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Not on MY holiday table.

Lots of discussion about what people really like to eat from now till the new year's leftovers are cleaned up. I like a lot of things, but some others just put me off. Classics that evade me are

bread based stuffing. yeah, I'll eat it, but whats the point. put some more egg and cream in it and turn it into bread pudding, now that's worth eating. And Oysters in dressing/stuffing? Oh dear God, why? I know I'm yucking on some people's yum - but thats ok in this thread, its all about yuck. Oysters were given an impossibly hard shell for a reason. To keep them out of the hands of curious humans. Lets respect God's plan and leave them in the mud where they were put. Waddaya mean those are clams not oysters? You mean there's a difference?

cranberries. another thing God clearly intended to keep away from people. anything you have to wade around in knee deep water to harvest was not meant to be eaten by man (rice grows in water, but it isn't planted or harvested that way, and with wild rice at least they used to sit in canoes to harvest it.) Anything that needs a two to one ratio of sugar to fruit is highly suspect, although I do have to admit it has a pretty color. But then so do pomegranates and beets. And they have the added benefit of being tasty right from the source. Ok, some people don't' like beets. And some are afraid of pomegranates.

One more is that ridiculous "vegetable" dish called candied sweet potatoes. There is enough sugar in there to brew coca cola for a small nation, and its topped with partially hydrogenated high fructose corn syrup. Yet this dish is inexplicably not found on the dessert table next to the pumpkin pie (no, I'm not fond of pumpkins either), it is masquerading as a vegetable dish. Whats up with that?

And while we are discussing things on the wrong table, take a look at the salads. Face it, anything made with marshmallows, gelatin and canned fruit cocktail is anything but salad.. Nuff said.

Well that's my short list of traditional yums that don't float my boat. There are others, like giblets - but thats not a rarity, so ill save that for a different list.

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  1. You do have some very good points.

    Those candied sweet potatoes are a particular crime - sweet potatoes are a delicious food that can be prepared in many yummy ways; why do THAT to them?

    You do know, however, that corn syrup is not partially hydrogenated, right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sandylc

      It's a good way to eat sweet potatoes with somewhat scorched marshmallows. Heaven.

    2. Likewise.It's the only day of the year when I want brown food on my plate. Turkey,mashed potatoes(never sweet),with gravy,bread,and some stuffing.With a small amount of vegtable.Simple,boring, and tasty."No thank you", as I pass the cranberries.

      1. Green bean casserole. How on earth did anyone ever think that was a good idea for ANY meal, let alone a special treat for a celebration?

        1. I'm a vegetarian, and while I don't impose it on anyone, if you are eating at my house, you will not find a turkey there. S that's number one.

          Also not found is the marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole. Blech, too sweet for me. I will instead serve plain roasted sweet potatoes, or simmered in orange juice with a bit of butter. Maybe topped with nuts if I'm in the mood but never sugar and marshmallows.

          No jello salads, either' though in some parts of the country, jello molds are actually called salads. I do like jello. As a dessert!

          No bread based stuffings. I like 'em loaded with veggies. A little bread is ok, but just a little.

          You will find, most years, a homemade nut roast, mashed potatoes, veggie gravy, fruit and grain salads, leafy green salads, homemade cranberry sauce (yum!) and lots of roasted veggies.

          Desserts, as long as there is no meringue, anything goes. Far as I'm concerned, meringue is nasty. Gimme whipped cream instead! :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Miri1

            Oh dang- no meringue? This thread depresses me to no end!

            1. re: EWSflash

              Agreed. There is not one traditional Thanksgiving dish that I do not like. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, creamed onions, cranberry sauce, etc.

              This is good eats people!

          2. Great post. I see now biondanonima beat me to it, but anyway:

            What immediately comes to mind for me, is the execrable green onion / mushroom soup / fried onion casserole. I had managed to avoid that abomination for well over 50 years. A few years ago it turned up at Costco for sampling, so I gave it a try (I posted about it at the time). The idea had never much appealed to me, but I was truly shocked at how bad it actually turned out to be.

