As we approach Turkey Day, I have a confession: I don't like Thanksgiving. In fact, I hate Thanksgiving. I think Thanksgiving food is the worst. I have never been blown away by a Thanksgiving meal. (If you have, what do you eat for Thanksgiving dinner?) In fact, the best "Thanksgiving meal" I've ever eaten was at an all-you-can-eat buffet at Disney World. C'mon, people — Disney World!
That's not to say that my mom and the rest of my family aren't great cooks; they are, I promise). But I think we should all be honest with ourselves: Traditional Thanksgiving food — and by that I mean all Thanksgiving foods, no matter who cooks them — is not good. (Unless we're talking strictly about stuffing, because stuffing is amazing — but more about that later.)
Can we all just agree that Thanksgiving is a collection of pretty mediocre food all consumed under the pretense of being "American"? Thanksgiving is a time for our country to shine — to show the rest of the world that if there's one thing we're good at, it's eating far past the point of being full. And then eating some more. I wish we could gorge ourselves on something other than dry turkey (I hate turkey that's crumbly and parched!) and soggy pumpkin pie?
Religion, Politics, and Cranberry Sauce: The 3 Things That Don't Belong at Thanksgiving Dinner
What do you eat cranberry sauce with on Thanksgiving? Nothing — because you shouldn't eat it; you should just leave it right on the table in favor of something else. Cranberry sauce is a bad Thanksgiving food: I mean, if your sugar-to-fruit ratio is almost 1-to-1, you've got to be canceling out the health benefits of cranberries with the health risks of too much sugar. In fact, why even bother serving fruit at dinnertime? We all know dinner is just a layover to Dessert Town.
If you're still desperately clinging to the idea that you have to serve lumpy red sauce to the people you love, just remember: As soon as you put the too-tart or too-sweet (it's always going to be one of the two because there is no perfect balance when it comes to this offensive side dish) mush in your mouth, you have to deal with the somehow gritty and slimy texture of cranberry skins — yuck!
And even worse than homemade cranberry sauce is the monstrosity that comes from a can. Please, I'm begging you: Serve anything but cranberry sauce from a can. Anything that makes the sound splort when it is "prepared" does not belong on a dinner table. I mean, seriously, we all know it's inevitably going to slip off its plate and land in someone's lap or — more appropriately — on the floor.
Hard, Cold Fact of Life: Pumpkin Spice Ruins Holidays
Around this time of year, pumpkin spice has hit its peak popularity, and I swear I will eat cranberry sauce in a can if one more formerly delicious food gets destroyed by this status symbol of a flavor. Pumpkin spice candles are bearable (somewhat), and pumpkin spice cocktails are drinkable because, well, cocktails. But pumpkin spice you can spray onto food is where I draw the line. What's next — pumpkin spice pickles? Actually, I'm just going to stop there, because I'm sure someone is working on that as we speak, and I don't want to encourage them.
Sorry Not Sorry: Fruit Pies Are the Salad of Dessert
Yes, Thanksgiving is about getting the family together and being grateful for each others' company, but it's also about eating food — lots of it. So why take up valuable gut real estate by forcing yourself to eat Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes when you could be chowing down on yummier things like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and macaroni and cheese?
Following that same reasoning, why bother with fruit pies when we all know that chocolate is the true star? Fruit pies are great for the other 364 days of the year when we want to gobble up a bunch of sugar while pretending to be healthy, but you'll get a big "No, thanks," from me if you offer me a slice of apple pie on Turkey Day.
If you're thinking, "Well, this writer clearly hasn't had a slice of my world-famous (insert kind of pie)," you're right, I haven't. But until I have (and please note that I'm all for taste tests), you cannot convince me that a slice of peach pie, blueberry pie, or — heaven forbid — slimy pumpkin pie is tastier than a big ol' slab of French silk pie. That's what I'll be shoving in my pie hole this year, and you can bet I'll be thankful for it.