While the noise and bluster of Hellection Season continues, Turkey-Lurkey Time has arrived, folks.
This year will be tricky—no "to Grandmother's house we go," no crew of relatives in turkey-induced comas sacked out on the sofa binge-watching The Queen's Gambit, no furious political arguments followed by silent sulking.
Even if we're not cooking for 12, food is central to any holiday celebration. And Thanksgiving is no exception. Turkey wins hands-down, but what about those vitally important side dishes?
Thanks to the 10 Plagues of 2020, we're tossing aside the old Thanksgiving classics and going for some altogether different kinda sides—radical sides—state by state.
We risked life and limb among urban outliers and out-there-in-the-hinterlands and came up with an entirely unscientific survey of all 50 states (and lonely DC):
ALABAMA: Dressing, M'Dear
ALASKA: Hashbrown Casserole 'Cause Our Taters Are Frozen
ARIZONA: Chickens Come Home to Rooster Stew
ARKANSAS: Yellow-Bellied Possum Pie
CALIFORNIA: Vegan Organic CBD-Dressed Salad, Duh!
COLORADO: Mountains of Gratitude au Gratin
CONNECTICUT: Mashed Potatoes & Wasp Crisp
DELAWARE: Slippery Dumpling Mac-N-Cheese
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Set Me Up Souffle
FLORIDA: Finely Minced Outrage
GEORGIA: A Super-Sized Can of Peach Whoop-Ass
HAWAII: Hang Ten Conquerors Stew
IDAHO: Taters Till We Die
ILLINOIS: Mashed Taters Till We Die
INDIANA: Deviled Eggs (Seriously, Indiana?)
KANSAS: Just Always Gonna Be Corn
KENTUCKY: Broccoli Casserole & Impeach-mint Juleps
LOUISIANA: Napoleonic Gumbo
MAINE: Politically Colorectal Collard GRRRRRRReeeeens
MARYLAND: She-Crab Mac-N-Cheese
MASSACHUSETTS: Stuffing with Pan-Seared Snark
MICHIGAN: Sick of Orange, Switches from Pumpkin to Mincemeat Pie
MINNESOTA: Mashed Potatoes & Ludicrous Lutefisk
MISSISSIPPI: Overbaked Marshmallow Sweet Tater Casserole, Darlin'
MISSOURI: Sympathy for the Devil's Food Cake
MONTANA: O, Home On the Rage Smashed Taters
NEBRASKA: Red (The Color Formerly Known As Green) Bean Casserole
NEVADA: Vegas All-You-Can-Eat Revenge
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Saucy Cranberry Sauce
NEW JERSEY: Fill the Bowls! We're Legal!
NEW MEXICO: Cazuela de Judías Verdes
NEW YORK: Told Ya So—Now Eat Our Bagel Holes
NORTH CAROLINA (See South Carolina): Dixie Mac-N-Cheese Holdout
NORTH DAKOTA: Mashed Potatoes w/ Self-Righteous Gravy
OHIO: Red Jello with Seven Blueberries
OKLAHOMA: Purge Your Voting Rolls
OREGON: Bitter Greens Stewed in Protest
PENNSYLVANIA: Schadenfreude Succotash
RHODE ISLAND: Stuff It, White House, Stuffing
SOUTH CAROLINA (See North Carolina): Dixie Mac-N-Cheese On Lindsey Graham Crackers
SOUTH DAKOTA: Crescent Rolls Baked Straight
TENNESSEE: Sweet Potato Casserole w/ Blood Pudding
TEXAS: Slow-Cooked Longing for the Good Ol' Bush Days
UTAH: Latter-Day Crescent Rolls Over Salted Wounds
VERMONT: Stuffing Until We're Stuffed
VIRGINIA: Dixie Mac-N-Cheese Holdout
WASHINGTON: We-Put-It-to-Bed Potatoes
WEST VIRGINIA: Rollover Rolls-Rolls-Rolls
WISCONSIN: Mashed Potatoes with Hot Buttered Indignation
WYOMING: Brown Gravy over Smashed Bravado Biscuits
The choice of a side dish is like the nation itself. Though it varies from state to state, we're all forced to celebrate the same damn holiday. Now get into that kitchen and rattle 'em pots-n-pans.
Amanda Boyden is an American author and recipient of Nerve.com's Henry Miller Award for Best Literary Sex Scene in Pretty Little Dirty. Her latest work, I Got the Dog: A Memoir of Rising is available for purchase here or on Amazon. She lives in New Orleans with her rescue Chihuahua, Fry.
Read more about I Got the Doghere.
Honor Molloy is an award-winning novelist and playwright who can't wait until this pestilential year is behind us.