A Decisive Ranking of Thanksgiving Foods

By Austin Forrester

In the trenches of November, the familiar mantra of “just make it ‘til Thanksgiving break” has begun. Fall sports playoffs are just beginning, and our loving teachers have continued to assign us homework despite our many protests. As many of you may be looking forward to the upcoming holiday with friends and family, I’m looking forward to the food. Below are my decisive (and correct) rankings of all the components of a proper Thanksgiving meal. 

Turkey: While it may seem bold to rank the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table as the worst of the bunch, I stand by this take. Turkey is dry. It’s flavorless. It’s boring. The white meat is plain unappetizing, while the dark meat is hardly satisfactory. 3/10 

Bread Rolls: As someone who consumes her Thanksgiving dinner under the guidance of a gluten-free mother, rolls are an exciting departure from gluten-free pasta and other rice-flour-based alternatives we eat throughout the year. Nevertheless, not remarkable nor seasonal. 6/10 

Butternut Squash: A distinctly fall dish and always remarkably less bad than I think it’s going to be; nevertheless, too sweet to consume much of. The color adds some fun to the plate. 4/10

Stuffing: While it is receiving a mid-ranking, stuffing is anything but mid. It can either hit or miss. Those are the two options. What even is stuffing? Spongy bread with vegetables in the best of times, a questionable crunchy-yet-moist mess in the worst of times. 5½/10

Mac and Cheese: Personally mac and cheese is not served over Thanksgiving in my household. I would assume that it’s homemade and not of the yellow, prepackaged variety. Eight points for being delicious, minus two because I’m jealous and feel left out. 6/10

Mashed Potatoes: Similar to stuffing, can often be hit or miss. However, nothing can miss as spectacularly as stuffing can miss. Mashed potatoes can simply be fabulous or a bit boring. A solid staple. This writer enjoys them when there are bits of potato skin. 7/10 

Pie: Pie is overrated. A good apple-pie filling is scrumptious, but crust is consistently not an appetizing dessert. Too flaky and flavorless. Veer into pumpkin or key-lime territory, and I will bump you down a point. 7/10 
Cranberry Sauce: Finally, we have reached the holy grail of Thanksgiving foods. Cranberry sauce, preferably not of the jelly-textured variety, goes with every food mentioned above. It goes with itself. The perfect combination of sweet and tart, nothing can truly top it. Catch me shoveling spoonfuls of this delectable condiment into my mouth late at night post-Thanksgiving for weeks to come. Simply unbeatable. 1000/10