            I don't like pumpkin anything, either, or yams/sweet potatoes. As much as I loved marshmallows as a kid, I could never stomach that candied yam dish.

            Luckily, there are some T-day favorites I really like, such as stuffing, creamed onions, turkey, mashed potatoes/gravy, etc. Although I like the turkey mostly for sandwiches _after_ Thanksgiving.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Steve Green

              I've never had the green bean casserole and no one in our family ever made it so I'd like to skip that for the rest of life as well though maybe it's tasty?

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                It didn't become the latter-day tradition that it has because the majority of people turn up their noses. It may be trashy by gourmet standards, but plenty of people enjoy and look forward to it. Even somewhat-fussier folks like it - at TJ's the other day, I noticed a 7ft high display of canned fried onions and tetrapak cream of portabella soup. Bags of frozen green beans in the next aisle. Coincidence - NOT!

                1. re: greygarious

                  I gleefully picked up my canS of fried onions not necessarily for casserole but that "trashy" food is delicious to be eaten out of hand or poured over my potatoes or macaroni. I'm sure I'd be among the many who like the casserole since I seem to enjoy Thanksgiving foods in general.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    I insist on having green bean casserole on my table every Thanksgiving. I always make a small casserole dish of it, using canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup and French's fried onions, the old school way. I eat it once a year, that's all, and everyone will take a small scoop to humor me.

                    1. re: boogiebaby

                      Hmm, since I have the fried onions....can you send over a recipe?

                          1. re: prima

                            Which is, of course, going to be incredibly better!

                            1. re: c oliver

                              :-) I find an ounce or 2 of sherry also greatly improves Campbell's soup cream-of-whatever in any short-cut recipe!

                          2. re: c oliver

                            Thanks I just might try it for the sake of something to do :)

                      1. re: greygarious

                        I didn't grow up with green bean casserole, but I remember making it as a side for the first chicken I roasted, in my early 20s. I liked it (but I like Campbell's cream of mushroom anyhow), but I haven't made anything with Campbell's soup (apart from soup) in years.

                        I still haven't tried sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I just haven't really had the opportunity- it isn't a popular dish where I live or with my friends and family. I've never even seen it served, except on tv/online. Might have to make it one of these days, just to say I've tried it.

                  2. You, my friend, are clearly a Thanksgiving curmudgeon. I love most all of it.
                    EXCEPT for the gross-ass marshmallow/jello/kool whip/pineapple thing. I think they call it ambrosia, which should elicit a bolt from, the blue on to whoever says it.

                    And i like marshmallows more than damn near anything.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: EWSflash

                      I am with you!! We never had this marshamallow/jello/kool whip/pineapple thing but the rest I wait all year for - macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing when it's good, rum/brandy candied yams (no marshamallows in our house, never even pondered the thought and didn't know people added them until I went to college), rolls, the rolls, oh yes the rolls, oh and I really do enjoy turkey!!

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        That marshmallow concoction is not what I've ever heard called ambrosia. Ambrosia equals oranges, coconut and sugar. I think some people add pineapple but not my family.

                        1. re: OaklawnKaren

                          I'm not sure but perhaps my (Southern) family added pineapple but definitely no marshmallows. Shiver :(

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Southern here also. Marshmallows for roasting at camping and perhaps in hot chocolate, nothing else!

                          2. re: OaklawnKaren

                            ambrosia - yeah food of the dead gods.

                          3. re: EWSflash

                            EWSflash, I agree with you on every point.
                            Also, add me to the "green bean / mushroom soup / fried onion casserole. " avoider list.

                          4. First of all, turkey. Fine, cook a big one filled with stuffing (its juices do make the dressing taste better, we will have to agree-to-disagree on this one), then discard it. Beyond that I pretty much agree with you. For Jello monstrosities, you might want to Google the Gallery of Regrettable Foods. I know it is lileks.com, but I don't have the whole link, sorry.

