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Backed Hard: The Best Stuff We (Actually) Bought in November

From shroomy history books to deviled-egg holiday decor, our editors' fave finds of the month would also make great gifts for your buds.
December 1, 2021, 6:15pm
November Editors Picks
Composite by Vice Staff

Pour yourself a glass of eggnog, buddy. Not only have you earned it, after sleuthing your way to the best deals on Cyber Monday, but because we’ve finally made it to December, which means that the snowy, small-town-horny Hallmark movies, fondue-covered fingers, and pole dancing dreidel are in full throttle. Fall was gr8 and filled with all the PSL (pumpkin spice lube) or orifices could take, but we’re ready to make the full transition over to our winter avatars, and leave no Carhartt beanies behind. 


October’s editors’ picks saw us get hella spooky with a cursed 1990s Furby Halloween mask, and thrice as sporty with the best Theragun massager dupes; we cooked in aesthetic mini Dutch ovens, sipped some mate, and copped iPhone cases worthy of The Matrix. 

This month, we shopped the best Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals to get in on rad fancy chef’s knives under $100, cozy winter ‘fits, and kind of classic sneakers we’d like to be buried in. We’re drying our feet on rainbow bathmats, fastening new Stanley flasks to our pegasus, and reading scandalous Jesus-was-a-mushroom historical books just in time for Christmas… We enjoyed these things so much this month, maybe you (or a gift-deserving homie) might love them too.

Jesus was a psychedelic mushroom, according to this book

Daaaaamn, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross caused some Da Vinci Code-level drama when it was released in the 1970s. The nonfiction book was written by the late Dead Sea Scroll scholar John Allegro, who theorizes on the crucial role that Amanita muscaria, or psychedelic mushrooms, played in early Christian fertility cults. It’s a pretty magical read with some beautiful imagery, and juicy philological tidbits that make you feel like a historical sleuth. —Mary Frances Knapp

Gnostic Media Research & Publishing

The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross


Nobody is gonna know

Confession: I have worn the same shoes for like, three years. I just keep getting different colors of these Adidas Grand Court Tennis jawns and hope that people don’t notice. They’re wicked comfortable, they have mellow suede overlays, and they go with everything. —Ian Burke


Adidas Men's Grand Court Se Tennis Shoe

Swaddled in a marshmallow

I was incredibly blessed to be bestowed one of Offhours' dreamy housecoats this month, and now I feel like I can't live without it. It's like a super-chic Snuggie, perfect for wrapping myself in while I'm drinking tea and getting my morning work started, and I love the earthy colors and super-soft fabric. Def going to be sinking into it constantly as temps drop and we enter the Super Cozy Times™ of December and winter. —Hilary Pollack


Homecoat - Michelangelo

A bathmat to fight the winter scaries

The WWE body slam transition from summer to winter, which is what it feels like out here in New York as a Californian, is brutal on my happy nodes, which means it was time to make sure my bath mat looked like a rainbow from 1976. —Mary Frances Knapp


Microfiber Absorbent Rainbow Bathroom Mat

Portable liquor 

What a concept! Did everyone know you can just, like, carry around eight ounces of whiskey with you wherever you go? I’m kidding, of course, I own many flasks—this is just a particularly good one. Stanley products last forever, and this wide-mouth flask has absolutely paid for itself more than once. (Well, not really at all, but it’s sweet and I like it.) —Ian Burke


Master Unbreakable Hip Flask 8oz


Sweatpants I can't stop receiving compliments on 

New Balance's entire collab with STAUD has been an instant (and huge) hit, and after eyeing a friend's sherpa pullover from the collection, I perused it and fell in love with these kinda goofy colorblock sweatpants. I feel sort of like a hot court jester, or a health goth with a sense of humor. I was not anticipating getting showered with compliments every time I wear them out of the house, but it's been a fun bonus. —Hilary Pollack

New Balance x Staud

New Balance x Staud Colorblock Sweatpants

I finally joined the cult of the imarku chef’s knife

Yes, the imarku really is that good. Another Rec Room editor included this eight inch, carbon steel blade in his break-down of the best fancy chef’s knives for under a $100, because the way this knife slices through hard-shelled squash like buttah does not disappoint. It’s long enough to do Big Work on a Big Meaty Slice, but workable enough to become one of your top knives in the kitchen. —Mary Frances Knapp


8 Inch High Carbon German Stainless Steel Chef's Knife

Just accept it

For a long time, I refused to be one of the people you see in Bushwick rocking a Carhartt hat, and I’m not entirely sure why—I mean, the rest of my outfit was Carhartt, and just because I went to different shitty dive bars didn’t mean I was like, escaping the “works in media but dresses like a longshoreman” aesthetic. So, I got this big goofy hat, and I gotta say: It’s comfy, warm, and looks dope. Plus, no one will think you’re a deer. —Ian Burke


An ornament I'd like to eat

My sister is absolutely obsessed with deviled eggs, so I'm getting her this ornament as a figurative stocking stuffer. We both love the look of vintage tree ornaments, which genuinely do give me nog-and-wreath kinda feelings even if the rest of the holidays kinda stress me out. Might need to grab the charcuterie board, too. (She doesn't read anything I write, so it will still be a surprise, don't worry.) —Hilary Pollack

Cody Foster

Vintage-Inspired Food Ornament (Deviled Egg)

See you next month.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.