or a complicated pizza, or some pho. Whatever makes you happy, seriously—go do, and eat, that to your (and only your!) highest satisfaction.

LIBRA

Sagittarius will take the form of new social goings-on this season, Libra, so get your calendar in fighting shape—Mercury retrograde in the middle of the month will try to keep you from your various engagements as best it can, and you’ve got dates to keep. It will help to streamline them in the form of a dinner party: you can’t get the address wrong, since you live there, and there’s only one time to keep straight.

This is clutch because, right now, you need to attend to nascent friendships and longstanding ones with the same fervor. A solid way to do that is by roasting a chicken and some root vegetables for your guests (and maybe making a vegan chili and some bread, too), then letting them all collide into one another around your table. Maybe someone will end up meeting his or her future life partner, and vice versa? Who knows—the point is to get everyone together, then stuff them to the gills.

SCORPIO

You have had to be a little brave lately. How is your body bearing up, given what you’re facing down? It’s natural that you’d be preoccupied with other concerns, given recent goings-on, but if you’re cramped, queasy, blocked, or otherwise uncomfortable, that needs attention. I’m thinking of how gutsiness is etymologically connected to your digestive system, of course. Even if you’re feeling physically decent, it’s never a bad plan to devote a little extra care to your intestines, stomach, and so on. Apple cider vinegar, diluted in a little water, is a total elixir for your gastrointestinal zone and so many other areas of health. Kimchi is delicious, and fermented foods are very helpful in the keeping of your organs. So too are prebiotic delights like garlic, onions, greens, and many fruits. Go with your gut, Scorpio, in every single way. Remember that your heart is in your stomach. You’re doing great so far, and I trust you to keep it moving.