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Carson carves up traditional Thanksgiving food

THURS.| 11-10-22 | OPINION

Thanksgiving is an average holiday with mediocre food that serves as a transition from Halloween to Christmas. Once a year, families gather around a table to share their thanks and enjoy one another's company. On the table in front of them is typically a large feast consisting of turkey, corn, stuffing and other traditional cuisines. As Thanksgiving approaches, families are planning their menus for the day and assigning dishes to relatives, in order to create the perfect feast meant to fill everyone’s stomachs and send them into a delightful food coma. Although this is the goal for Thanksgiving meals, it often misses the mark.

The food that is served on Thanksgiving can often be very meaningful if it is based on a classic family recipe or brings back delightful memories. Some families do have traditional meals that they serve which brings joy and that can be a 

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Graphic by Reagan Carson

beautiful thing. However, in most circumstances the food itself lacks a lot. It lacks flavor, variety and just overall enjoyment. If the goal of a Thanksgiving meal is to leave people satisfied and content, then Thanksgiving food is not the way to go. It is not a meal that consists of what I believe to be comfort food. When it comes to what is classified as a “traditional Thanksgiving meal” there are many problems within it.

     Let’s start with the main entree of the evening, what is believed to be the piece that ties it all together, the turkey. When people think of Thanksgiving foods, turkey is often the first one that pops into their mind. It is an iconic staple of the holiday and is immediately associated with the day itself. 

     The first problem with turkey is that it is a hassle to cook. Turkey can take anywhere from two to five hours to cook, and before you can even prepare it, the turkey must be left out to thaw for hours. Then during the cooking process, there are so many possible ways to mess it up. It can be overcooked, undercooked, not thawed long enough and even at the end of it all you can accidently carve it the wrong way too. In addition to all of this, turkey is often dry and lacks flavor. There is a reason turkey is usually only served once a year. I believe that there could be a better alternative for the main dish.

     Then there is the issue with the sides. While you can never go wrong with fluffy mashed potatoes or freshly warned dinner rolls, there are still some problematic items. Like corn, which can be too watery. There is also the typical green bean casserole, a dish that often goes left untouched and always gets cold too fast. It is an off-putting dish that is never the dish I would get seconds of. In addition, there is the age-old controversy of cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce consists of jellied cranberries that are squished down into a can, and dumped out to be eaten alone or used on turkey. It is high in sugar and does not normally look appetizing. It is by no means the star on the Thanksgiving table and feels like it is just a placeholder to make the table seem more full. 

     In the end there is one beautiful array of items that a Thanksgiving meal has to offer, the desserts. Delicious pumpkin pie, sweet peach cobbler and warm sweet potato casserole are all delicious

additions that serve as a saving grace to the end of a moderate meal. They are definitely the perfect way to end a meal and should never be overlooked. If there is anything that makes the fuss of creating a Thanksgiving meal, it is the dessert without a doubt.

     Even though I find some key parts of Thanksgiving lackluster, this does not mean the holiday itself is not worth it. Thanksgiving can be a beautiful time for families to gather together and have an excuse to eat excessive portions of food. It gives everyone a break from their busy schedules to focus on one another and remind them what they are thankful for. The menu just needs to be revamped to make it the perfect holiday and the perfect meal.

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