Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let's Be Brutally Honest: Can I Have A Thanksgiving Menu With More Pizzazz?

I know a handful of people that could say that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. I'm more of a Christmas person, but Thanksgiving has its strengths. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, be thankful for what you have, watch football, and ring in the holiday season. You heard it right: in my mind, Black Friday is when the holiday season begins. However, let's be brutally honest about Thanksgiving. The menu doesn't happen to be a favorite of mine. I'm just putting it out there and many of you will be likely to disagree. However, I'm pretty sure that there is a way to dissect as to why Thanksgiving food is fairly overrated.

First off, Thanksgiving began as a feast between the New Americans (Pilgrims) and the Native Americans (Indians). Their menu was a bit different from what we eat in this day and age, but it's roughly similar. The main entree on Thanksgiving is of course... turkey. On many occasions, turkey happens to be such a dry meat. It's just very hard to make turkey a meat in which you could bring flavor to as is. I used to like turkey sandwiches and turkey subs, but they were good with oil and vinegar or other accompaniments. For the record, I eat Italian subs or hot subs these days, but that's a whole different story. Since turkey is so dry, that's where the popular sides come in and play a role.

Thanksgiving sides are probably more notable than any other... with the exception of famous restaurant appetizers, and I would likely go for a basket of Olive Garden breadsticks before I'd go for food on the Thanksgiving menu. Stuffing is a good side if it's made right. If it's homemade, then you're alright. If it's Stove Top or anything in a box, then you can take your stuffing in a box and give it to the dog to eat, as he'll likely believe that it's just the right topping for his dog food. Then you have gravy, which is used to give the turkey some moisture and taste. That too can taste good if it's made right. Then there's cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (which would be appropriate with just about any meaty dish), and a few more guests. For dessert, the star is pumpkin pie. I'm not a pumpkin pie person, but that's just me. I'm not a pie person, except for a pizza pie person. 

So I guess Thanksgiving food isn't too bad, but maybe it's just about the right idea to pardon Mr. Turkey for a year and try something new. On many occasions, families have used ham instead. No matter what the menu is, Thanksgiving shouldn't be about what kind of food is on the table. Thanksgiving should be about spending time with your family and thinking about the things you are thankful for, in many cases that happens to be your family. I would be more than pleased if we served lasagna on Thanksgiving, which would surely give the holiday some pizzazz, but then again, I like Italian food on any day. 

It may sound rebellious to stray away from the traditional Thanksgiving food, but as long as you follow the ethics as to how the holiday should be followed, that's all that really matters. If you like the tradition food, have a good time eating the traditional food. If not, the menu shall be yours!


  1. I might try some ham and/or lasagna sometime...actually I think I already have. So I guess I'm good.

  2. Why not have all three - turkey, ham and lasagna? You can purchase the small turkeys - either go for the breast, or a smaller bird. Then a nice honey spiral ham, and a yummy lasagna - with or without meat. I agree that stuffing must always be homemade. I bet you would like my sweet potato pie, which is served as a side dish and not a dessert, so it's like getting to eat a dessert with dinner and it is delicious! Don't forget the string bean casserole, which has now become a Thanksgiving classic.