The only thing Americans love more than a buffet is a holiday buffet. We also love that the fourth Thursday every November is a thinly-veiled justification for a massive meat-and-starchy gorge by evoking images of shysty Pilgrims and wary Natives sharing corn on the cob. But the real gem of the Thanksgiving buffet is finding those asymmetrical dishes that lazy, cash-strapped or jackassy relatives plop on the table and hope no one notices. Their irregular contributions add a certain flavor, and whether anyone bothers to sample them or not, the buffet table wouldn't be the same without them.
Here is our top five list of Thanksgiving buffet foods that have nothing to do with Thanksgiving.
5. That nasty tater tot casserole.
What would possess someone to bring their shitty everyday fare to a holiday buffet? Tater tot casserole, the lower-class archetype Tuesday night supper special has everything in it that people generally want a break from for at least one day out of the year: tots, squishy Kraft Singles, greasy hamburger, frozen mixed vegetables and canned cream of whatever was on sale.
4. That aluminum pan of potstickers.
Asian food is not bad, just not really in sync with traditional American Thanksgiving trappings. The sore-thumb pan of potstickers, cold Thai noodles or California rolls are abnormal on two levels. First, if someone bought them from a restaurant, you can't help but think that if it weren't for lazy white people, then the restaurant staff would be able to leave work early and go home to have their own dinners, and second, anyone who thinks they're being sophisticated by bringing this stuff needs to leave 1989 behind.
3. That block of jam-covered cream cheese. Zero creativity, zero class and zero likeability, this ubiquitous appetizer is an insult to Wheat Thins, and there is no jam on this spinning blue marble that will hide the fact that off-brand cream cheese is still off-brand cream cheese.
2. That giant chocolate chip cookie.
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All this says to your friends and relatives is that you either went to the mall the day before, or you couldn't come up with anything more creative to offer than a beat-down tube of cookie dough. Would baking a pie kill ya?
1. That bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. You've already got turkey, for the love of Christ, and maybe a ham or a roast beef, too. The fried cluck is overkill, but the worst crime here is that by the time the greasy bucket leaves the drive-thru window, rides in the back seat, makes its way into the house and is unceremoniously dumped onto the table, it's colder than the shoulder you get from your disgruntled relatives.