We asked our newsletter subscribers which classic Thanksgiving dishes will grace their table. There was only one dish without a single “Not on our table!” See the results and comments below, complete with a tour of local grocery stores – yes, there are turkeys available right now.

The bird stills top of the food pyramid

Turkey on Thanksgiving Day beats ham by a 6 to 1 margin, according to our little survey. Vegetarian options come in a close third place, with pasta dishes rounding out the Top 4. No takers for Take Out on Turkey Day.

Be sure to read the survey comments at the end of the story.

Stuffing vs Dressing

Very close contest between stuffing and dressing, with a slight advantage to stuffing. But, quite a few chose the best of both worlds and plan on serving both.

Canned cranberry sauce? Not so much.

It may still be a tradition for quite a few, but canned cranberry sauce/jelly is not a fan favorite.

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows is banned from most tables

Is it the marshmallows or the casserole itself? The vast majority of survey respondents want to see this casserole relegated to the ash heap of history, never to bubble up again.

Brussel sprouts with bacon – only for the adventurous?

The entry with the most “Neutral” rankings also garnered a lot of “Honestly, No” and “Not on our table” votes.

Green bean casserole gets a red flag

It must be the casserole presentation, because green beans are good for you. But alas, it didn’t sway most. The green bean dish comes in second to last.

Mashed potatoes for the win

Not one respondent wants to ban the fluffy goodness from their table though a few are neutral or even confess to a “Honestly, No.” The naysayers are in the minority – most are firmly planning on using as much butter, cream/crème fraîche as it takes to bring this overall favorite to the feast.

Must have pie

Pies, with or without ice cream or whip cream are perennial favorites. Pumpkin pie won by a large margin in the survey, with Apple and Pecan pies also making the podium. Ice cream as a stand-alone came in fourth, followed by Sweet Potato and Triple Berry pies.

Thanks to everyone who responded and yes, gravy is a must no matter your menu.

Your local grocery stores got your backs

A quick tour of local stores to bring you the latest ideas and turkey availabilities.

At California Organics, Emma Karsikas and Emma Whitman were unloading 73 Organic Turkeys that are available now first come, first serve. Emma, Emma, and Ruby showed off the new water machine at California Organics and shared what they will sip this Thanksgiving. Local favorites Kombucha from Gold Vibe and Jester’s Privilege IPA from BrewBilt Brewing.

SPD Grass Valley says turkey supplies are good and butcher Daniel Langley recommended country sausage for stuffing. 

Briar Patch had many folks on hand to help answer questions and rock some turkey hats. Join the fun!

El Barrio is well-stocked for those who make tamales part of their holiday tradition and has all the fixings for homemade salsa or guac.

At Natural Selection the persimmons look great and if you are looking for local chestnuts they’re the go to place.

A few of the survey comments that caught our eye:

“Turkey barbecued, gravy made from the drippings, hence the need for mashed potatoes. Homemade bread muffins. String beans with bacon stir-fried. Dressing, family recipe.”

“We usually subvert the dominant paradigm and make something Thanksgiving adjacent, like the turkey-cranberry-yam curry we made last year, or a turkey noodle soup with sweet potatoes. Not sure what we’ll be doing this year, but my husband will make it yummy!”

“Always have to slide a layer of smoked bacon under the skin over the breast meat, after rubbing with garlic butter! Then the bacon fat cooks down into the breast meat. A rosemary branch in the cavity always makes a nice aromatic steam, too.”

“We’ve been doing Tofurkey for years–with all the vegetarian trimmings! This year, I’m venturing into uncharted territory and will be trying the recent NYTimes recipe for mushroom Wellington. Along with the requisite Tofurkey, of course!”

“Smoke the Turkey.”

“A lovely cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries (cooks in 5 min) but you MUST have the jiggly ribbed log.”

“Mashed potatoes with giblet gravy. Almost more important than the turkey in our house.”

“At our table, roast turkey with gravy, baked yams with brown sugar and walnuts, stuffing or dressing, homemade cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream are all non-negotiable. Steamed green beans, mashed potatoes, pecan or apple pie with ice cream are optional depending on the number of guests.”

“Corn bread dressing is a must tradition, started by my mom who cooked the southern version from Arkansas. Thanksgiving isn’t the same without it.”

#You forgot about the 4 legged diners. They get doggie pumpkin pie too but made with just pumpkin, milk, and eggs. But be sure to place the pies at the back of the counter while cooling so those counter surfers can’t help themselves – especially to hot pumpkin!”

I’m a Mince Meat Pie kinda guy. I’ve found that people either love it or hate it. There is no grey area. But Pumpkin Pie is a must have.

Our family Thanksgiving includes many “strays,” folks who don’t have other celebrations to go to…we’ve had such a lovely variety of dishes pass through our doors in the last 27 years! But no Thanksgiving would be complete without…our fart machine! Remote-controlled by my husband we place the speaker in various locations in the dining room. The exquisitely realistic sound never fails to bring peals of laughter, uniting the entire group of strangers forevermore! 

Survey comments

Happy Thanksgiving prep and don’t forget, it’s all about being grateful.

3 replies on “The Thanksgiving poll results are in!”

  1. I perfer Mince pies as I don’t care for Pumpkin pie. I called all the stores and cannot find mince pie anywhere only by mail order and then they are the mini’s. Oh well, I;ll just have to wait for them to arrive. However, My husband and I will be eating one before Thanksgiving.

    1. They aren’t that hard to make. Key ingredient is quince, which I only find at, of all places, GV Safeway! Delhi farms raisins really improve the pies. And forget that lattice crust: just cut out autumn shapes and bake separately, then lay on top. Not-too-sweet whipped cream is good to tone down the acid; always warm it at least a little before serving. Yum!

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