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5 Best Foods to Add to Your Thanksgiving Table This Year

5 Best Foods to Add to Your Thanksgiving Table This Year

Every Thanksgiving is special in certain ways. You’ve got family and friends coming over wherever you celebrate and tons of quality time with the people you love. But to me, the food makes it the most special every year. So, here are five foods you should have on your Thanksgiving table this year. 


First Food: Collard Greens

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Collard Greens, Tim Stackton, Flickr, Creative Commons

Collard greens are a food that will never be forgotten at Thanksgiving. The hot and spicy heat of the collard greens and the rich flavor of the bacon in it bring happiness all around. This is just one of the foods that reach deep down into the roots of my culture. I’m half black and half white therefore, foods that I eat on Thanksgiving are a mix of both. The same old recipes from my great-grandmother and aunties still do the trick every year. 

For my family, collard greens are key to a successful Thanksgiving, but in other families, even in families of my race, this food isn’t as important. Aaliyiah Barbee Evans, an African American student here at Central, has a different opinion on the inclusion of collard greens. When asked to rate the dish, she gave it a 5/10. Evans didn’t have a strong opinion. 

“I’m not against them, but I can do without them.”

Second Food: Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie, Hungry Dudes, Flickr, Creative Commons

Sweet potato pie is a food that always makes an appearance on my family’s Thanksgiving.  This has been in my family for generations and even with slight changes and personal twists on it it still satisfies everyone at the table. 

When asked to rate this food, yearbook teacher Taryn Smith gave this a solid 5/5 on the rating scale. 

“Oh, so good. I’ll rate it a five. Better than pumpkin, for sure!” 

This is a top-tier food for Smith and myself.  


Third Food: Dressing

Cornbread Dressing Thanksgiving 2008 November 27, 2008,  Kimberly Vardeman, Flickr, creative commons

This next one should never be confused, not one bit. Thanksgiving dressing, not stuffing. While stuffing is made in the Thanksgiving bird, dressing is its own thing, baked to perfection with flavors brought together by southern generations.  

One food that Smith was very passionate about was stuffing. At the beginning of our interview, she said one food she could not have Thanksgiving without is stuffing.

“That’s the only thing I care about…It doesn’t matter what kind. I love stuffing and dressing.” 

Stuffing and dressing have some similar features, that’s why Smith gave it a 5/5. 


Fourth Food: Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Dates 2, Jessica and Lon Binder, Flickr, Creative Commons

Now we step over to the other side of my mixed background.: Bacon-wrapped dates. This is something many will be anxious to try, but it truly does bring out flavors and feelings you didn’t know could exist at once. You’ll need bacon. Anything is good with bacon. Then you’ll pick up some dates and some goat cheese. Go ahead and take out the pit of the date or buy them with the pits removed. Scrape a little goat cheese in the date then wrap it in a bacon strip that was cut in half. Bake them and enjoy them. Never knock it until you try it. 

While it’s one of my favorite foods, many didn’t know what they were. One person who did was Smith. Her family loves them just as much as mine. On a 1-5 scale, she topped it with a five without hesitation.  

“Five, it’s the best. Mm, if you add water chestnuts.” She hummed as she thought about her family’s way of cooking. 

I wasn’t very fond of the water chestnut idea, but she was very passionate about it, and I can respect that. 


Fifth Food: Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Day turkey One of my first HDR photos, Dianne Rosete, Flickr, Creative Commons

Now we get to the one thing that is the face of Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving turkey. This is a must at every Thanksgiving table. No matter what your seasoning recipe looks like, make sure the beautiful centerpiece is where it should be. 

For me, turkey is always the centerpiece of my Thanksgiving, but in other homes, sometimes it’s very different. Leslie Godinez, a senior here at Central has a bit of a different setup on her table some years. Some years Godinez connects with her Guatemalan roots. 

“Turkey is our usual centerpiece but if we have time we make tamales as the centerpiece.” 


Despite the other opinions, these five foods are what make my Thanksgiving special to me. These foods and the people in my life make this day so special and warm. 

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    Adelaide KotaNov 27, 2023 at 11:41 am

    This was an amazing article! It was so interesting to see your and others’ opinions on Thanksgiving. I particularly enjoyed how you brought up your cultural background. I myself am half Taiwanese and half Indian, and while we’ve always spent Thanksgiving with my Indian side, we still enjoy some of the American classics. This always leads to an interesting medley of food in our Thanksgiving spread. You were very much correct in your assessment that anything is good with bacon, though I will admit the bacon-wrapped dates sound a bit frightening. Aside from those listed in your article, are there any other Thanksgiving or just general get-together dishes that you enjoy?