Thanksgiving: a holiday of food. An entire day where your plans include pigging out and passing out. My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is falling asleep while trying to watch football. I accomplish this every year. How can I possibly stay awake when my stomach is filled to the brim with warm foods? And what’s the fluffy starchy glue that brings the whole meal together? Potatoes.
Potatoes are the pièce de résistance of the Thanksgiving side dishes. Mashed. Sweet. Twice Baked. Au Gratin. There are endless possibilities with the king of carbohydrates. Why do we load up on potatoes every Thanksgiving? To carbo-load for Black Friday! You’re going to need a lot of stored energy to outrun moms at Target to snag the latest gaming console. Potatoes are the most iconic of the side dishes. Did green bean casserole ever have an entire famine devoted to it? Potatoes are so good that we eat them all year round. You can’t do that with other Thanksgiving foods. You wouldn’t be eating stuffing on any other Thursday of the year. You’d say “get this Thanksgiving food out of here and whip up some potatoes!”
Many people look forward to the bountiful feast they can enjoy on Thanksgiving that features a variety of fattening and carb-filled foods such as turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, stuffing and, of course, pumpkin pie.
Alas, since I have only a mere family of three, we do not want to be drowning in Thanksgiving leftovers and have opted out of a traditional holiday meal. Instead, we have elected to make something that is near and dear to our hearts and arguably more delicious than anything you would find on your normal Thanksgiving table: the humble, yet mighty pizza pie. Not only is pizza tastier than dry, unseasoned turkey, it is so much easier to make, and there will ultimately be less clean up in the end. Also, eating the same traditional Thanksgiving food year after year gets boring and lackluster. Americans are already predictable enough as it is, and we should try to switch things up more.
However, regardless of what you eat, Thanksgiving is more about who you spend the holiday with rather than the food you eat. However, even if you spend it alone with no one but your three cats to keep you company as you devour a frozen dinner while watching Christmas-themed romantic comedies, it shouldn’t matter, as long as you’re content.
The best part of Thanksgiving dinner is how all of the dishes and sensations come together.
A vast silence reigned over the land. Heads pointed downwards as the meal ensued, each consumed by a plate filled with delicacies only served once a year. Only the foolish fell victim to careless dinner conversation. While I, conqueror of the flat slabs of seasoned turkey, stayed focus on my prize. I ate the obligatory bite of green bean casserole and scarfed on freshly baked rolls as I surveyed what would soon be mine.
I glanced to my side, catching my reflection in the gelatinous glow of the cranberry sauce. What did I see? A ghost of the girl I once was before the meal had begun. I had become full. Alas! I fell victim to the rolls. Those sweet, buttery temptresses. It was too soon, for my journey had been far from over. Questions from the opposite end of the dinner table reigned over me. Some were whisked away by questions of the election, and many queries as to what my chosen major was. All of this was inconsequential to me. I marched through the trenches and reached, impolitely, over grandma, for my final dish.
I grasped the serving spoon with a newfound confidence. I knew that mine was the last scoop in the serving dish, and I showed no remorse. The mashed potatoes floated onto my plate. How luscious they were, cascading off the spoon. Billowing hills of perfectly buttered goodness laid before me, cradled on the cold, hard china beneath. I began my attack with precision, pouring the gravy ever so gently as it ran, carving rivers and valleys into the once untainted mass of potato. My dissent was swift. Not soon after I began to chew, I noticed an impostor. A small morsel of stuffing from moments before had found its way into the potatoes and into the spoonful I had so greedily placed in my mouth. At first, I was appalled at this interruption. It was unattractive. Wrong, even. But it felt so right. Before I could contain myself, a festival of side dishes had become incorporated into my mashed potatoes. Here, corn, stuffing and gravy all joined and became one in merriment. There was indeed room in the inn. I had found serenity at long last.
The best food at Thanksgiving is undoubtedly gravy.
Now, many TV shows, like Spongebob Squarepants, have a title character who the show centers on. However, the show would be nothing without Spongebob's interactions with his friends.
Some have taken to calling Thanksgiving 'Turkey Day' (which I'm not really a fan of), but no one can really imagine having a Turkey without its counterparts, especially gravy. It'd be dry and bland and probably the least appealing of all of the meats. I'd take a hot dog over a gravy-less turkey.
And stuffing? Also dry without gravy. Mashed potatoes? Bland without gravy. Rolls? What is their purpose but to soak up extra gravy? It's even a welcome treat when the gravy 'accidentally' flows into the cranberry sauce.
Gravy is the necessary sidekick. It elevates the Thanksgiving meal into something truly special and out of the ordinary.
I am not quite sure why I have to explain or even elaborate but it is very obvious that indeed flan is the best dessert on Thanksgiving day. Flan is just one of those desserts so near and dear to my heart because it simply cannot be bought. To buy flan is like to buy love. You just can’t. This round treat has a sponge base with a sweet savory filling. Flan is what brings my family together during the holidays. It does not matter what is going on because once it is being cut, it becomes the center of attention. It is the Beyoncé of the table. It is a show stopper. The custard dessert will make your mouth melt by just looking at it, but it is caramel sauce on top that will have you truly wondering why you ever considered anything else. Its flavor is so rich that my soul is instantly filled with Thanksgiving joy.
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