                            10 Replies
                              1. re: Steve Green

                                Thanks, Steve! Check out 'Jello Art of the 20's and 30's" and 'Gel Cookery'.

                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                  The Jello Art is an interesting study, but I think the "Gel-Cookery" is more what you had in mind:
                                  http://www.lileks.com/institute/galle...

                                  ...although there are many revolting dishes pictured in some of the other categories as well.

                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                    Indeed, though I also remember another period display with vibrant Jello molds glowing like radioactive waste. I thought it was on Lileks, but must be elsewhere because I have not been able to find it again.

                              2. re: mwhitmore

                                I'll take your turkey, I love it. I eat it quite regularly throughout the year probably at least once a day but never with gravy so I love the treat.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Honestly, it is not terrible. But when I could be roasting some wild boar....

                                  1. re: mwhitmore

                                    If I could get my hands on wild boar I might do that as well. I did see a guy in full hunting get up this morning at Starbucks, should have asked him :)

                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                      I'm with you. When wild boar is on the menu, other things sorta fade into the background.

                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                        Wild boars roam freely where I live, the foothills north of Tucson. So I could get one, I suppose, but I wouldn't want to have to deal with the hassle of gutting it.

                                  2. not a big fan of candied yams or marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes. i'm a sweet potato purist - don't need to add any faux sweetness. no cranberry sauce either - i'll use craisins as my homage to the cranberry sauce, but i don't want the sauce. no green bean casserole either - i'll make sauteed green beans and sometimes i'll top 'em with crispy shallots, but i leave out the cream sauce.

                                    22 Replies
                                    1. re: ahuva

                                      I, too, am a sweet potato purist. I love them roasted and served with copious amounts of butter and salt. Same with squash - no brown sugar or maple syrup, please. Marshmallows are for s'mores, not veggies.

                                      1. re: Pwmfan

                                        I love sweet potatoes too, but I prefer savory preparations - butter/salt, chipotle gratin, herbs and garlic, sherry and blue cheese - but NO added sugar or marshmallows!

                                      2. re: ahuva

                                        I hate cranberry sauce, love cranberries, hate the sauce. I wonder if I made my own with less sweetener I'd like it.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I make it tart and love it that way. I also make a great savory cranberry sauce with red wine, chicken stock, fresh thyme and brown sugar or substitute. Also not overly sweet.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            I love the tartness of cranberries and add several tbsps of pure cranberry concentrate to my water a day. Do you have a recipe to share? I told myself it'd be a low key Thanksgiving, yet I keep accumulating things to make that we don't normally serve but I'll be on vacation that week, it's just 2 of us so why not?

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              I use the cranberry sauce from this terrific recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... When I don't make the pork chops and chard, I use some duck fat, s and p. It's wonderful stuff. I also sub Diabetisweet brown sugar sub.

                                              I also make a non recipe batch of cranberries boiled in water with natural orange extract, erythritol/liquid sucralose blend and when cool, some fresh grated ginger and some chopped crystalized ginger. All to taste.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                The ginger cranberry sauce sounds amazing.

                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                            I don't care for standard cranberry sauce either (and never the canned kind) but I make one from Epicurious with port, dried figs, balsamic vinegar and rosemary that is divine. I cut the sugar back a bit. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                            I also enjoy the raw relish types with very little sugar - they can be puckeringly good!

                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                              I like the raw, too. Doesn't port have a lot of sugar in it, too? Sounds delicious, though.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Some are sweeter than others - I usually choose a drier style. I actually ran out of port one year and used half Shiraz, and that was delicious too.

                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                  I think I'm looking for a raw relish type recipe, I guess I didn't realize that was a thing ;)

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    I throw apples, pineapple, and cranberries into the processor and pulse it until it's coarsely chopped, then stir in sugar to taste.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Relish is raw, sauce is cooked.

