Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ranking the Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods

Ah, Thanksgiving!

Food is an important part of almost all of the holidays we celebrate. (Except for President's Day, where no food is as important as a good sale at the furniture store.) But, Thanksgiving is the only holiday where everything is ALL about the food!

There is soooo much food on Thanksgiving. It's all so good, but you just can't eat as much of everything as you'd like. Your stomach is only so big (even if you have a big stomach like mine.) That means you have to prioritize. You might have to skip some of the foodstuffs in order to stuff yourself with the foods you like best. To help you with that, here is a ranking of the most common Thanksgiving foods, from worst to best.

Honorable mention: Bacon. I've never had bacon for Thanksgiving. But, I'd be willing to give it a try.

Honorable mention: Squash. I bring up squash here because my wife and her family have this strange impulse to cook some form of squash at every meal, including (maybe even especially) at Thanksgiving. (I call them the "Squash Family." And they don't seem to mind, as long as they can eat some squash.) Squash definitely feels at home on the Thanksgiving Day table, there's just not much room for it on my plate.

Honorable mention: Drinks. Whether it be water, apple cider, cranberry juice, or soda, there has to be some kind of drink to help wash down all that food. But only because you can't drink the gravy. (Or can you?)

10. Fruit salad--Fruits are woefully underrepresented on the Thanksgiving Day table, but a good fruit salad will help balance the meal. If often includes jell-o, whip cream, and/or sour cream to keep it all together, because this is Thanksgiving and nothing should be too healthy.

9. Mashed potatoes--I'm from Idaho, and it may be sacrilege to rank potatoes so low, but I'm going to anyway. The problem with mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving is that they have the double-whammy of being fairly bland and very filling. There's so much other good stuff, that if you fill up on mashed potatoes you won't have room for the rest.

8. Sweet potatoes (with marshmallow topping)--I'll leave the debate on the difference between sweet potatoes and yams for another day. All I know is there needs to be a way of increasing the ratio of marshmallow topping to sweet potatoes. (And don't be the guy who skims all the marshmallow off of the top. You might end up getting punched in the face.)

7. Green bean casserole--I've always said that the best way to eat vegetables is in some gloopy soup mix and covered with onion rings and cheese!

6. Turkey--Turkey is by far the most overrated food on the Thanksgiving Day table! Even though it's the food most associated with Thanksgiving, when you actually sit down to eat the meal, it's often overlooked. It's also the most difficult thing to cook and to prepare. (I've never had to wait for someone to "carve" the green bean casserole!)

5. Cranberry sauce--There are commonly two kinds of cranberry sauce: the kind with actual berries, and the kind that's shaped like the can it came in. How high you rate the cranberry sauce really depends on which kind you like and which kind is available. That's why it's best to always have both kinds of cranberry sauce, so that everyone can be cranberry merry! (Me, I like my cranberry in the shape of a can. I call it the "can cran.")(You can keep your darn berries!)

4. Rolls--Of course, rolls are better when they are hot and homemade, but even cold, store-bought rolls are pretty essential. Smother them in butter and maybe some jam, and they really complete the meal. And, the rolls are by far the MVP of the leftover meal, stuffed with a little bit of turkey for a quick, cold sammich!

3. Stuffing--(Also known sometimes as "dressing.") There are many kinds of stuffing, from in the bird, to made from scratch, to Stove Top. All of it is good! And yes, it is undoubtedly true that I have stuffing rated so high because my Grandma made a homemade stuffing with sausage in it that was out of this world! (My father-in-law recently tried to recreate my Grandma's stuffing for me, and did a remarkably good job of it!)

2. Gravy--Ah, gravy! Gravy is groovy! A good gravy can make so many of the other things on this list taste so much better. Just slather it on, and bland mashed potatoes become flavorful; dry turkey becomes moist and delicious; and stuffing becomes more delectable. You can even dip your rolls in it. Gravy is the (figurative) glue that holds the whole meal together! (Just don't try to drink it as your beverage.)

1. Pie--Really, you can't be surprised to find pie at the top of the list, can you? Pumpkin, apple, banana cream, pecan, chocolate, peach, cherry, cheesecake: it doesn't really matter. There are so many flavors! So many possibilities! If you ask me what I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving, I'll say pie!

I'm a guy who likes to try pie!!!
So there you have it. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Remember to be thankful for all the blessings you have. And be sure to save some room for pie!

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