The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Identifying the Ideal Thanksgiving Meal

Everyone knows the turkey is the main component of every Thanksgiving meal, but what are the best side dishes?

It’s that time of year again!  Now that Halloween is over, don’t you dare start thinking about Christmas just quite yet.  It’s time for Thanksgiving, the holiday filled with many traditions celebrated by people across the country.  While each family celebrates it slightly different and in their own way, one thing is undeniable: it’s all about the feast.

According to the National Turkey Federation, an estimated 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving.  That makes up one-fifth of the annual 235 million turkeys that are consumed each year.  According to a poll conducted by the National Turkey Federation, 88 percent of Americans say they eat turkey at Thanksgiving, which is an estimated 264 million people across the U.S.

While it’s obvious that the turkey is the main component of the meal, the side dishes are the items that complete the dish.  The most common side dishes range from mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread rolls, green bean casserole, and anything else the heart, or stomach, desires.  But which side dish is the most desired when it comes to the ideal Thanksgiving meal?

Based off of responses to an informal poll conducted through Facebook, stuffing was the most-voted-on food item when asked “what is the most must have food item at Thanksgiving besides the turkey?” Mashed potatoes came in a close second, with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, Pillsbury crescent rolls, and sweet potato casserole also receiving votes.

According to a “Top 10 Must-Have Thanksgiving Side Dishes” article from, a website dedicated to providing interesting recipes, stuffing and mashed potatoes also come in at the number one and two spots, respectively.

After everybody is thoroughly stuffed from the Thanksgiving feast, dessert time rolls around. According to, another website dedicated to providing recipes and the latest food news, the most popular pie for Thanksgiving by a narrow margin is apple pie, at 20 percent. Second place, in a bit of a shocker, is strawberry with 19 percent, followed up by pumpkin, in third place with 16 percent. Senior George Frangos voted for pumpkin pie as his favorite food at Thanksgiving “because you always need an awesome dessert.”

Based on the information received, the “ideal Thanksgiving meal” for people would be a turkey, followed by sides of stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, Pillsbury crescent rolls, and cranberry sauce, followed by a dessert of pumpkin pie.  

In a Food Network article titled “50 Stuffing Recipes,” one of the most interesting renditions was a fall-infused style of stuffing.  The “Cornbread melt” rendition of stuffing features chunks of cornbread in the mix instead of the traditional bread chunks.  Some of the more interesting recipes for stuffing listed include ingredients such as “Crab”, “Spicy Bacon”, “Oyster”, and “Sausage Apple”.

Likewise, in another Food Network article, titled “50 Mashed Potato Recipes,” the most enticing recipe was bacon-cheddar.  More interesting styles included squash swirl, Indian spice, blue cheese-walnut, and wasabi.

If you’re interested in finding more unique Thanksgiving recipes, check out Drops of Ink’s article on Thanksgiving Recipes.  There, you can find a recipe from DOI’s own staff member and cook extraordinaire, Alo Garcia Escobar — we won’t give away what this mouth-watering meal will be in here, but you won’t want to miss it!

Whether on Thanksgiving Day you are traveling to see family or staying at home and watching football, the meal is the undeniable key component of the day.  Turkey, followed up by sides such as stuffing and mashed potatoes, can be enjoyed in hundreds of different varieties.  No matter what side dish you prefer, it’s nearly impossible to screw up a Thanksgiving day feast!

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Identifying the Ideal Thanksgiving Meal