Other success stories were less expected. Dunn and Patton had been prepared to pan a tortilla-chip-and-chorizo stuffing from Food Network Magazine. It turned out to be a sleeper hit. On the other hand, Saveur's oyster-and-sausage stuffing sounded better on slick paper; Dunn was not a fan of its fishy taste, while Patton said it probably didn't justify the $30 spent on its bivalves alone.
An informal poll turned up other favorites, such as Lewis' creamed greens, a mushroom-and-leek bread pudding from Ina Garten via Food Network Magazine and a dark, complex sorghum-sweetened chocolate pecan pie from Martha Stewart Living.
Then there were the Brussels sprouts, which more than one person compared to popcorn.
"I've stolen that already" for real Thanksgiving, Brian Johnson said.
Much like Bitten Word followers, Fakesgiving attendees look to Patton and Dunn's feast for inspiration. When asked about favorite dishes from previous years, the answer was nearly universal: The 2011 salted caramel six-layer chocolate cake from Martha Stewart Living. Eyes practically rolled back in ecstasy. Owen Ryan and Trevor McLaren enjoyed the cake so much they considered serving it at their recent wedding. In the end, they decided not to burden their caterer with the nearly half-day project.
Most of Patton and Dunn's friends have to read about the Fakesgiving taste tests on the blog like everybody else. It's a delicate dance deciding who gets to come, Dunn said. After all, if a regular can't make it one year and a newbie comes instead, who gets the seat next year? Several of this year's guests took pride in never having missed a party; others said they specifically arranged their plans to be able to attend.
"It's an amazing tradition," McLaren said.
He might have just secured his 2013 invite.