Top 5 Worst Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM
click to enlarge A Thanksgiving table. - GAZELYSTARE/FLICKR

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.

click to enlarge Sweet potatoes, half-mashed. - DR. COOP/FLICKR
  • dr. coop/flickr
  • Sweet potatoes, half-mashed.
dr. coop/flickr
Sweet potatoes, half-mashed.
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.

click to enlarge Corn Pudding. - MARY W. E./FLICKR
  • mary w. e./flickr
  • Corn Pudding.
mary w. e./flickr
Corn Pudding.
4. Corn Pudding: Corn is good and all, but fresh corn is not usually putting its best kernel forward come late November. And on a holiday where sticks of the yellow stuff [editor's note: that would be butter, although this is kind of a Kubrick moment here] drop like bodies in a World War II flick, there are infinitely better butter-delivery systems than a dense thick slab of this. Maybe add macaroni and cheese and take away the corn and egg?

click to enlarge Oyster Stuffing. - THECAMEO/FLICKR
  • thecameo/flickr
  • Oyster Stuffing.

3. Oyster Stuffing: Our stepmom does this pretty well, but we've had some stinkers: A mealy specimen riddled with celery chunks and studded with whole, slippery, canned oysters seemingly the size of deflated tires. We don't mind a brined bird, but we cannot suffer a brined stuffing that smells like the floor of a grubby fish market.

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