Taj’s Tiers: Thanksgiving Edition

Apple Pie: Not Touching My Plate
Sorry to all the apple pie lovers out there, but it cannot compete with the other desserts available on Thanksgiving. The crust is usually too dry, and whenever I eat it, I always wonder why I’m not just eating apple crisp instead.

Corn: Not Touching My Plate
Corn on Thanksgiving is like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. It is a terrible experience that no one should have to deal with. Corn is for the Fourth of July and barbeques. It is out of place at Thanksgiving.

Green beans: One Bite Maximum
Green beans are not unbearable, but they are nowhere near the level of the other foods that make an appearance on my Thanksgiving plate. I give the green beans a chance every year, but I always end up pushing them to the side or feeding them to my dog.

Rolls: One Bite Maximum
Rolls are the silent killer of any good Thanksgiving meal. Once you have one, it is impossible to stop. Then you realize that instead of eating everything else at the table, you are stuffed full of bread. I have to keep rolls at a one bite maximum, anything more and I wouldn’t be able to make the rest of this list.

Mashed Potatoes: I Guess I’ll Eat It
Mashed potatoes are nothing special. There’s nothing that is truly terrible about them; they are all right. If they’re on my plate, I’ll eat them. Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are statistically better than mashed potatoes during any other meal. That being said, there’s nothing cool enough about mashed potatoes for me to waste more than one serving on them.

Pumpkin Pie: I Guess I’ll Eat It
I feel obligated to eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving just because I know there is no chance I am eating it any other time. Pumpkin pie is weird, but in my opinion, it is one of those items that makes or breaks Thanksgiving. I will eat it for the culture, but I don’t eat it with the same energy with which I eat pecan pie.

Turkey: I Guess I’ll Eat It
I have mixed feelings about turkey. To be completely honest, it tastes exactly like chicken to me, except worse. The problem with turkey is that it entirely depends on the chef. I’ve had one too many turkeys in my life that were drier than the Sahara Desert for it to be any higher on this list. Furthermore, turkey’s career is entirely made by its supporting cast. Without gravy and cranberry sauce, turkey would be left off countless plates. In the end, of course, I’ll have turkey—it’s Thanksgiving—but I’m not going back for seconds.

Cranberry sauce: I’m Getting Seconds
Cranberry sauce is one of the most unique foods to Thanksgiving, and I love it. It is the perfect mixture of sweet and savory. It is good by itself and combines well with other dishes. However, the fact that jellied, canned cranberry sauce exists keeps it from being top-tier because that stuff is absolutely monstrous and a symbol of the rampant capitalism in America.

Gravy: I’m Getting Seconds
Gravy might not be a meal, but it is one of the best sauces ever created. There is not a single Thanksgiving food that doesn’t pair well with gravy. It elevates everything else on the plate and makes the difference between a good Thanksgiving meal and a great one. However, since it’s a sauce, it can’t be on the top tier.

Pecan Pie: Eating Until It’s Gone
This is the best dessert available at Thanksgiving. It is not up for debate. It’s sweet, crunchy and screams fall. This is the perfect dessert for the occasion and arguably deserves to be in the conversation for the best desserts of all time.

Stuffing: Eating Until It’s Gone
Stuffing is the single greatest thing to happen to Thanksgiving. It is one of the most popular features of Thanksgiving but is consistently underrated. I have never had anything below a perfect encounter with stuffing; it has one of the greatest lasting legacies of Thanksgiving food. If the human race dies or is taken over by aliens, at least we will be able to point to stuffing and say: “Yeah, we did that.”

Candied Yams: Eating Until It’s Gone
This is my personal favorite. I’m not sure how common they are on everyone’s table, but I do know that every year I look forward to my mom’s candied yams. There is very little to be said here. I go back for fourths, maybe even fifths, and then eat it as leftovers over the course of the next few days. Everyone has a different recipe, but candied yams are simply the best no matter how you cook them.