The Things About Thanksgiving We're (Secretly) Not So Thankful For

November 26, 2015

Today's the day, turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving! We're all cozied up in our stretch-waisted pants and dreaming of tur—well, actually, most of us aren't dreaming of turkey. When we asked the Food52 team what they secretly hate about Thanksgiving, what about the holiday makes them groan year after year, turkey was the number-one complaint. Here's what the team said (because, hey, one thing we're grateful for is honesty):

Photo by James Ransom
  • Caroline: Confession: I love my family deeply, and look forward to Thanksgiving every year, but am such an introvert that I excuse myself from conversations almost every 20 minutes so I can take some alone time and collect myself. (It's not you, it's me! I mean it!)

  • Haley P.: I hate that I'm a bit of a control freak. I have to remind myself it's more important to have fun cooking with my fam than having a perfect meal. Luckily, over the years my family has pushed my limits, and now I secretly love the funny way things turn out when there are lots of cooks in the kitchen. (Think pie crust with a wonky turkey shape rather than the perfect lattice.)

Photo by James Ransom
  • Riddley: The turkey takes up so much oven space for so long. It pushes the cooking time of everything else and causes me serious timing-induced anxiety. (Which is why, this year, I ordered a smoked turkey.)

  • Laura: Cooking on a schedule. I'm always running late, and one dish always gets completely messed up because I put too much on my plate. (I have a complex that other people don't take Thanksgiving food as seriously as they should, so I always take on extra to compensate. Always a mistake.)

Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Jackie: The only reason I eat the turkey is to eat cranberry sauce and gravy. Turkey is just not my thing.

  • Tim: If y'all get a Meat Hook turkey, all your turkey hatred will go away ASAP.

  • Leslie: Turkey. (Even Meat Hook turkey.)

Photo by James Ransom
  • Lauren: Oh gravy, I loathe making you. Right at the end, when everyone is circling the kitchen and there is so much to do! A messy task, to boot.

  • Kenzi: God, I love making gravy. Everyone is at the table, and you finally have the kitchen to yourself. If I never had to peel a potato again, though, I'd be thrilled.

Photo by James Ransom
  • Olivia: Stuffing. I have much more important things to eat (like all the mashed potatoes).

  • Jeremy: As much as I love all kinds off stuffing, I secretly am trying to recreate the flavor of Stove Top.

Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Lindsay-Jean: I might not like Thanksgiving's spread of mushy foods, but I'm secretly totally okay with mushiness. For Thanskamagiving (not a misspelling—it's our annual Friendsgiving), we all draw names and write something we're thankful for about the person we drew. Then we all get our names back and everyone has to guess who wrote their note. The dynamics are not unlike what you'll see at your family Thanksgiving table: some people who quietly grumble about the tradition, with one party pooper who regularly weasels his way out of participating—but I love it.

Let the comments be your catharsis. (But remember: Your family members may be reading.)

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Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.