                                                      I think. :-)

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        But now ya gotta define "relish."

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Chopped up cold stuff used as a condiment?

                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                            So in the summertime when I chop up garden fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, capers, basil, grated cheese and dump pasta over that I've made a relish not a sauce? I can live with that :)

                                                      2. re: biondanonima

                                                        Well thank you all, my menu now includes cranberry sauce. I was pondering it but didn't want to make a batch and just realize I hated the concept altogether. Fortunately, I happened to be at Whole Food deli buying lunch meat and spotted their cranberry sauce in the case. I asked for a taste and loved it then glanced at the ingredients to figure out how easily I could possibly create at home. Last night I made a very simple sauce with orange juice concentrate, zest, cinnamon, and sugar. It was cooked but not to a thick paste consistency, it's more of a relish still chunky and I love it! Thank you for introducing a new favorite which IS on my table.

                                                      3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        You absolutely would like your own sauce better. I'm not a sweet fan and make a spicy cranberry chutney every Thanksgiving.

                                                    2. I think the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is perhaps, IMO of course, THE most boring menu EVER! And you've spelled out why in a great way. The only thing my family did differently was to put pecans on the sweet potatoes so that cut it a bit. I've done a Sunset magazine SW-style dinner many times. The "stuffing" is poblanos stuffed with chorizo, mushroom, cheese and all manner of other things. The sweet potatoes are grated and then fried up in butter with tequila added. Etc. :) I HAD to do the "other" kind of dinner a few years ago for a new SIL to the family. Booooorrrrrinnnnngggg. :)

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        On the bright side, Turkey Day comes but once a year.

                                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                                          As I say, though, I do it - when I do - in a very non-traditional and yummy way :)

                                                      2. As I now alienate Everyone who lives below the M-D line ( I live 10 miles north)........Grits! At Thanksgiving???.bad enough any other time.

                                                        My Grandfather grew up partly in North Carolina, so Grits were a Turkey day must. Out of 20 ppl or so, not sure who else ate them. Must have been my mother because she continued the tradition. I am sure she was the only one that ate them. After she died, the first Thanksgiving was at my house and my sister INSISTED we have them. Since the bowl full sat untouched through the whole meal I proclaimed that never again would Grits appear at a family Thanksgiving.25 years later, none have!

                                                        Oh.and at the ORIGINAL T-day, there may or may not have been a bird Scrawny, tough and gamey. More likely the oysters (and clams) were cooked in a stew. Shimmery Jello concoctions......please! Bad enough when fruit is added to them...but things like shrimp and meat............yuck

                                                        And since back then they were plentiful and considered almost garbage food, a few lobsters may have graced the table.

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                          I grew up in Atlanta and lived there until my mid20s and NEVER heard of grits for Thanksgiving. Actually it was only when I moved from the South that I heard of shrimp and grits. It may have been YOUR family's tradition but I promise you it isn't 'normal' :)

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            I have yet to see grits at my boyfriend's family's Thanksgiving table, either. Thank God! How terrible is that.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Agree! I've been in Virginia for 25 years with many Thanksgivings spent in South Carolina. Nary a grit in sight on Turkey Day. (I do like them, however, so maybe......)

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Same here. NC born and bred, and I love grits. Never once had them at Thanksgiving dinner.

                                                                1. re: mpjmph

                                                                  I shall of course, send your comments on to my sister who still gets "woosey" about my decision.(just kidding, you don't know my sister's wrath!) And as for a family thing..a poll of my cousins also says grits is (are?) noyt on their tables

                                                                  1. re: mpjmph

                                                                    it's really considered more of a brunch-y thing isn't it?

                                                                    but make them with plenty garlic and cheese (and shrimp? why not?!) and I'll snarf 'em any old time of day or day of the year.

