Earlier this week, SB Nation writers held a draft of Thanksgiving meal sides, with five writers giving their picks for the best items to pair with their turkey and gravy. We at Acme Packing Company thought that this was a great idea, so for this week’s Walkthrough we did our own draft with some added Wisconsin flair.
Eight APC writers were able to participate, with two more (Wendi Hansen and Zach Rapport) providing their thoughts and feedback on the picks after the draft concluded.
This draft had some critical stipulations, however, ones that we decided upon before realizing that they were essentially the same as those for the SB Nation draft. First, it was assumed that everyone had access to turkey and gravy. As the staples of Thanksgiving dinner, those items were automatically put on everyone’s table. Then we determined a required breakdown for each participant’s menu as follows:
- Two sides
- One dessert
- One beverage
That way, all parts of the meal are covered. Picks could come from any category at any time, so long as each person’s four choices cover those four slots at the end. So without further ado, let’s get to the selections!
Jordan: Baked mac & cheese
For the first overall pick, I wanted a side dish that could be versatile and made in a variety of ways. We already have our foundation of turkey and gravy, so I wanted something that provides a new element to the plate and is also very Wisconsin. Switch up the cheeses with Parmesan, cheddar, gouda, Colby, or any of your favorites. Add breadcrumbs or bacon or—to flex on your relatives—bits of lobster. This is the type of side that can fit into any scheme.
Paul: Deep, versatile, and complements any “big dinner” perfectly. Hard to argue.
Matub: My only problem with this pick is that I didn’t get to make it. Solid choice at first overall. If your mac doesn’t hold its shape out of the pan, get right off of my table.
Wendi: Cheese. Carbs. Cheese-y carbs. Just place a giant of this right in front of me plz and thx.
Zach: An elite side on Thanksgiving tables of all persuasions. Not only is it generally agreeable, but it’s great both fresh and as cold leftovers. When I die, bury me in leftover baked mac & cheese.
Alex: YES this is a must. Lobster fresh out of Lake Michigan is an absolute flex.
Kris: Add some sausage to this and this would be even better, but you can’t go wrong with all the cheese.
Tex: Pumpkin Pie
Like a fantasy draft in a year with one stud quarterback, I’m filling my single dessert slot with the unquestioned best option in the category and trusting that some quality sides fall to me in the later rounds. Everything else can be had at other times of the year (albeit not in the same sitting), but this is what ties it all together at the end of the meal and makes it truly and unquestionably Thanksgiving. I take mine with a generous dollop of Cool Whip, but it’s perfect with or without it.
Jon: I, too, like a giant dollop of Cool Whip on my pumpkin pie, and I enjoy shaping it to match the edges of the pie because I am a large child.
Matub: Cool hhhhWhip.
Paul: I don’t think we can discount the ubiquity of the Pumpkin Pie flavor in modern life, from ruining beer to ruining coffee, it’s path of destruction is as complete as it is disgusting.
Wendi: Give me a slice of Cool Whip with a very small dollop of Pumpkin Pie.
Jordan: Anyone who doesn’t like pumpkin pie is wrong. It’s a staple this time of year.
Zach: We already knew Tex was a shrewd operator in his daily life — we now know that also extends to fictional drafts of holiday food items. Well done, Tex! Pumpkin pie is a polarizing dessert. Some people love it, while other people are wrong. It’s a top 3 pie variety and I will not be engaging in further debate on this topic. Thank you, next!
Alex: this pie flavor makes for a great Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks.
Kris: If you hate pumpkin pie, chances are you also believe wins/losses are a legit quarterback statistic and/or root for the Minnesota Vikings.
Stuffing is amazing. It’s amazing with or without meat, it can take several different forms, and Tex informs me that you can make waffles out of the leftovers. Try that with Green Bean casserole, which is, by the way, disgusting. Stuffing should be available at all times of the year, including at fast food restaurants, and even the most generic Stove Top stuffing is a million times better than the world’s greatest french fries. Everyone who passed on stuffing will regret it more than if they had passed on Lamar Jackson. You are all wrong. If I could make a spreadsheet about it I would.
Tex: If pumpkin pie went first, this would have been my #2 pick. Add breakfast sausage to your stuffing and watch your relatives lose their minds like mine did a few years ago. And the waffle thing makes for the best Black Friday morning breakfast imaginable.
Matub: I’m the one who introduced Tex to stuffing waffles. This injustice will not stand. Oh, the pick, right. Honestly the top 3 are interchangeable to me. Any pick could have gone in any order and I’d feel just right about it.
Wendi: The only stuffed thing on Thanksgiving should be me, in full stretchy pants glory star-fished out on the couch watching football post-lunch and second lunch.
Zach: Anyone who doesn’t like stuffing can probably blame it on years of suffering through unnecessarily gourmet stuffing with, like, apples in it for some reason. Give me straight up grocery store, scientifically concocted, from-the-box Stovetop stuffing and close the door. We need our privacy.
Alex: Stuffing could be the cornerstone of any franchise, and even Bill Belichick would replace Tom Brady with it if he was given the chance.
Kris: So much variety. Homemade or out of the box, it’s damn good. It just has to be moist.
Kris Burke: Mashed Potatoes
Keep it simple, stupid. Can’t go wrong with homemade mashed potatoes with homemade gravy and butter. Quick, easy and delicious. There is enough theatricality involved in making Thanksgiving dinner. One easy side saves a lot of time.
Tex: Sort of the glue of Thanksgiving. When presented simply, it’s enhanced by just about everything. Not sexy, but necessary nonetheless.
Matub: Mashed potatoes are the Center of Thanksgiving. Incredibly important but often an afterthought unless something goes terribly wrong. Great choice here.
