The day of giving thanks is suddenly upon us! Today countless kitchens will be filled with frustrated cooks shouting expletives at burned poultry, awkward family reunions that has everyone walking on eggshells (depending on who’s cooking, you might literally be walking on them, too.), and of course the mindless “catching up” conversations that make you realize just how banal and empty your life really is.

The fun really begins when you sit down with your loved ones at the Thanksgiving table, complete with a tacky centerpiece that always involves some kind of cornucopia. You’ll gaze upon the smorgasbord of goodies plated and bowled on the table, and then you’ll notice something shocking: the same awful dishes no one ate last year are back again. You’ll blink your eyes a couple times in confusion, “Surely these concoctions can’t have lived to see another Thanksgiving?!” …Oh, but they have. Like a bad movie villain that refuses to die, there are certain foods that, despite their complete lack of appeal, keep showing up Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving, eliciting your best polite smile as you pass them over while suppressing your gag reflex as nonchalantly as possible. Here’s but a few…

Image from Google

Uncle Charlie’s Canned Cranberry from 2001
I love cranberries, but something about the canned variety grosses me out. Maybe it’s the consistency. Maybe it’s because I can see the ridges in the disgusting cylinder-shaped glob made by the can that once contained it. People don’t even bother to dress it up anymore, either. You just grab a bowl, open the can, and dump it in. Could we at least add a little garnish or something? It’s just disgusting in every way.

Grandma Geraldine’s Latest Jello Mold Abomination
I don’t really like Jell-O; does anyone? Does anyone ever go out of their way to eat Jell-O except for on Thanksgiving day? Every year one of my family members insists on making some disgusting looking Jell-O mold (I’m sorry, but the word “mold” should never have anything to do with food). For some reason my family loves this stuff. I think the worst part is when the Jell-O is mixed with that other substance that looks a bit like Jell-O, but has a different consistency and is less transparent. What is that?! Pudding? I don’t even want to know. Forget these weird Jell-O mixtures, and let’s just add in an additional pie instead.

Image from Google

Aunt Natalie’s New Recipe You’re Going to Love
…Assuming you can get past the fact that it’s dry, combines disgusting ingredients in an unnatural way, or looks like brains. I’m all about branching out and trying new recipes, but for Thanksgiving? Don’t subject your entire network of family/friends to your latest experiment. Just because we’re all sitting around the table with our forks and knives in hand doesn’t mean you get to treat us like your guinea pigs. Thanksgiving isn’t the place to try out that recipe you found that sounds gross but looks delicious (…more often than not, it’s every bit as gross as it sounds).

Cousin Erin’s Experimental Dessert
Call me old fashioned, but when it comes to dessert, I like to follow tradition. Can we just stick to the basic pumpkin pie? Every year at my family’s Thanksgiving table one of my family members brings a dish that goes by the name of “Green Stuff.” …Seriously. It’s green, and I think somehow pistachios are involved. Truth be told, I don’t even know what’s in it. What I do know is this, I’m not eating anything that goes by the title of “Green Stuff.” Make a batch of cookies. Bake a cake. Don’t go into your laboratory and come out with some radioactive mess of sugar and good intentions.

So in between all those pained family interactions and philosophical arguments about the virtues of light/dark meat, remember to be thankful if you make it through this holiday’s gobbling without salmonella or food poisoning.


13 thoughts on “Thanks(giving), But I’ll Pass

  1. We have a cousin Erin’s experimental dessert every year as well. What makes it always more fun is that she’s always on some strange-ass diet (last year vegan, year before that peskatarian) so the dessert contains zero edible ingredients. Even the dog won’t touch it most of the time.

  2. Good thoughts. We prefer the basic sides ~ mashed potatoes (with butter), sage stuffing (with onions and celery), baked sweet potatoes (with butter and brown sugar), fresh green beans (with butter), and homemade cranberry sauce.

    And plenty of PIE for dessert.
    Gobble. Gobble.

  3. I made green beans (fresh of course) with a bechamel sauce and some apple crisp (both from scratch). Then we went over a friend’s and everyone who showed up brought something. The turkey was great–I had dark meat.

  4. I absolutely agree with you on the experimental new recipes! Why do they do this?! Gaaah! But I love jello. LOVE it. Doesn’t matter what silly shape it’s in or that the non-transparent stuff looks a little questionable, the three-year-old inside me goes: oooh! Pretty colors! *nom nom nom*

  5. Every single dish at Thanksgiving was new this year, except for the actual turkey. I made two pear pies with raisins, brown sugar and walnuts, with a streusel topping. Yum! The only thing that was a bit off this year was the new potato recipe: regular potatoes mixed with sweet potatoes and made into a potatoes au gratin – type dish. Hmmmm. I didn’t make that one.

Don't you sass me! ...Actually, please do.

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