Deep fry or roast?
JO: Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong as long as that skin is golden and crispy!
ARI: Jo. You can totally go wrong. You need to cook the turkey until it’s 165 degrees in the center. Skin Crispness does not equal done.
CAITLIN: Brined for a few days with Alton Brown’s recipe. Roast in the oven with olive oil and butter. Deep fried is for people who don’t have the discipline to make a truly delicious turkey.
JUSTIN: Deep fried, with discipline. And don’t put too much oil in because, y’know, displacement and grease fires and stuff.
KRISTIN: Can I be honest and say that I care very little about the turkey and very lot about the side dishes? Is that controversial?
Light meat or dark? What’s the strategy?
JO: Like a beam of hope in the darkness, I follow the light. Dark meat is gross, bai.
KIRK: Join the Dark side. We have flavor.
BEN: I don’t discriminate against either meat. I love all types of turkey meat, except the giblets, which are dog food.
ERIC: Dark meat probably wins on flavor, but it is also...slippery. Temperance demands that a gentlemen eat white meat.
CHESNEY: Dark meat with cranberry sauce or light meat with a boatload of gravy.
KRISTIN: WHO CARES. Turkey is a barrier. It is an obstacle on my way to side-dishville.
Fresh or from the can? Do you put them all over everything or eat them separately?
JO: Cranberries? CRANBERRIES?! How dare you.
ARI: I feel weird saying this, but I agree with Jo.
HANNAH: They are a total necessity, and Jo is an insane person who doesn’t like fruit. Cranberry sauce is non-negotiable.
KYLE: Cranberry sauce is the REASON I come to Thanksgiving dinner. And I’m not talking about the fresh ones. I’m talking about that jiggly, schloopy stuff that won’t change it’s cylindrical shape for anybody. That’s my jam.
JUSTIN: From a can, served still in the shape of the can, and put it all over everything.
JAKE: Am I the only one who likes them fresh?! What is wrong with you people?
Do you mix everything up or eat it one by one? What makes the perfect plate?
KIRBY: I like to eat things separately. When it’s leftover time, I like to make a sandwich with everything in it.
CAITLIN: Giant Thanksgiving Food Ball. Use mashed potatoes as the adhesive to combine turkey and other sides for a truly superior bite.
HANNAH: I’m team Caitlin on this one. Let’s break down barriers and tear down walls. COME TOGETHER FOODS.
JAKE: Eww. Mix everything up? That’s so unnecessary. Why?
ERIC: Because it’s delicious, Jake. That’s why. It’s a cornucopia of flavor.
KRISTIN: Eat one by one, starting with the least favorite. So, turkey. Start with that burden of a meat, and make your way to the pot of gold: sweet potato casserole.
JUSTIN: Doesn’t matter. Just eat it. Eat it. No one wants to feel defeated.🎵
White or brown gravy?
ALEX: What even is white gravy?
HANNAH: Brown. This shouldn’t be a question.
JAKE: No gravy.
KYLE: Is white gravy, like, Ranch? Either way it frightens me.
ASHLEY: GUYS, white gravy is country gravy. Why have you never heard of this? It’s awesome on chicken and biscuits.
KRISTIN: White gravy has its time and its place, but that time and place is certainly not on Thanksgiving Day, you lunatic.
CLARK: Literally any type of gravy is good, as long as it isn’t “sodium free” or some “healthy” alternative.
Stuffing inside the turkey or nah?
JO: It’s called stuffing, so stuff the darn thing!
KIRK: I think that might be dangerous? I dunno, someone who actually cooks should look it up on the internet to be sure.
HANNAH: Both! Wet and dry stuffing. But under no circumstances should it contain *giblets.*
KIRBY: I’ve never understood stuffing. It just seems like a bowl of leftovers that should be fed to the dog.
ERIC: This is the only thing that Kirby and I have ever agreed on ever.
KRISTIN: Stuffing inside the turkey, stuffing outside the turkey. Stuffing out the pot while it’s being cooked, stuffing pile on my Thanksgiving plate. Stuffing for breakfast the next morning. Stuffing in my lunch sandwiches until the stuffing is gone. Stuffing is the building block of the Thanksgiving meal, and you can literally never make enough of it.
The perfect mashed potatoes: discuss.
JO: Garlic. Slightly chunky. Bonus points if the skin is on the potatoes. TAKE ME THERE NOW.
KIRK: Creamy and buttery goodness — real Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are so soft and smooth they’re like eating a hot, savory cloud.
CAITLIN: All potatoes are wonderful, and I will not discriminate.
HANNAH: As long as I can mold them into a volcano to fill with gravy, we’re in good shape.
ERIC: On board with smooth — though not liquidy — potatoes, and we can talk about garlic as long as it’s light. But you people who want skin on potatoes on Thanksgiving are hipster garbage. That is NOT how it was done at the first Thanksgiving.
ALEX: BUTTER, BABY!
What about the vegetables? Green bean casserole? Brussel sprouts?
CLARK: Green Bean casserole for the win — with crispy onions on top.
KYLE: I think it always looks good to put veggies on your plate, but I don’t think you’re actually supposed to eat them.
KIRK: Potatoes are a vegetable.
HANNAH: Peas are a must. Adding them to potatoes and gravy is the best way you’ll consume veggies all year.
ALEX: I do the same thing! This is why Hannah and I are friends.
ERIC: Now, I recognize that this will be controversial, but...beets. I said it. GET AT ME, INTERNET.
Marshmallows in yams: Let’s talk about it!
KIRK: I’m a marshmallow fellow.
CAITLIN: That belongs in 1965, not in modern Thanksgiving cuisine.
KIRBY: Marshmallows should only be eaten when they’re in s’mores. End. Of. Story.
KRISTIN: Obviously. Without marshmallows, what are we even doing here?
JUSTIN: MARSHMALLOWS. ON. EVERYTHING.
ARI: Grew up in the Northeast, thought it was crazy. Married a midwesterner, now it’s a thing in my life.
CLARK: I discovered last year people don’t like mallows on their yams. I discovered this after I spent most of the morning making yams with mallows for my friendsgiving.
What’s the perfect Thanksgiving pie? Pumpkin? Pecan?
CAITLIN: Both. Thanksgiving is for pie.
JO: I forego the pie for a plate of whipped cream, thank you very much. (This is not a bit.)
KIRK: It’s called a pe-can, not a pe-can’t! There’s a reason you only have pumpkin pie once a year — because it’s gross.
HANNAH: Why not apple? Pear? Anything but pumpkin or pecan. #srrynotsrry
JAKE: NO PIE.
KRISTIN: Hot cobbler ‘til the day I perish.
ARI: Pumpkin, you freaks.
KIRBY: I’ve already made too many decisions today, so pls just give me a little slice of all the pies.
All images courtesy of iStock.