                                                              2. I have never made food that I didn't like for a holiday.

                                                                I don't really understand that. I understand that someone in a family might really like something (green bean casserole) that most people don't like...why not just have them bring it over?

                                                                Are there really that many people out there, cooking holiday food that "sucks" just because aunt Matilda likes it?

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                  This is an annual conversation. And I agree with you.

                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                    I'm not making anything for Thanksgiving that I don't want to eat. They can bring it if they want it.

                                                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                      The only things I make for Thanksgiving that I don't want to eat are turkey (which I justify by eating the skin) and mashed potatoes, which are fine in themselves, but a waste of stomach space when there is stuffing to be had. DH must have them, though, so I make them (and enlist him for the tedious peeling and mashing).

                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                        I'm not even going to make potatoes this year, I think!

                                                                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                        The best beet description, which I read here on CH, is that they taste like "basement". It's not just dirt, it's moldy/musty dirt.

                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                          Beets do not taste rioy.
                                                                          they just don't.

                                                                          Try some sulawesi if you want the taste of the forest floor in your mouth.

                                                                        2. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                          LOL, that's how my husband describes radishes.

                                                                        3. Agree about the cranberries

                                                                          1. I have seen some real interesting jello concoctions in my day. My late mother always made lime gelatin with celery scallions and all sorts of fruity things in it at Thanksgiving. She had a jello mold and it plopped out of there is such an undignified manner onto her serving platter:) Everything else she prepared was absolutely divine but that had been part of her menu since she was a young bride preparing Thanksgiving feasts. I might serve boozy jello shots but just to get the mood set and the party started:)

                                                                            1. God, those sweet potatoes. I was semi-in-charge of my mom's Thanksgiving last year, and I was most decidedly NOT making a sickly-sweet sweet potato dish. My sister found out, and decided to bring them. :|

                                                                              I'm not a cranberry fan, either. I just can't quite wrap my head around them.

                                                                              I can't stand the fruit-mixed-with-whipped cream/cool whip fruit salad that I seem to run into every year. I thought it was just my mom's family, but my step-mother makes it too. (Perhaps at the request of my dad? Who knows.) Both my grandmother and step-mom are very good cooks and other than this salad, put out lovely holiday spreads.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                I'm wondering what all these sweet potatoes people are eating are. My grandmother makes candied yams every year and as someone who often thinks bell peppers are too sweet, they never seem to be the sugar bombs described here. Ours have never been topped with marshmallows and I think just butter, brown sugar, vanilla and spiked with rum and/or brandy.

                                                                              2. A bottle of white Zinfandel. Good Lord. Unfortunately, my family brings it with them as they have come to learn that I won't buy it. Not even for the nearest and dearest.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Kat

                                                                                  There are actually good white zins out these days. You may want to pay a visit to a good wine shop and talk with them about it.

                                                                                  1. re: Kat

                                                                                    If you do buy white zinfandel, wear a clown mask so that no one catches you at it.

                                                                                    Oh, wait, probably not a good idea to wear a clown mask in a liquor store - !

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      Before getting all bent out of shape, here's something that can help you understand that there are good white zins out there. Just because you haven't tried them or did and didn't care for it is no reason to disparage the wine or the people who drink it.

                                                                                      http://www.snooth.com/wines/white+zin...

                                                                                  2. Being from a different cultural background, I never had Thanksgiving dinner till my late teen years. I welcomed all good rendition of any of dishes of different culture BUT there are some dishes that are just plain bad.

                                                                                    I do agree that sweet jello with meat or savoury vegetables inside should never be allowed. My first experience nearly had my reaching for a glass of water within the first two chews.

                                                                                    Boiled and overcooked green vegetables and then having a creamy or fake cheesy concoction poured over it. I have no idea if there is a name for this dish but I do know that green vegetables should never be brown from being boiled so long that it no longer have any value other than being a vehicle for broiled fake cheese. I unfortunately was subjected to this dish at a friends house and I had to smile through my gritting teeth.

