Leftridge: Thanksgiving Food, Ranked

thankscoverAccording to some religion or another, we all know that gluttony is a sin, but we also know that aside from the whole “oh, boy am I so thankful for _______” aspect of the holiday, gluttony is the impetus of Thanksgiving.

Truly, gluttony is the least of your worries when you’re seductively winking at your sister-in-law across the table, ridiculing your Uncle Gary’s crippling drug habit, going on incoherent, racist rants and passing out on the couch during the football games. (And pissing your pants. Don’t forget that.)

That’s why I suggest that, if you’re gonna do it, do it right. Stuff yourself with what matters most and leave the fruit salad for your elderly aunt and her soft, brittle teeth.

Here’s my list, in order of Who-Gives-a-Shit to Must-Have.


mashed-sweet-potatoes10) Sweet Potatoes

Not to be confused with yams (which suck, too), sweet potatoes taste like a carrot that contracted gangrene and is slowly rotting from the inside-out. So you cover it with cinnamon and a bunch of other masking agents and you push them as healthy, but really, you should just offer glazed carrots and shut the fuck up.


9) Cranberry Sauce

It’s sweet! It’s tart! It’s like eating a spoonful of brains from the scooped out head of dead monkey! Texturally, it’s all wrong. Taste-wise, it distracts the palate. I don’t care if it’s the solid, gelatinous mass from a can or carefully prepared using real cranberries, it’s simply no good. When I think of “sweet” and “tart,” I think of a track-mark covered prostitute from Wichita; that kind of thing has no place on my plate.


8) Glazed Carrots

Glazed carrots are okay, but they need to be cooked properly. All too often, someone undercooks the glazed carrots and you’re left with little shards of sweet Oompa Loompa penis. Nobody needs that on this, a day when we’re all supposed to be giving thanks.


7) Any Kind of Salad

Seriously? Why do this to yourself?


6) Cheesy-Broccoli-Rice-Casserole-Stuff

I’m sure it has a name, but I’ve never heard it. It’s good, though, despite being a little bit bland. I mean, it’s rice and broccoli and cheese. Not exactly reinventing the wheel, but a palatable side, nevertheless. It’s not ubiquitous, though, which detracts from its ranking. If I end up at your grandmother’s house (which would be way weird, by the way) and it’s NOT there, I wouldn’t be surprised… but if I later realized I didn’t have any, I might shed a solitary tear.


PP5) Pumpkin Pie

I’m not a huge sweets guy, but you’ve gotta have pumpkin pie. Period. Pecan pie is okay in a pinch—PROVIDED that you also have pumpkin pie. I’ve got no qualms with apple pie—SO LONG AS you also have a pumpkin pie. It’s simple, really: if you have desserts at your gathering—and most people feel the need to—then you MUST have pumpkin pie. It’s Thanksgiving, not Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Dessert-Day.

4) Rolls

Any kind of roll, really. A nice roll does to the meal what a good rug does to a room: it really ties the whole thing together. They can be brown or white, pillowy-soft or hard on the outside. It doesn’t matter. It’s hard to screw up the roll, which is part of what makes it so great. And hey—live a little, why don’t you? Take a little bit of turkey, put it inside the roll—INSTANT DELICIOUS TURKEY SANDWICH. You’re welcome.


roasted-turkey3) Turkey

The thing is, turkey is nobody’s favorite meat. It’s just not. It’s good, but not great. Chicken is a far superior bird, but we‘re inundated with chicken. Turkey is a once—MAYBE twice—a year food, so of course it’s in the top three. Part of it is the pageantry associated with the production; the month to unthaw, the wrangling of the cold, clammy carcass, the cruel cavity search, the bondage and brining and basting, the hours and hours of cooking… but it’s mostly just that turkey is pretty decent. It tastes good. Plus, you get sandwiches and soup for days, which is pretty outstanding, too.


2) Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy

Oh, man… now I’m getting heated. Mashed potatoes are clumps of starchy goodness bestowed upon mortals by The God of Deliciousness. They’re silky, yet smooth; rich and creamy, yet subtle. It’s butter and salt and cream and maybe some garlic AND I WILL STRIKE YOU, BITCHMOM, IF YOU DON’T LET ME AT THE MASHED POTATOES. Smother them in delightful turkey-gravy and make sweet, sweet mouth-love to a towering mound of potato-y goodness. The only downside to mashed potatoes—and I feel like a heretic for even suggesting there’s anything close to a downside—is that not all m’d potatoes are created equal. It is possible to make an inferior version, often lowering their quality from “transcendent” to merely “very good.” You’ve been warned.


momsstuffing1) Stuffing

Stuffing goes in the bird and dressing goes on the side, but I call it all stuffing, and probably, you do too. No matter what you call it, though, it’s a veritable fact that Thanksgiving is a colossal waste of time without stale bread cubes cooked with copious amounts of butter and boner-inducing herbs. Stuffing is like what Jesus would eat if he were still around to eat Thanksgiving. It’s simple and delicious and really, the hearts of a thousand poets couldn’t quite capture how passionately I feel about a nice stuffing. In fact, if you come over to my house for a Thanksgiving feast, and you disparage stuffing, I will kill a hobo, provide convincing evidence that YOU killed the hobo, then call the cops and report that you’ve murdered someone. Yes, it may seem a bit extreme, but I am that serious about stuffing.


And there you have it. All you need to have an outstanding Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope you all spend the holiday with friends and family, and I hope that you feel the same way I do about stuffing or, you know, the whole hobo thing.

Happy Thanksgiving, KCC!

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20 Responses to Leftridge: Thanksgiving Food, Ranked

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    You forgot beer. The Pilgrims drank over a gallon a day, more on Harvest Home.

    I’ll throw a turkey in the smoker maybe six times a year.

    I’ll throw my lot in with Thomas Morton and the folks at Merrymount, kinda the trailer park down the road from Plimoth.

    • Yes, beer is a given.

      Your smoked turkey sounds awesome… probably the best way to go. (Though I HAVE always been impressed with the deep-frying option, too.)

      • Jim says:

        Orphan, I too, am a huge fan of throwing a giant yardbird on the smoker several times a year. Nothing takes smoke like fowl. In regards to your deep-fried turkey Lefty, pretty tasty right out of the oil but has an unpleasant flavor when it’s cold. JMO That eliminates the late-night cold turkey sandwich craving.

  2. the dude says:

    And scotchy scotch. Goes quite well with a good swisher sweets blunt and some kind Afghani Kush sprinkled liberally inside.
    Fuck that Remy Martin and Courvousier crap, a good single malt scotch or bourbon is where it is at.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      If you want to be drinking historic stuff, it’s gin. The biggest import to Plimoth colony.

      Pretty sure it was chicken-fried deer steaks rather than turkey too. LOL

      • mike t. says:

        rum is right up there, not as an import, but the colonies loved the stuff.

        but i’m with dude… a nice bourbon, neat. okay, several nice bourbons, neat.

  3. the dude says:

    Hey, is that you in the tuxedo shirt and your unlcle Gaary across from you?
    Nice turkeywear.

  4. mike t. says:

    totally agree on the m-ps, stuffing and rolls. and gravy. must. have. gravy.

    best rolls? in order of preference… 1. kings hawaiian. 2. pillsbury crescent. 3. any fluffy white roll so long as it is properly baked and not burned on the bottom.

  5. Jim says:

    If you actually “mash” your sweet potatoes like that picture…….you have done a serious injustice to the tuber! Thick sliced, chili powder, maple syrup, butter and pecans. Give the giant carrots their due. A whole plate of dressing, heavily seasoned with sage and covered with obscene amounts of gravy will satisfy my entire Turkey day craving. I’ll hold off until later in the evening for a cold turkey sandwich slathered in mayo and an ice cold glass of milk. Favorite part of the whole day.

  6. dreamwriter326 says:

    I know this is probably gonna piss Chuck off, but I’m thinking black olives shoulda been in there somewhere!

  7. Kerouac says:

    Chiefs nuts roasting, Broncos open fire
    Pyrotechnics, shoot the moon…
    Season’s end comes again, short once more
    No Superbowl nor, playoff win…

    Case this year again, our O still a most pressing need
    Wide-outs with size, hands and some speed…
    Reid he needs, some fresh new weaponry
    New sets of schemes let’s dream, shall we…

    We know John Dorrrrrrr-sey’s here to stay
    Providing hope a football future ours, someday,
    And every faithful fan Chiefs have is, gonna say
    “I hope we win before pine box takes, me away”…

    And so we pray a wish ‘one more heyday’
    Four score since ours last, Vikes did slay
    Although it’s been tried – many times –
    many ways – Superbowl us, Kay-cee…

    Whaddaya mean it’s not Christmas?
    OK, Thanksgiving… 9-2
    It’s a start


  8. Kyle James, professional rap extraordinaire says:

    My brother ate all the fruit salad. You forgot the mac n cheeze, cracka asz cracka

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