The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

When you get right down to it, turkey is not a bad choice for a feast holiday. Turkeys are low fat, reasonably gigantic, and they make good cartoon characters for holiday specials. What cracks me up is the supposed scientific finding that gets bandied about this time of year that says that turkey contains a chemical that makes you sleepy, as if the people who had ham instead are out roller blading after dinner. When you consume your weight in buttered foodstuffs, you're going to feel a bit nappish, turkey or no turkey. B+

Canned Cranberry Sauce
There are many excellent uses for cranberries and cranberry juice, many of them involving vodka. However, the canned tribute to the Gods of Pectin that gets served at many Thanksgiving tables pretty much leeches the appeal right out of the suckers. Look at it this way: when was the last time you heard anyone say "Boy, we should have bought more canned cranberry sauce," or "Yay! There's leftover canned cranberry sauce!" Now, I'm sure there are many people out there who are saying to themselves "Ay! The canned cranberry sauce is my favorite part of Thanksgiving!" These people are perverts. D

Candied Yams
Interestingly enough, studies I just made up show that your average person does not, except on Thanksgiving, eat (a) anything candied, or (b) anything made of yams. I imagine the Yam Council and the Candification Board are working hard to change this, but I have a better idea for increasing candied yam awareness: make the phrase a slang term for the gonad portion of the male anatomy. Think about it. The increase in groin humor in the movies and television has created an ever-increasing need for euphemisms for same, and if I can contribute even a single line to a Mighty Ducks sequel, I can die a happy man. B-

Pumpkin Pie
This is, without question, the most noble thing you can do with a gourd, and it's among the most pleasurable. I have childhood memories of my mother transforming our Halloween pumpkin into our Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, which is heartwarming and all until you realize that carved pumpkins start to look pretty grotesque by Veteran's Day, so I'm hoping this is just part of the same false memory syndrome that lead me to believe that my father invented the cheeseburger in 1975. Anyhow, pumpkin pie. Good stuff. A

Mashed Potatoes
This is one of the two essential Thanksgiving items that actually gets eaten throughout the year, the other being "bread." I really dig on mashed potatoes. I would love to travel back in time and shake the hand of the man or woman who invented mashed potatoes, in spite of the very real risk that I'd end up shattering the flow of time, making it so that my parents never met, invalidating my own existence, and creating a temporal rift that would result in a world where ficus trees rule the earth. And then I'd do the same thing with the person who invented garlic mashed potatoes. A+

Another sign of the holidays are the cheery warnings in the Food section of your local newspaper which tell you that if you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, you may as well put a sign in your upper intestine saying "Evil Bacteria Wanted. Toxic Biological By-Products a Plus." Apparently, in spite of the fact that turkeys need to be cooked in a hot oven for hours, this isn't enough to stop stuffing bacteria, which kill three billion people every year. So if you live in one of the states that still allows internally cooked stuffing, you can add a certain adventurous quality to your holiday meal by defying the odds and blazing your own flavored bread trail. B

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