“It’s the most ‘culinary’ time of the year”, read in a sing-song voice evocative of the smooth vocals of Andy Williams …
Thanksgiving adoration as the most culinary holiday is alive and well in the Iverson household. We all could bathe in pan gravy, eat our weight in smooth mashed potatoes, live on traditional stuffing and dream about fruit-heaped pies.
However, and this is a big caveat, the things that we do not want to see on our Thanksgiving table are vast. I ponder the reason why one would waste coveted stomach acreage on secondary sides. I preach: leave the space, the hollow leg, the caloric intake to the stars of the show, the celebrities worth celebrating, the reasons we are giving gratitude! After all, it’s not call ThanksLESSgiving!
So, as an informative tutorial for the inaugural newbie hosts, these are the dishes a guest shall politely refuse, in my grand opinion:
- Ambrosia Salad, which for the lucky few needs to be defined: a combination of mayonnaise and fruit with marshmallows and coconut. With a minimal amount of foresight, one can see that pairing this dish with the traditional turkey and gravy might have an adverse effect.
- Green Salad Piggybacking on the aforementioned “salad” (sacrilege to even term the ambrosia concoction as such), I might go as far to say a green salad may squander limited preparation energy. Having just gotten out of sundresses and swimsuits that necessitate a healthy salad in the summer months, we now are donning baggy, forgiving elastic waistbands and over-sized sweater; we need not calorie count.
- Boiled Vegetables Save for the boiled potatoes that are then mashed and adorned with butter, cream, salt and pepper, not to mention thick, smooth, rich gravy, no dining experience should “showcase” sad boiled vegetables. Also, no pre-made veggie trays either. Solve a craving for a bright, fresh side with a simple skillet charred corn dish click HERE.
- Italian Dishes Think of the pilgrims and their English roots; although I do normally survive on Italian fare, let’s remember the origins. I suggest leaving the macaroni and cheese and any other pasta bowls off the table. I would love to paint the picture of the side-eye I just received from my health-conscious husband when I asked if mac ‘n cheese had any place on a Thanksgiving table. It was epic!
- Sweet Potatoes This is controversial in my ever-battling food brain. I am partial to a table that offers the candied sweet potatoes with brown sugar and broiled marshmallows atop, but rein it in. The real estate this takes on my plate is minimal. Ruminate on the fact that a serving size for each person should be 2 - 3 tablespoons.
- Jellied Cranberries Need I say more than “jellied cranberries”? The fact that this sugar creation calling itself “cranberries” releases from the can in a cylindrical plop is just short of chemical genius. Yay science?
- Caloric Content Any discussions of the consequences of eating so many (insert delicious) calories should be hushed. Speak about it within the construct of your mind only! Not a soul at the table wants to be reminded of caloric contents of the blessed meal. I propose to think of the calories as weighted in nostalgia and flavorful memories. The meals you actually enjoy and relinquish control are the healthiest for your mind, if not entirely for your body. Off my soapbox …
None of this writing is based on any factual evidence; it’s just good ol’ fashioned Jennie-isms. My theories must be taken with a grain of salt or an entire sodium-laden Thanksgiving meal! Alas, you can offset excess sodium with more potassium – so balance out your Thanksgiving meal with a banana cream pie!
Go forth and indulge!