Break out the sweatpants, America, because it’s almost time to chow down on Thanksgiving dinner.
Your plate is only so big, though, and tough choices must be made when facing the smorgasbord your mom and grandma just spent days putting together. So we polled the NESN.com team on its favorite foods from nine traditional choices, and the results were belt-poppingly interesting.
Let’s just get this out of the way: Sweet potatoes aren’t yams. Yet we call them that on Turkey Day. Regardless, they clearly aren’t a favorite of the staff, although there was some sentiment toward candied yams being pretty good.
8. CRANBERRY SAUCE
Massachusetts has tons of cranberry bogs, so the little red fruit is plentiful and has many health benefits. But who wants to eat clean on Thanksgiving?
A roll on its own isn’t too exciting. But a roll in one hand and a gravy-laden, scrap-filled plate in the other hand is. A roll is the Swiffer of the Thanksgiving food lineup — it mops up the mess and dumps it right in your stomach, where it belongs.
6. GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
OK, green beans are healthy, too, but bake them with cheese and French-fried onions, and that all changes. For the better.
5. MAC AND CHEESE
True, this can be enjoyed any time, but there’s just something about a tall, steaming wedge of mac and cheese on the corner of the Thanksgiving plate. Especially when it runs into the next item on our list …
4. MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY
Ebony and ivory, living in perfect harmony. Pass the gravy boat, please.
Bird is the word on Thanksgiving, and when cooked perfectly, it can be a perfect vessel to carry its other Thanksgiving food friends to the party in your belly. Bonus: Pounds of leftovers to make sandwiches for weeks.
2. PUMPKIN PIE
Store-bought or homemade, it doesn’t matter. Just don’t forget the whipped cream.
Do you know what’s in this? No? OK, it’s dried bread, pork sausage meat and/or giblets, onion, celery, salt, pepper and other spices and herbs. And it’s the best.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images