It’s easy to picture the Thanksgiving dishes we look forward to year after year. But there are a handful I’ll do my best to avoid every year!
Mental Floss published a survey listing America’s 13 most hated Thanksgiving dishes. Most of what they list are things I mostly like…with a few exceptions.
Fortunately for me, my family’s Thanksgiving dinner is usually a small affair and I love everything Mom makes.
But here are five Thanksgiving dishes I’m glad she doesn’t offer:
1. Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Northerners know them as yams and Southerners call them sweet potatoes. They’re not exactly the same thing, but the terms are often used interchangeably. I’ve never been a fan of sweet potatoes. My brain hears potato and wants something salty, not sweet. The texture of sweet potatoes doesn’t appeal to me, either.
No matter how a sweet potato is prepared, I never found it appealing. So anything with sweet potato is a hard pass for me.
2. Green Bean Casserole
This is definitely a Southern tradition, and I’ll admit that I’ve had some tastes of it that weren’t nearly as bad as I remember from childhood. But this concoction mixes green beans — often the long, “French cut” variety — cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions. The green beans often end up looking like soggy grass. The onion flavor sometimes overpowers everything else. I’ve never tried making one, but there must be a big trick to it that a lot of people don’t quite master.
I’ll generally let the green bean casserole go by.
3. Brussels Sprouts
I’ve never had Brussels sprouts as part of a Thanksgiving meal. But I’ve had them with other meals. In particular, I tried them when they were briefly flash-fried and then broiled in a drizzle of oil and sea salt. Honestly, I liked the taste of them.
Unfortunately, for the next two days, those little sprouts reminded me that they don’t care that much for me. So after about 48 hours of indigestion, I scratched them off my list.
4. Pumpkin Pie
I don’t hate pumpkin spice the way everyone else seems to. But I’ve never been much of a fan of pumpkin pie. If I’m going to have a dessert for that big Thanksgiving dinner — and I often try to avoid adding even more calories — I’d prefer a slice of Mom’s incredible lemon pound cake. I love key lime pie. Sometimes, she makes a blueberry cheesecake. They’re all fine with me.
But I never found pumpkin pie all that appealing. Maybe it’s because I overthink of a pumpkin as a squash…and that makes me wonder why we’d want a pie made from squash.
5. Cranberry Sauce
I like cranberry juice cocktail. But I’ve never been able to figure out what to do with that jello-like “sauce” that isn’t really a sauce. My Mom is a master with the Thanksgiving spread. Everything she makes is so flavorful that I’ve never figured out where that tart cranberry sauce belongs. What’s it supposed to go with? What does it serve as sauce for?
I like cranberry juice cocktail well enough, even though I rarely drink that. But as a side item at dinner, the “sauce” preparation just doesn’t do it for me.
That’s my short list of items I wouldn’t miss if I didn’t see them on Turkey Day. How about you?