Ah, Thanksgiving. The day that begins with shoving bread cubes up a turkey’s carcass while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and progresses to drinking Riesling straight from the bottle as family members converge upon your home and make themselves entirely too comfortable.
Most adults I know love Thanksgiving dinner. I’m fairly certain I could serve my husband stuffing every night of the week and he’d never complain. Ever. He might even write me a song and nominate me for some kind of wonderful wife award.
But contrary to popular belief, not everyone — gasp — is a fan of traditional Thanksgiving fare.
Last week, my daughter’s preschool class had a Thanksgiving feast, and that 4-year-old was unimpressed to say the least. In fact, her opinions on the classic holiday meal were so strong — and kind of spot on, actually — that it made me look twice at the foods we, adults, have deemed delicious.
Intrigued by her insight, I went on to ask my little food critic about each course. Here is her analysis of the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast.
Green bean casserole
My kiddo likes one vegetable. One. The little veggie dodger will eat green beans by the bowlful, but shuns all other vegetables as if they contain a poison that will erase Elsa from the planet or something equally toxic. So when she laid eyes upon the green bean casserole, I expected a happy reaction. Instead, I got a firm refusal to even consider that beloved holiday favorite.
Me: “But look, honey, there are green beans. See?”
Her: “They’re in goop.”
Me: “Mmm; it’s really yummy goop, though.”
Her: “It looks like throw up.”
Her: “Remember when I threw up on my bed last week?”
Her: “And it looks like there’s crunchy worms on top.”
You know, the kid’s not wrong.
Her: “I think that is actually chicken, mommy.”
Me: “No, that’s turkey. It’s just all cut up.”
Her (after trying a piece): “Well, it’s okay but why does it smell so weird when you touch it with your nose?”
I have no idea why she had to sniff it from point-blank range, but it’s a unique perspective. And guess what? She isn’t wrong. It does smell kind weird up close (yes, I checked after she said it)! So after you carve your turkey and plate it up tomorrow, lower your sniffer and breathe deep. That meat does smell funky, even if you like the way it tastes. Seriously.
The kid loves bread and butter, so I’d foolishly thought there was a chance she’d like stuffing. All it took was one sniff of that sage-infused dish, though, and she was absolutely committed to a stuffing-free lifestyle.
Her: “There should NOT be green slippery things in bread. That can make you very, very sick and you might have to go to the doctor. I will never eat that.”
Her: “It’s too squishy. I like the whipped cream, though.” Same, girl. Same.
Her: “Can I just have marshmallows without the sticky fruit?”
Her: “They taste like the wet insides of a French Fry after you chew on them.”
Her: “Gravy is gross and runs all over the plate like slimy brown water.”
Her: “That tastes like Jell-O but without the good.”
Her: “I love this, mommy. Love, love, love. Can I have more after this one? I love Thanksgiving so much.”
Her: “There’s something wrong with my cupcake.”
Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.