                                                                                    Soggy Pillsbury crescent rolls. The same family above served under baked Pillsbury crescent rolls because they like soft bread. This was thoroughly gross and I couldn't stomach more than a bite.

                                                                                    A meat pie with a full shortening crust. I love pies but I never had a crust made with only Crisco and I can say, it's quite awful. So I apologize to all those who love shortening in their crust but this had the most awful taste and left a horrible greasy film that just stuck on my tongue for hours.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Nevy

                                                                                      Ugh, those shortening crusts DO coat the mouth HORRIBLY. It does NOTHING positive for the crust to use shortening in it.

                                                                                    2. Funny post, especially the oysters 'tho I disagree about them and the cranberries. We rarely have oysters on our T-day table but not for lack of love. Cranberries, however, will be well represented by cranberry chutney and a tart for dessert.

                                                                                      I will agree about the candied sweet potatoes. I didn't grow up with that and was appalled first time I saw it. Sweet potatoes are only acceptable to me if roasted with lots of garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Also with you anything remotely related to marshmallows, gelatin, canned fruit cocktail.

                                                                                      Other things that won't be served at my table: creamed corn, corn pudding, or any hybrid thereof; rolls (enough carbs already); and pecan pie (always to sweet for me).

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                        The most delicious stuffing I've ever made was a cornbread, herb and oyster stuffing, using the oyster liquor. But husband's family didn't like the idea (my family LOVED it) so when I started making T day for them, I skipped it.

                                                                                      2. I agree with most everything in your post, with the exception of bread stuffing. OTOH, for the love of all that is holy--do NOT put chestnuts in it!

                                                                                        1. oyster dressing
                                                                                          green bean casserole, you know the one. Canned mushroom soup and canned onion rings.
                                                                                          the sweet potato and marshmallow dish
                                                                                          ambrosia

                                                                                          1. basically outdated food traditions that were, way back when, made by loving grannies for the extended family gettogether. Warm, soft foods, homemade by a granny who didn't really season things beyond the occassional, but still often missing, sprinkle of salt.
                                                                                            days when a sweet potato or yam was boring and too savoury so they candied them in certain parts of the country. now, even though dreadfully outdated, has spread throughout the rest of the country.
                                                                                            back when turkey was more expensive than prime rib.
                                                                                            even chicken was only a sunday dinner.

                                                                                            salad, as in a green salad, or, heavens forbid, a tomato salad is about as out of place on a Thanksgiving table as it can get for me. give me warm cooked veggies, three of them, at least, and keep the salad for another day.

                                                                                            i'm a sauce/gravy freak. a large vat of sauce/gravy and a straw. i could care less what is on my plate, just as long as it's covered by a LOT of gravy. spilling over the sides and replenished regularly by the gravy Boat in front of me. each gravy dripping forkfull redipped into a gravy Boat full of warm gravy. the entire meal is nothing but a vehicle for Gravy.

                                                                                            Did I mention I like Gravy?

                                                                                            :-)

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                              Gravy is a beverage. But for me NO GIBLETS!

                                                                                              1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                As long as there's no liver, I'm fine with it. I happen to love gizzards!

                                                                                            2. NO oysters in any way, shape, or fashion.
                                                                                              No chestnuts
                                                                                              No cornbread or cornbread stuffing
                                                                                              No marshmallows
                                                                                              No brussel sprouts
                                                                                              No creamed onions

                                                                                              1. I don't see any need for bread/rolls or white potatoes on the table, tho' they're essential for leftovers. Actually, anything non-traditional seems out place, like pastel eggs in a basket at a Christmas table. A fresh Spring greens salad is nice, but not an Autumn harvest table choice for me.

                                                                                                1. Completely disagree about cranberries.They don't grow in water naturally. They are planted on dry ground that is later flooded. It's just easier and faster to harvest and sort them that way (because they float) rather then crawling along the ground. My son eats them out of hand. They are excellent in muffins, pies, drinks, sauces, and chutneys. Their pleasant tartness adds a wonderful counterpoint to many dishes.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                    About the only way I like them is in a salsa with jalapenos and oranges.

