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Nov 29, 2013 11:32 AM

Typical American Thanksgiving meal: All show, no substance.

Don't get me wrong; Thanksgiving gatherings are great because they bring family and friends together and promote warmth, community and kinship...BUT, my experience yesterday was just one more example of people coming together to share a feast of tasty, spicy, home-cooked, seasonal, satisfying food and leaving hungry because the "food" offered was barely edible.

OK, turkey is turkey (but we all know it can be moist and savory or dry and tough or worse yet, undercooked), but as a vegetarian, I prefer to forego that dish. I can't even count the number of times I've been invited to a Thanksgiving meal that features
1) a big pile of mushy, unseasoned white starch called "mashed potatoes";
2) another tray of limp green beans (from a can or the freezer) lost in a congealed mess of canned mushroom soup and soggy potato chips or "chow mein" noodle crisps;
3) jellied "can"-berry sauce;
4) yams with SO much brown sugar that the natural sweetness of the yam is made of fool of;
5) stuffing or dressing that resembles a loaf of bread left in the rain or heels of stale loaves that have been toasted for color.

I could go on (and I'm sure you could add your own spin to this list of traditional spoils), but I think I've made my point. I am just astonished at what people think "good eating" is!

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    1. Too bad for you. I always have a great Thanksgiving meal. My meal this year was at my aunt's and included none of what you listed above.

      1. Had a great meal at a friend's house:

        Brined, moist turkey with lots of excellent potatoes
        Roasted Yams (no sugar added)
        Roasted Brussels Sprouts
        Charred Greens
        Homemade Rolls
        Well-seasoned Mashed Potatoes
        Good stuffing (not as good as my family's recipe, however)

        I contributed

        David Rosengarten's Tequila/Lime/Pomegranate Cranberry
        Relish and
        Pumpkin Cheesecake.

        A Thanksgiving dinner produced by a great cook is truly an enjoyable feast.

        1. So sorry for you. It's not like that in my family or circle of friends. We serve traditional, but beautiful, fresh, artfully prepared seasonal foods. The planning and preparation often takes days and never anything frozen, canned or out of a box.

          Maybe it's time for you to start hosting the "feast".