The Good, the bad, and the ugly: Thanksgiving Edition

What should you make and what should you buy? Photo by: Tami Benedict
What should you make and what should you buy? ( Photo Tami Benedict/ Xpress Magazine)

Thanksgiving is approaching us in the next few days, which means everyone is pinning their favorite foods on Pinterest and looking up old family recipes. But the question is, what should you spend your time making yourself and what should you just buy from the store? Have no fear, I am here to discuss the good, bad, and ugly Thanksgiving side dishes that will make your Thanksgiving a little easier.

Stuffing: I am a fan of homemade stuffing and my Nana has this secret mouthwatering recipe. Do we go the easy way about it and just throw Stovetop stuffing in a pot and call it a day? Or spend time mixing the stuffing with vegetables and spices before stuffing it into the bottom of the turkey? My answer: take the time and make homemade stuffing, this is one of those dishes that is best  when it is homemade. It also adds a special touch to Thanksgiving. Now, nothing is wrong with Stovetop and if that is your way to go, then all the power to you.

Rating: Homemade Good, Stovetop: Good

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Cranberry Sauce: Some people are not fans of the grocery bought jelly canned cranberry sauce, but I do not know how to make homemade cranberry sauce. The produce section sells bags of cranberries but what do I do from there? To add to that, one year my family made homemade cranberry sauce with alcohol in it and let me tell you, that is not the way to go. For me this Thanksgiving, I will stick to the can.

Rating: Homemade: Ugly, Canned: Good
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Green Bean Casserole: Everyone loves that green bean casserole covered with onion crunch. This casserole is actually really easy to make depending on how much time you have, but is it worth it? My answer is yes, this recipe does not take too long to make,  all you need to do is warm it up in the oven. Buying the casserole from the deli department at the store is fine, but then the onions may be soggy and that is not cool.

Rating: Homemade: Good Deli: Bad
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Potatoes: Potatoes are an essential side dish for Thanksgiving. You can have them mashed, cubed, or any style. My family tends to go with cubed but a lot of people choose mashed. So, do you spend twenty minutes in the kitchen peeling and cutting potatoes or do you put instant potatoes into a pot and call it a day? My choice: homemade. If you have enough hands on deck in the kitchen, peeling and cutting will be no problem, plus instant mash potatoes have a weird taste to them.

Rating: Homemade: good, Instant: bad
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Yams with Marshmallows: I have not been a big fan of yams. I only eat them if they are cooked in a certain fashion, but I know some traditional Thanksgiving side dishes include yams with marshmallows. These seem easy to cook but I have never personally made them myself. You can buy them at store, but I fear you will get the same issue with store-bought green bean casseroles, soggy marshmallows. If you have the oven space, cook this dish yourself and make sure those marshmallows are golden brown. If you do not have time or space, the deli version can do just as well.

Rating: Homemade: good, Deli: good.
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That is all I have for this edition of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tell me what your favorite side dishes are and if you store bought them or cook them from scratch. Stay tune for a Christmas version of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Happy Thanksgiving!