Thanksgiving is really a spread more than a meal, if you think about it. Cranberry sauce, gravy and turkey notwithstanding, dishes don't necessarily appear together because they compliment one another. Whether they're part of a family routine or a conviction of what the holiday meal is supposed to include, tradition demands that the dishes share a table. While in the right cook's hands, the homeliest of dishes can be wonderful -- when it comes to the soft, mashed, beige-toned universe of Thanksgiving sides, some traditions, even well-established ones, ought to perish along with that pitiful Broad Breasted White you hauled home from Trader Joe's.
5. Mashed Sweet Potatoes: You're already having mashed regular potatoes, stuffing, gravy and most likely some other substance you can chew without teeth. Do you really need a glop of this stuff? Thanksgiving food should be comforting, but not necessarily the texture of something your mom used to scrape out of Gerber bottles for you to crush with bumpy little baby gums. At least add some cinnamon and orange juice.
dr. coop/flickr Sweet potatoes, half-mashed.