Stop Serving These Side Dishes at Thanksgiving

You aren’t hosting Thanksgiving, which means you aren’t in charge of cooking the turkey. [Insert applause here] Now, while you’re ahead of the holiday game, stay ahead by choosing to bring a delicious side dish that will make all your family members think you finally have your life together and you deserve to sit at the adult table. DO NOT bring any of these gross side dishes that everyone pretends to like and–at the very best–they eat to avoid offending anyone. Warning: the list only gets grosser as we go . . .

Bologna Tower of Cream Cheese and Ranch Dressing


You know what’s confusing? Why we feel the need to throw ingredients together that have nothing in common simply because it’s a holiday. You wouldn’t normally spread cream cheese between two layers of processed meat, right? RIGHT?! Then why do it on Thanksgiving? Let’s make a pact–none of us will force ingredients who know nothing about one another into the same dish simply because we’re feeling anxious about being in the same room with our relatives. We should be nicer to our pantry items and meat drawer.

Bananas That Have Been Stripped Of Their Dignity

Mid Century Menu

Behold! Ham and Banana Casserole. What you see before you is a side dish consisting of bananas, deli ham, and cheese. This exists. People make it. You are not “people.” You are an individual with good character, a sense of decency, and morals that help you discern right from wrong. This is wrong. If anyone asks you to make it for Thanksgiving, they are also wrong. Don’t be judgy about it. Simply refuse, offer to make a different side dish, and run away. Fast. No one needs this kind of negativity in their lives.

This is Not Salad–Save Your Marshmallows for S’Mores


You know who was brilliant? The guy who convinced an entire generation in the 1960s that Ambrosia Salad is A) a salad, B) healthy enough to be a side dish, and C) food. The main ingredients of this dish are marshmallows, Cool Whip, and maraschino cherries. It’s not a salad. Cool Whip is not dressing. Maraschino cherries are no longer fruit. They are sad remembrances of what they used to be prior to being impregnated with sugar. Ew!

Delicious Eyeballs or Creamed Onions?


I feel sad anyone has brought these anywhere, much less Thanksgiving dinner. Onions are delicious on their own, especially when they’re baked. Yum! Onions are not delicious when they’re swimming in flour-soaked milk and left to grow squishy with depression. If someone asks you to bring an onion-inspired side dish this year, be brave! Boldly pursue new horizons! Find new recipes!

Jell-o Salad Or Wretched Bowl?


We assume this concoction was created when someone thought, “Mom asked me to bring a salad but I don’t have a bowl. How can I keep all my ingredients together and simultaneously strip them of their nutritional value and make them look wretched? I know! I’ll add animal collagen and squish it all together!” Why do we do this at Thanksgiving? We don’t do it at any other time of the year. Let’s trust the instincts we have the other 364 days of the year and say goodbye to this tradition.

Little Brains or Boiled Brussel Sprouts?


It’s not that boiled Brussell Sprouts are bad for us. It’s just that we don’t like them. Also, they smell bad. So, maybe we can avoid them this year? If we simply can’t forego them because Aunt Bertha has had them every Thanksgiving for 70 years and she doesn’t plan on stopping now, maybe try a new recipe. Something with less boiled water and more olive oil on a roasting pan. Yay! A compromise!

Uh-Oh, Spaghetti-O’s!


We feel like it should go without saying. But, apparently, we need to say it. If at any point you find yourself combining Spaghetti-O’s with gelatin, and then thinking, “Hm. It needs some height. I think I’ll add some Vienna Sausages to the center,” stop. Reevaluate your life choices, and buy a real cookbook. Also, maybe examine the rest of your life and make a strong decision about where things went wrong. You’ll do better next time. Spaghetti-O’s are good for storing in your disaster food pantry, not for sharing with family during the one time a year you all get together.

People Food For Dumpster Racoons, Or Your Worst Enemy

Mid Century Menu

This recipe first showed up in a federal prison in a country far, far away, where there were no restrictions on what they served inmates. Oh wait, just kidding. This recipe made its debut on a Weight Watchers recipe card. That’s right. Not only was this Liver Pate an idea someone had, but it was sold as a healthy alternative to fresh, delicious turkey. Back when we thought liver was good for our waistlines, and eating 11 servings of white bread would keep us healthy! If anyone asks you to bring this to Thanksgiving this year, simply ask them to immediately begin adding this affirmation to their daily routine, “I care about myself enough not to eat dumpster raccoon food that someone is trying to pass off for people food.” Together, we can make the world a better, less repulsive place.

What Even Is This?


We call this Cranberry Sauce because that’s what we’ve been told it is. Well, guess what. It would be more aptly called “corn syrup dyed to look like cranberries with one cranberry in it.” You might as well pour sugar on your mashed potatoes. If it would make you feel better, you could add some food dye and gelatin. Mmm. Sounds tasty!

Crown Roast of Frankfurters is Anything But Royal

If you’ve run out of clean bowls but you need somewhere to pour your butter, rice, and sauerkraut, our ancestors have created an answer for you–throw it all in the garbage and don’t look back. Well, that’s our answer. Our ancestors’ answer was to create a frankfurter bowl that stays together using gelatin and sadness. Let’s evolve past this Thanksgiving side dish and look for new recipes that don’t involve processed meat or crowns.

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