I have never once sat down at the dinner table, all nicely decorated with autumnal décor for Thanksgiving, and thought to myself, “I am just so excited to eat turkey.” Why we ever made turkey the star of the fall holiday feast is beyond me.
Maybe it’s the fact that from the moment you wake up all you can smell is “the bird,” or maybe it’s the fact that Thanksgiving “dinner” is actually served around the time I would usually make lunch. Whatever it is, there is just not a single part of me that craves sliced turkey at 3 p.m. on a random Thursday in November.
You might then be asking, well Audrey, if the turkey isn’t your vibe, what is? And to that spectacular question I have an equally spectacular answer: the sides.
Thanksgiving sides are the only reason I am even remotely interested in eating dinner before the sun goes down, or willingly embark on a journey, which is always futile in the end, to try to convince my family that AOC is the best thing to ever happen to politics.
The variety, the flavor and the endless culinary combinations are what make the would-be supporting characters the real stars of the show, and make the political screaming match worth it.
Not a big fan of grandma’s green bean casserole? Sneak them under the table and pass it off to the dog, and then fill up on stuffing. Too much cranberry sauce? Pile that on top of a delicious dinner roll.
Normally I would consider dessert and sides to be two different categories of food, but at Thanksgiving all the food that isn’t turkey sort of blurs together into one large plate pileup.
So, in my defense of sides being the main character, I will also be recruiting the dessert table into this. Except for pumpkin pie, she belongs with the turkey over on the overrated table.
You’ve made it through your delicious, albeit ungodly early, dinner of sides, and now we get to my favorite part of the evening. Figuring out which way you can sit in the chair in order to maximize the amount of space in your stomach so that you can consume as much dessert as possible.
Another tragedy of Thanksgiving in my not so humble opinion, is the glorification of pumpkin pie. On its best day, the taste resembles something of a mediocre dessert, but more often than not I find it takes on the taste and consistency of baby food puree plopped into a crust.
There are so many other festive treats to enjoy, so why waste your time (and the room in your stomach) on a less than exciting dessert? From pumpkin bread to apple pie and berry cobbler, shove that pumpkin pie off the table and make room for some other delectable desserts.
Thanksgiving this year will likely look completely different from years past with COVID-19 restrictions, but if there’s a silver lining to it all, it’s that it gives us the chance to break from the norm and make brand new Thanksgiving traditions.
In a time as chaotic and unpredictable as the one we’re living in, nothing should be off the table.
Well, except for the turkey.