                                                                                                  2. No green beans, but gotta have creamed onions, turnips, peas and mushrooms, red cabbage. (nice color group). Taters vary. Oysters and chestnuts are mandatory in the dressing, cranberry is compulsory.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                      I'm sorry, please explain . . . your first sentence-is all that in one dish?

                                                                                                      1. My E. coast-born husband longs for succotash on Thanksgiving. 1st Thanksgiving together I concocted a version that included lima beans <*shudder*>, corn, and heavy cream. These days I'll make a personal-sized portion with edamame, and corn only. Still yuck.....

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                          If you have access to Trader Joe's, you might try their frozen bag of "soycotash", which is edamame, corn, and red bell pepper. No sauce.

                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                            Costco, at least the one in Hawaii, sells frozen mixed vegetables with carrots, green beans, peas, corn, and edamame - which to me are far preferable to lima beans (one of God's little jokes in my book.) I wish it had red peppers in it, but I just keep a separate bag of frozen sliced peppers and toss them in sometimes.

                                                                                                          2. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                            I know you don't like lima beans, but this succotash is very good.
                                                                                                            http://www.chow.com/recipes/11959-hal...

                                                                                                            1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                              I love succotash but in the summer when the corn in fresh. I use fresh herbs in mine - obviously not a 'traditional' recipe. Never had it for Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                            2. "Oysters were given an impossibly hard shell for a reason. To keep them out of the hands of curious humans. Lets respect God's plan and leave them in the mud where they were put."

                                                                                                              Ok. I have serious problems with this on so many levels. First to address the last point, oysters don't live in mud. Clams yes, oysters no. Mud kills oysters. As to the hard shell, its there because what's inside is so good. If no one wanted to eat the oyster, it wouldn't need any protection. Think of it like a bank vault. They keep the cash in the vault because its valuable and people want it. When was the last time someone locked up dog crap? If oysters had no protection, there wouldn't be any left because humans and other critters would have eaten them all. I love those quivery pools of snotty viscousness.

                                                                                                              Also, cranberries are not grown in water. Flooding the field was developed as an easier way to harvest the berries.

                                                                                                              I mean if you really want to focus on foods that take incredible effort to get to an eatable stage, look at the rice you mentioned or wheat. Its not like you can pull a stalk up and nibble the rice or wheat grains. In the natural state, they're pretty much inedible. Huge amounts of effort go into turn it into something you can cook (harvesting, threshing, milling etc.) and then eat.

                                                                                                              We return you to your original programming

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                On the flip side, sea cucumbers have zero protection because nothing in the sea wants to eat them. Except Asian landlubbers!

                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                  I have been properly chastised, thank you Bkeats. I still prefer to leave oysters (and clams) where they are. And if they don't grow in water then why is it they grow in a cranberry bog? Obviously time for some googling . . . and i still think clams and oysters and mussels are the same thing.

                                                                                                                  There is a bitter taste to all of them that I am particularly sensitive to, and is in fact the only thing I taste. I must therefore assume that not everyone shares this inability to discern other flavors. Seems likely as it is the only flavor I get from coffee as well. Terribly disappointing as I love the aroma of coffee. But yes, coffee and oysters (and clams) taste exactly the same to me.

                                                                                                                  And, to Veggo below (or above) I've eaten sea cucumbers and while i don't consider them a delicacy its easier for me to choke down a good preparation of sea cucumber than it is bivalves.

                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                    Didn't mean to chastise you. Just expressing my love of oysters and almost all shellfish. It doesn't mean you have to like them. To the contrary its with in your rights to hate them. I won't yum your yuck.

