Turkey Day Decisions

By John Focht

Well, it’s time for football, turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, and.  Or is it football, turkey, mashed potatoes, and apple pie?

Mighty big decisions this time of year.  Is it stuffing or mashed potatoes?  Apple pie or pumpkin pie?  Or, do you go with a little of each?

Odds are pretty strong that when Thursday rolls around, families all across the country will have more than enough options when it comes to the main course and desserts.

In fact, if your family is anything like mine – and God help you if they are – you will also have plenty of appetizer options to go along with the football games all afternoon too.

But what about individually on Thanksgiving? Do you go for one side dish over another, or one dessert over another?  Or do you simply gorge yourself on everything available on the table?

In some households, the Thanksgiving table is literally the table fit for a King and one can’t even see what’s available on the other end of the table, so they simply take what is available in front of them.

For me, Thanksgiving is about tradition.  And with tradition comes my Thanksgiving meal that I am looking for no matter where I sit my Tom Turkey for the holiday feast.

Of course it goes without saying a Thanksgiving meal just isn’t a Thanksgiving meal without a gallon of gravy available for your turkey.  Any household that does not serve gravy with the Thanksgiving turkey might as well just go order themselves some Chinese food.  Cranberries are also a requirement.

From there, decisions need to be made.  Are you going for the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, or the dinner rolls?  Personally, I go for all three, but at the very least, I must have the stuffing.

Next, the vegetables.  Now, I’m not much of a vege guy, but on Thanksgiving, I’ll take it.  Over the years I have seen corn, peas, string-beans, green-beans, and even corn on the cob make their way to the Thanksgiving Day table.  My all-time favorite vegetable for Thanksgiving is the green-bean casseroleIf you really want to add some pizazz to your turkey dinner, add this vegetable to the table (Hint: keep it nearby because it will go quick).

After that, anything else served with the Thanksgiving dinner is all gravy – no pun intended.  My grandmom used to serve her homemade meat lasagna with the Thanksgiving turkey.

I have also seen, shrimp cocktail make its way to the Turkey Day dinner table, as well as salads, gelatins, soup, and even those little pigs-in-a-blanket wiener dogs.

As for dessert.  Well, my Thanksgiving heart will always be partial to the pumpkin pie.  Quite frankly, it’s my first holiday dessert love.  There’s no getting around the fact I need my pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.  Without it, Thanksgiving is lost.

No matter what your dessert love is on this holiday, whether it is pumpkin, apple, or cherry pie.  Whipped cream or no whipped cream.  Heated or cooled.  Ice cream or no ice cream.  There is no shortage of ideas to make your holiday dinner a memorable one.

But just remember as you are preparing your menu choices: don’t mess with the traditions.  Sprinkle in some new ones, but don’t forget the ones that have gotten you here.

Most importantly, have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!