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How to Win Thanksgiving

Follow these food and drink rules and you can remain in our family


1. Please refrain from making artisanal cranberry sauce. Your artisanry is not welcome in the cranberry department. Everyone except Aunt Jenny wants cranberry sauce that looks like blood JELLO in the shape of a can. And Aunt Jenny’s Pinterest addiction is well documented.

2. Pumpkin pie is perfect. Don’t mess with it. Adding smoked paprika or rosemary tells your family that your love for them is second behind your love of your own awful creativity.   

3. Keep Thanksgiving conversation neutral and apolitical by starting your toast with “Thanksgiving is about family—Uncle Steve has never won a popular vote but we still feed him.”

4. Welcome to casserole day. Every other day is not casserole day. Please do not casserole on any other day.

5. At least one dish must be made using store-bought crackers as a topping. Ritz is preferred. Save your panko breadcrumbs for your Barefoot Contessa party. 

6. Please include vegetarian options because your accidental child says it’s the only thing curing her from your lack of quality parenting.

7. The turkey is not dry. It’s turkey. That’s what turkey does. It dries out. No Thanksgiving turkey in the history of America has ever been juicy. Recipe sites have covered up this conspiracy for decades.

8. If you eat all the dark meat before the rest of the family gets an opportunity, you are subject to deportation to another, lesser family.

9. When making turkey, please plan to make enough for everyone at Thanksgiving. Then double that amount. Because much like Uncle Dan’s awesome third wife, leftovers often turn out to be the best.

10. If you’re thinking about putting stuffing inside the turkey, consider alternatives that are just as good. Like wet newspaper.

11. Yes, your uncle is drunk. That’s what uncles do on Thanksgiving. Do not question your drunk uncle. Asking him to sign a living will during his drunkenness is permissible if he is wealthy and it will benefit the entire family.

12. Boxed stuffing is the best stuffing. God makes it in his boxing place.

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

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