                                                                                                                    For me, there is nothing better than a sampler platter of different oysters. I taste each one and focus on the differences . Even though all east coast oysters are the same species, the flavors range incredibly based on where they come from. On the other hand, I dislike cooked oysters. They taste mealy and dried out to me. So I don't really like them in a dressing either.

                                                                                                                    Clams I dislike raw. I will eat them but I find them way too chewy as compared to oysters. I however love them cooked in a multitude of ways.

                                                                                                                    Never had mussels raw but I enjoy them cooked. Happy to have a bowl of moules et frites.

                                                                                                                    Have tried sea cucumbers. Not yummy to me either. Same with jellyfish.

                                                                                                                    So my apologies if I sounded like a p*ick, didn't mean to and enjoy your T-day.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                      thank you Bkeats, c oliver, and veggo.

                                                                                                                      and no Bkeats, you did not sound like a p*ick at all. I put my tongue in my cheek too often. one would think i'd have learned that it ends up getting bit too much that way wouldn't you? Some of us are slow learners.

                                                                                                                      May it rain shellfish on you at Tday (and may you have a good sturdy umbrella.)

                                                                                                                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                      KM, I can't find just the picture so will have to give the link that shows the sea cucumbers aka espardenyas in Catalan. They're the fifth photo.

                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877611#

                                                                                                                      One of the best things I've ever eaten. I'd read about them and was so excited to see them at this tapas place. Better than any bivalve I've ever had.

                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                        KM, unfortunate as to your aversion to mollusks, which so many enjoy. As to sea cucumbers, I suppose no flavor at all is preferable to a taste you don't like.

                                                                                                                    3. Almost all of the crappy dishes named in this thread (green bean casserole, candied sweet pot topped w/marshmallows, green jello molds w/cream cheese, pineapple etc, ... are courtesy of the industrial food/women's magazine juggernaut of the late 40s and 50s.

                                                                                                                      Manufacturers produced and LHJ, McCalls, and the new television advertising etc. carpet bombed homemakers w/the repeated propaganda of a 'real' family holiday - and all made easy through the wonderful miracle of frozen and canned stuff that always tasted exactly the same.
                                                                                                                      Its illuminating to see the ads and read the copy from those times. And yep - I did this for a course on advertising and popular culture directed at women in the post-war period.
                                                                                                                      Scratch cooking and preparing unique, regional (or family) dishes was labeled as 'drudgery' and not up-to-date-modern. Lots and lots of guilt-tripping in the ads and copy.

                                                                                                                      the new and modern (yeah - that green bean crap) was sold as easy, quick, no-trouble. if you didn't get with the latest thing, well you really didn't love your family. And companies pumped the hell out of ads for everything.

                                                                                                                      just say no.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: kariin

                                                                                                                        Very true. You should also consider that in the 40s and 50s it was a lot harder than it is today to get fresh vegetables in late November in many areas of the country. Frozen green beans in a "fancy" casserole would provide the vegetable course that people knew they ought to provide.

                                                                                                                        I come from a German family that ran a truck farm in the mid-west. Thanksgiving always featured rot kohl (red cabbage), never green bean casserole.

                                                                                                                        1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                          Frozen green beans in the casserole would be a definite step up from the usual way i'm served them. Canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup with canned fried onion rings on top is the usual way i have had them.

                                                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                            See, I've never even had it. I didn't know it was canned green beans. Canned vegetables generally suck.

                                                                                                                            The thing about traditions is that even when the person who was insisting on having the dish is no longer there, you still have it because it's now "traditional!"

                                                                                                                            After 15 years, we've finally phased out the creamed onions that my father loved.

                                                                                                                      2. I love plain old fashioned bread stuffing (well, actually, it's dressing since I bake it in a dish instead of in the bird.) Please don't put anything other than celery, onions, bread, butter, herbs and broth in it. This means no sausage, cranberries, apples and certainly no oysters. And don't make it from a mix. Really, dressing is the only T-day food I like, so don't screw it up or you'll wreck my meal.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply