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OPINION: Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes from The Herald Staff

Happy almost Thanksgiving from The Herald staff! To kickstart the holiday season, the staff, editors and advisors are here to share their favorite Thanksgiving sides and dishes. Some prefer the sweet, some prefer the savory, and some are really more interested in watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here are the dishes that The Herald staff are most excited about for this Thanksgiving season.

Shae-Lynn Henderson, Editor in Chief: Being an international student, this will only be the third Thanksgiving I have celebrated. I have had the joy and privilege of spending these Thanksgivings with my roommates and their families who have welcomed me into their homes each year. My roommates and their families definitely have different takes on the dishes they serve and it would be difficult to pick a dish with my limited experience. However, last Thanksgiving, I had a wonderful Pumpkin Roll that was an absolute winner at the dinner. I am definitely looking forward to having it again this year! Reading through this list, it is a beautiful sentiment to see that it is often about much more than food; it is about the memories made and the coming together of family that makes Thanksgiving so special for so many.

Haileigh West, Associate Editor: Every Thanksgiving, my family is the hosting house. This means that we are in charge of the majority of the main dishes. Each year, my mom always asks the same question, “What are you most looking forward to having this Thanksgiving?” Without a doubt, it is the homemade mac and cheese or broccoli casserole. While these dishes are delicious on their own, what makes them special is knowing my mom puts so much work into making them because she knows how much I love them. These are Thanksgiving classics in my family and certainly the two things that I am most looking forward to.

Lola Mestas, Copy Editor: I go nuts for dessert. If it’s sweet, I’m eating as many servings as I can. I love cranberry relish, too, but I think I only like it the way my mom makes it! She blends up a bunch of cranberries with orange zest, lemon zest and sugar, and I think my family might be one of the few that makes homemade relish since I’ve never seen any others like it. I would also say turkey is a favorite of mine, but I will wind up eating those words (both figuratively and literally) when I’m on day four of leftover turkey dishes.

Cady Stanley, Arts and Entertainment Editor: My favorite dishes every Thanksgiving are my pumpkin pie and pecan pie. I make them both every year because the recipes are simple, and I do not think I’m qualified to cook any main course items. I love the pumpkin pie with some Reddi Whip, and I top the pecan pie with vanilla bean ice cream. I love eating these deserts while I participate in my favorite family tradition—watching “Christmas Vacation” on the evening of Thanksgiving.

Destiny Calvin, Co-Podcasting Director: Every Thanksgiving, I make a small pan of cornbread for me and my mom. Cornbread is my absolute favorite side because it's so versatile. Original cornbread can be eaten on the side of the standard Thanksgiving meal, like turkey, mash potatoes, ‘mac n’ cheese,’ green beans etc. It’s basically the sweeter and better version of a dinner roll. Cornbread can also be a good dessert. A few years ago, my stepdad added muffin mix into the cornbread batter, and it was the best thing I'd ever eaten (this is NOT an exaggeration). Cornbread is also my favorite leftover Thanksgiving food. My favorite thing to do after Thanksgiving is eat the leftover cornbread while putting up the Christmas tree and watching Home Alone.

Liese Devine, Features Editor: Every year my mom and my dad wake up around 7 in the morning on Thanksgiving day to start cooking. I usually wake up a little later since a break from school and work is such a rare opportunity. Nevertheless, when I do wake up I’m roped into the kitchen all day. If not, I’m being sent out to the only grocery store open for last-minute items that were forgotten. Every year my mom and I double- and triple-check that we have everything we need two days before, but there’s still something we miss. My favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving is sweet potatoes with brown sugar, or whatever dessert there is. Which, incidentally, are two of the dishes I’m responsible for making.

Clary Taylor, News Editor: My favorite Thanksgiving dish has always been cranberry sauce! My mom makes one with fresh fruit that’s my favorite, but I also like canned cranberry sauce (which I know is controversial).

Jeremy Spearman, Faculty Advisor: My mom has made (and passed down) a cabbage casserole that sounds disgusting in title only, but is one of the most popular dishes at my family Thanksgivings. Just like any other casserole dish, it’s full of comfort ingredients. Including baked cheese! Recipe: 1 stick of butter (salted), 1 can cream of celery soup, ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 cup milk, 4 cups chopped cabbage, 1 cup grated cheese, corn flakes (no set amount; I always recommend a full box to be safe). Melt butter and set aside. Combine cream of celery, mayonnaise and milk in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add melted butter and stir. In a casserole dish, line the bottom layer with 3-4 handfuls of crushed cornflakes, a layer of chopped cabbage, a layer of cheese and a layer of the boiled sauce mixture. Repeat for 3-4 layers. Top layer should be crushed flakes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve warm!

Kat Whetstone, Contributing Writer: I have a large extended family, and every year, we celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family. Each family makes some kind of Thanksgiving food, and the Whetstones make pies. My grandmother, or “Mamaw,”called, is Kentuckian, and a Kentuckian dish from her that I absolutely adore is derby pie. Derby pie is simply a giant chocolate chip cookie inside of a pie crust. It’s a chocolate and walnut pie and partnering it with a large scoop of Breyers vanilla ice cream is the equivalent of having heaven in a pie. I’m in charge of the derby pie now as an adult, and it’s one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving day. My siblings make fun of me for being a picky eater, but they can keep their pumpkin and apple pies. I have my beloved derby pie. My favorite post-Thanksgiving activity will always be having “appetizer day” with my family, which is where we set up our Christmas decorations, eat nothing except appetizers, and watch the Ohio State/Michigan game. (Go Bucks!)

Elaina Irving, Contributing Writer: For Thanksgiving, my family usually hosts the feast at our house and my grandparents and cousins come over for Thanksgiving dinner. My grandma, “Gammy,” will come over the night before to make snacks to eat throughout Thanksgiving day, prepare some of the side dishes, and make our traditional Thanksgiving morning donut run. My favorite of the sides that my Gammy prepares is her stuffing, a dish that I’ve helped her make since I was little. When I was a kid, I liked getting to dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them up with my hands. The recipe is simple, but it’s not regular boxed stuffing. She uses her own chicken stock and shredded chicken along with eggs and other ingredients to put it all together, and then on Thanksgiving day she puts it in the oven. She hasn’t made it in a few years, but I’m hoping we can make it again this year.

Miriya Carson, Contributing Writer: Every year I try a different macaroni and cheese recipe to improve the creaminess and cheesiness of the dish. I work with my dad, who also shares a love of cooking. While he is off cooking the turkey, I shred the cheese and combine it all together hoping this year's baked cheesy goodness will be a family favorite. These little tests and experiments with this dish are why it is my favorite. I always look forward to everyone trying it and giving me tips for next year. Another reason I love this dish is because I always make way too much and end up enjoying it for the whole next week. This year, I plan to bring in fancier cheeses and heavy cream!

By: The Herald Staff (Compiled by Haileigh West, Associate Editor)

Graphic by: Shae-Lynn Henderson, EIC


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