Happy Thanksgiving, all! On a day filled with family, food, and football I’d like to take some time to say thanks for all of those things and more. The food, in particular, is something that I’m always thankful for this time of year, especially as a former wrestler who spent many a Thanksgiving sulking in another room as the rest of the family chowed down on some delicious dishes. Not no more! The home-cooked meals accompanied by spending all day cooking with family, the occasional argument (we are Italian after all), make it such a special day.
So, in honor of all the great dishes served on this feast of thanks, why don’t we fill out a good old fashioned Turkey Day Bracket. I’ve picked my top 8 favorite parts of the Thanksgiving Day feast, and worked through it to determine the champion of the spread.
Eight is a small sampling of our feast, but they’re the best of the best. Some are traditional dishes, while others tap into our Italian flare. Either way, I hope you enjoy this fun spin on things. Share your thoughts on my favorite dishes, or what you would pick as your favorite dish in the comments!
How it’s set up
Like any bracket, the competitors are seeded. Here’s how I broke things down for Turkey Day Madness:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Stuffing (with sausage)
- Honey Baked Ham
- Asparagus Casserole
- Assorted Pies and Cupcakes
- Mashed Potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce
For the sake of keeping the bracket looking clean the last two dishes were left out. I considered a play-in contest with 7-10, but I really just wanted to get to the feast.
With the top 8 set, let’s go to work.
So Why Sweet Potatoes?
The number one seed in this bracket easily cruises to the title of Best Thanksgiving Dish for this blogger. There are some great dishes on that bracket, but when it comes down to it, my mom’s sweet potatoes top them all for one simple reason. The juices from the sweet potatoes can be put on top of nearly every other dish and improve that dish exponentially. For a lot of people, gravy is what gets spread over everything else, but try substituting the sweet potato juice just once. Pour it right over the turkey. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, the honey baked ham, they’re all made better thanks to the succulent sweet potato juice.
I haven’t gone as far as pouring it over any pastas or deserts, but I bet they would benefit from it as well.
Juices aside, the sweet potatoes themselves are simply fantastic. They were always going to be champion of this bracket, so I really just needed to work backwards from there to fill in the rest. And just like any other Thanksgiving dish, they reheat even better the next day.
So there you have it. Like I mentioned above, share your thoughts on this bracket, or what you would choose as your own favorite dish in the comments below.