Across Canada this weekend, families and friends will sit down to an excellent meal comprised of delicious foods that took way too long to cook.
So when you’re finished reading this definitive ranking that is simply undebatable and you find yourself thinking, ‘Why don’t I cook these items more often?’ just know that the answer is: you don’t have 11 spare hours on your hands.
Just enjoy these great foods while you can.
While the giant cooked bird resides at the centre of the table, it is far from the focal point of the meal. Turkey is more like the point guard, setting up the other parts of Thanksgiving to make them look awesome. For example, gravy tastes amazing, but you can’t just drink it by itself. But dip a little turkey in that bad boy and suddenly you’re an upstanding member of society, rather than a gravy-guzzling weirdo.
(I will never besmirch anyone who does a ham for dinner, but the fact that a pineapple ham and gravy don’t mesh as well is why it gets left off the list.)
4. Homemade cranberry sauce
Cranberry sauce is basically just jam, but festive! It takes a berry you would otherwise never think about and makes a sweet spread out of it. Pair it with the point guard turkey and you’ve got a dynamic combo like Steve Nash dishing to Dirk Nowitzki.
The cranberry is the only fruit that works well with turkey, too; perhaps because it’s just tart enough. Last week I put raspberry jam on a turkey sandwich thinking it would yield the same result. It did not.
3. Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin spice is an overrated flavour that needs to stop in almost all of its forms. Except for this one. This one can stay.
Pumpkin pie is one of the few pies with a good filling-to-crust ratio. (You don’t need a roof over your head apple pie!) It also goes well with whipped cream or ice cream. It’s just the perfect way to end the meal.
2. Mashed potatoes
If you’re like me, mashed potatoes are an all-times food. But during the holiday season, they typically step their game up. Maybe they get cheesier or creamier; maybe there’s just more of them, but the potatoes are always the first thing scooped on the plate so that all the other sides know their place.
And then obviously, you dig out a section in the centre of your starch pile so that you can pour in the gravy and make a mashed potato volcano. Don’t pretend like you don’t.
The best Thanksgiving food is one of those things that when you explain it out loud, sounds utterly ridiculous. “You take a bunch of bread, spices, vegetables, (and maybe sausage) and stuff it up the turkey’s butt to cook it? Why?”
Because it’s the most delicious thing in the world, that’s why. If only there were more turkey butts just cooking out there…we could have stuffing every day.