We all know the drill. When the fourth Thursday of November rolls around, families across America slap on their elastic pants and sit down for the feast of the year, Thanksgiving. Most tables feature the classic dishes: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, the works. However, this is the Land of the Free, which means that people have the freedom to eat whatever they want on Thanksgiving, and they do.
It seems like every family has their own, unique Thanksgiving traditions. Here are seven Thanksgiving foods that you definitely don't see on every table.
1. "The Pink Squirrel"
This delicious dessert is guaranteed to delight your tastebuds (and it may get you a little tipsy too). Combine vanilla ice cream, Creme de Almond Liqueur, and Creme de Cacao Syrup, and voila, you have a sweet, booze-filled dessert to cap off your Thanksgiving dinner. This creamy creation is the perfect conclusion to your meal, and is guaranteed to leave guests with a good taste in their mouth before the traditional post-thanksgiving nap.
2. Oyster Crab Dressing
Most Thanksgiving meals usually feature some sort of stuffing or dressing to go with the turkey. My family, however, takes an interesting twist on the traditional bread stuffing, and instead go with a dish that's a little further under the sea. Oyster crab dressing is a delicious mixture of wild rice, celery, bread crumbs, oysters, and lump crab. This dish is a perfect way to spice up your table without straying from the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
3. Sausage Balls
This dish is fairly self-explanatory, but what they lack in originality they make up for in taste. Basically, sausage balls consist of a delicious combination of sausage, Bisquick, and cheese—yum! This savory appetizer is a perfect dish to spice up your Thanksgiving meal, and it is sure to keep your guests satisfied while your turkey cooks.
4. Jell-O Salad
Plot twist: it's not salad. Actually, it's quite the opposite. As the name would suggest, Jell-O salad consists of Jell-O, filled with various fruits, topped with a delicious spread of cream cheese icing. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even sprinkle the top with crushed nuts. I'll be honest, just by looks, this is not the most appetizing dish on the table, but it is one of the most delicious. Seriously though, who doesn't love a "salad" that tastes like a dessert?
We've all heard of this mythical Thanksgiving beast, but it wasn't until last year when one of my friends informed me that her family actually eats these on Turkey Day that I knew they truly existed. For those who don't know, a turducken is a chicken, stuffed inside of a duck, stuffed inside of a turkey. To some, this sounds like an abomination, but to others, this is a culinary challenge. I hope one day I get the chance to face a turducken, but for now, it's simply a Thanksgiving fantasy.
6. Deep Fried Turkey
Is it really a Deep South Thanksgiving with out a deep-fried turkey? This dangerous and delicious delicacy is the cause for 60 injuries and the destruction of 900 homes each year, but if you get it just right, this crispy creation will be the hit of the meal. It may seem simple, but the art of the deep fried turkey is not a simple one to master. If you try this at home, just make sure you have a fire extinguisher close at hand.
7. Giblet Gravy
Who doesn't love a good gravy? The thick, creamy, sauce is the perfect topping to any perfectly cooked turkey. Giblet gravy is your classic sauce, with one small twist: it incorporates the heart, liver, gizzard, and neck of your bird. While this may sound unappealing to some, others swear that the savory flavor of the turkey innards make this gravy a step above the rest.
It's no doubt that this traditional holiday can take some seriously non-traditional forms on the dinner table, but that's just part of the beauty of Thanksgiving. Although we may not all eat the same things, we can still come together over the shared feeling of fullness that accompanies a great Turkey Day—and we can share leftovers too!