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Turkeyless Thanksgiving for the Junior Pilgrims: Sides FTW

Gentle readers, if one wants to start a fight, threaten the national bird of Thanksgiving. There are few holidays that cause more passionate feelings around the table than this yearly feast. New-fangled ideas are generally not welcome. Such was the hue and cry around my declaration that the unconventional Practical Cooks Junior would not be having turkey this year.

Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Cookie Craft Completed.

Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Cookie Craft Completed.

They are both now declared vegetarians, and they plan to thank turkeys by keeping them alive. Truthfully, and lean in close here, I have always preferred the side dishes at Thanksgiving over the turkey. In the debate of turkey vs. sides, we pit a typically dry, flavorless bird against an infinite variety of starch and veg. How is that a fair fight?

Voila! Pumpkin Coconut Pudding with a Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust is born!

Voila! Pumpkin Coconut Pudding with a Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust is born!

For my good friend Dr. Tweeter, why not serve a virtual bird, hmm? Augment the reality of that turkey. We will have pictures of turkeys, and there will be a chicken casserole for those who wish to partake. Meanwhile, I have been given license to go wild on the side dishes. Thanks, I think I will.

Here’s the rough Thanksgiving menu, still in progress:

Chicken casserole
Homemade cranberry sauce (I adore this stuff, and turkey has always been merely a vector for it)
Turnip/mustard greens
Pea casserole
Fruit salad
Macaroni and cheese
Corn pudding
Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, dried cranberries, and mushrooms
Sweet potato casserole

Desserts will hopefully include a pumpkin pie, cherry pie, and spice cake of some stripe. I would add brownies to the mix, but then I would just find a reason to be overly thankful for them.

Turbaconducken FTW!

Turbaconducken FTW!

In all fairness, and with my extensive knowledge of Fried, I have never had deep-fried turkey. I’m sure I would like it. Or bacon-wrapped turkey (as shown here). Until such moment that one of these arrives at my doorstep, it’s turkey-free Thanksgiving for the extended Team Practical Cook.

Where do you stand in the turkey vs sides debate? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Send your cranberry, your turkey cantankerousness, and your pumpkin bread to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Filed under Fried, Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table