Do you remember when you were a little kid and Thanksgiving was all about pretending to eat enough of the food on your plate so that you could go off and play with your cousins? Or, maybe you actually did eat your food, but chances are, it was probably only the stuff that was less healthy and er, probably really gross to you now. Because let's face it — Thanksgiving foods you loved as a kid (think all things gelatinous and easily eaten off your fingers) probably make you cringe when you see them on the table today. They are, in a word, disgusting.
Thanksgiving is all about tradition, and with that comes traditional dishes — you know, like turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. There's also all those traditionally un-wholesome dishes, like jellied cranberry sauce, ambrosia salad, and that very lime Jell-O with fruit chunks usually served in a turkey mold. To your wizened palate today, these types of dishes may seem like relics of the 1950s (oh, what a time for experimental food preservation and frozen meals!), and things to be avoided at all costs. But when we were kids? Forget the roasted butternut squash or those to-die-for fried Brussels sprouts — we were all about the frozen, pre-packaged dinner rolls.
Even though these foods may still have a place in our hearts, they have absolutely no business being on our plates. Here are some Thanksgiving foods that, whether you loved them as a kid, need to go away.
1. Jellied cranberry sauce that retained the shape of the can
I will admit that when I was five, I ate a ton of cranberry "slices," as we referred to them. It's basically cranberry juice in a congealed form, laden with sugar, and probably contain little else of nutritional value. Ocean Spray has a number of recipes on how to use this sickly sweet treat in ways other than just little round cranberry slabs, but I've yet to see anyone do so, at least for a Thanksgiving dish.
2. Store-bought dinner rolls
What is it with kids loving super-refined starchy carbs that are horribly bad for you? There was always a basket of these pre-made, stale grocery store dinner rolls, and we always gobbled them up like they were the best things we'd ever eaten. They don't taste bad, I guess, but that's only because they don't taste like anything at all.
3. Creamy canned green bean casserole
I know a lot of people still love this dish, but come on. Those green beans were clearly marinating in preservatives and salty water before being emptied out into a baking dish along with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. Ick. And then, on top of this whole mess, is a layer of deep fried onions? Please, spare me a heart attack.
4. Ambrosia salad
I think one of my aunts used to make this concoction of marshmallows, dried coconut, canned tangerines, whipped cream, and grapes. Honestly, I don't understand why this is called the "food of the Gods." It looks and tastes like a desperate cook hastily threw together ingredients for a dessert, and the result was a strange mess of textures and flavors. No thanks!
5. Black Olives
OK, so pitted black olives in and of themselves aren't that gross, and when they're all nicely collected on a serving tray of some sort, they are relatively harmless. But remember when you were a kid and the only way to eat these delicacies was one by one off your fingers?! It may have seemed awesome when you were little, but today I prefer my "finger food" to be a little less literal.