By Nick Hawks
Do you think when the leaves start to fall, turkeys flock to their hidden bunker-like Will Smith in “I Am Legend” when the sun goes down? As the staple of the Thanksgiving meal, 46 million turkeys are gobbled up every year on Nov. 26. That’s a lot of feathers! But where do they rank on our definitive list of best Thanksgiving foods? With sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and even the underrated green bean casserole, there’s a lot to choose from when filling up a plate and space is valuable. Follow this guide to help you decide what’s worth the room in your stomach.
- Gravy – Ok, not technically a “food,” but gravy is the glue to Thanksgiving. Did dad burn the turkey? Smother it with gravy. Did mom want to try a vegan mashed potato recipe? Drown it with a sea of gravy. Gravy on a Thanksgiving plate has more range than Christian Bale taking movie roles. It just makes everything better.
- Mashed potatoes – we’re not talking those instant packaged mashed potatoes here. You know the ones with lumps in them, with a little bit of garlic? This should take up the most space on a plate.
- Stuffing – Why is stuffing only made on Thanksgiving? I don’t get it. Little bite-size square pieces of bread, with sausage and roasted onions, it’s basically just a random bunch of the best foods thrown into one dish. However, keep the carrots out. They’re like raisins in trail mix, they just become something to eat around.
- Macaroni and cheese – My family never served mac n cheese on Thanksgiving, so when I found out that this is a staple in other’s holiday feast, I felt betrayed. Do I even need to describe this dish? You really can’t screw up mac n cheese.
- Green bean casserole – Only when it has those crispy onions on top.
- Rolls – Buttery, beautiful carbs. If you don’t have at least four of them, you aren’t doing it right.
- Butter pecan pie – Look, butter pecan pie is delicious. But personally, I have finite room in my stomach, and this pie feels like a brick when you eat it.
- Turkey – alas, we’ve arrived at the mainstay. It looks so good on the TV shows, all crispy and golden brown on the outside. But it tastes like a regular Tuesday lunch. It’s boring, dull, and usually too dry (even with the gravy). I put some on my plate as a courtesy, I don’t want to be rude. I guess leftover turkey sandwiches with mayonnaise are a thing, but I can’t justify putting mayonnaise on a sandwich, due to it being disgusting and all (potato salad, Ok).
- Cranberry sauce – I’ll admit that I do put a little on my plate, but I have no idea why. I guess I just like suffering, which explains a lot of my past.
- Yams – People make this with brown sugar and marshmallows? Honestly, I want to type words right now that’d get me fired when I think about putting this on my beautiful Thanksgiving plate.