Wendi: Poe-tae-toe poe-tah-toe.
Zach: I get less excited about mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving than other items, but that’s primarily because I eat them all year round. Because they’re amazing.
Alex: Mashed Potatoes are perfect everyday, but even more perfecter on Thanksgiving.
Peter Bukowski: Tiropita
I married a Greek, and it really expanded my food horizons (I already loved the standards). This is a holiday standard. Think the classic spinach pie without the spinach.
It’s also a stalwart on a next-day reheat plate.
Jon: This seems like drafting Daniel Jones sixth overall. Sure YOU like him that high and maybe he’s actually good, but you didn’t have to take him there because nobody else was going to.
Matub: I honestly thought Peter chose Tilapia at first. I was going to dispute the choice of fish as a side dish until I realized what he actually chose and now I want this on Thursday.
Tex: Peter IM’ed me to ask if ethnic dishes were acceptable before making this pick. I wasn’t sure if I should expect something like saag paneer or chow mein or enchiladas, but this sounds fantastic.
Wendi: I selflessly volunteer as tribute to take any and all leftovers.
Zach: I’d never heard of this before but I googled it and can confirm that I would shove this into my body with glee.
Alex Crawford: Green Bean Casserole
I physically cannot have heavy cream. I know. Sad.
Instead, I make it using fresh mushrooms and beef broth. Yes, there are so many great picks and they might work out. Taking this item for me in the first round is like taking a lineman in the first round. Easy to judge quality, and you know it’s gonna make you happy.
I will defend this pick until the day I die. Plus, making it this way is better.
Matub: Green Bean Casserole in any form is not a first round pick. My wife does not agree with this take and because of that, there will be a gigantic dish of it at our gathering.
Jon: And Matub, will any sensible person reach for the green bean casserole before they put literally anything else on their plate? No, they will not.
Zach: I agree that this is not a first round pick. It’s not my favorite. But sure, throw some crispy fried onion topping on that sucker and shove it in my maw. Here’s to feeling good all the time.
Matub: Potatoes au Gratin
Here’s a fun fact: Android Voice-to-text doesn’t know what “au gratin” means. During our draft I actually selected “Potatoes are rotten” because of this.
But otherwise, what is there to day? It’s a staple among every family gathering I’ve attended across several parts of the midwest and even during my time here in Colorado. It’s potatoes. It’s cream. It’s cheese. It’s baked. It’s awesome. Easy choice.
Tex: My family traditionally does more of a cheesy hash brown casserole, but the concept is the same so I’m assuming it’s off the board for me later. Very solid choice.
Zach: This is a sneaky amazing dish and an interesting choice for a first rounder. Like all surprise first round picks, we’ll have to wait and see some results before we pass judgment. Great potatoes au gratin is *chef kiss*, but miss me with any mal-executed spud slop.
Jon Meerdink: Pecan Pie
The top of my board was pumpkin pie, stuffing (grandma’s with real giblets) and au gratin potatoes, so I had to go with my next best player (food item) available. And for me, a big part of the indulgence of Thanksgiving is being able to eat as much dessert as I want without judgment, so here I took my next favorite pie: pecan. Pecan pie has the perfect blend of sweetness with the near-savory crunch from the nuts. I’m happy with this pick.
Matub: this was my 2nd choice for my 1st round pick. I feel Jon and I share a big board. Jon is welcome at my thanksgiving table any time.
Wendi: Because sometimes you feel like a nut…
Jordan: Was that a sex joke, Wendi?
Zach: I have never had pecan pie. Should I find a support group?
Alex: is pecan pie pronounced pecan or pecan?
Jon: Cranberry sauce (jellied from a can version)
In some people’s eyes, a food that retains the shape of its original container is an affront to God and man. For me, it’s a slice of nostalgia. Seriously, an actual slice! Cut off a chunk of that can-shaped tart goodness for me, please.
Tex: I found a whole article on how to spruce up canned cranberry sauce for serving at Thanksgiving dinner. What the hell? The fact that it’s just there, in a blob the shape of the can, is the whole fun of the dish!
Wendi: Jon, I knew I liked you for a reason.
Zach: Hot take: weird coagulated jelly from a can is gross. I hate all forms of cranberry sauce, though. I think it’s a childhood quirk I never grew out of. More for you guys.
Alex: Just gonna retweet Zach.
Matub: Crescent Rolls
Another classic that has appeared at every Thanksgiving celebration I’ve attended. What do you do when the turkey is dry? Fill up on crescent rolls. What do you do when you run out of potatoes and there’s still a ton of gravy on your plate? Crescent roll sliiiide.
They’re great AND versatile.
Zach: *cannot speak because his mouth is full of crescent rolls*
Alex: I thought you said “what do you do when the turkey is dry? Fill it up with crescent rolls” and I had so many questions.
Alex: Banana Cream Pie
You simply cannot go wrong with banana flavored things or pie. So, combining them into one tasty treat is an obvious move. This is the staple of any smart franchise (dinner table). Name one banana flavored thing that is nasty, I bet you can’t.
Side note: Tex taking Pumpkin and Jon taking Pecan over Banana Cream is the equivalent of taking Jamarcus Russell over Calvin Johnson 1st overall.
Jon: You know who eats liquified bananas? My four month old.
Tex: Look, I enjoy custard-based things. But saying that banana cream is a superior to pumpkin pie after a giant Thanksgiving dinner can only result from being in the banana lobby’s pocket.
Matub: Tex, it’s like anything. Sometimes you have to have balance. After a heavy rush of food, you may have to pass on to something a bit more custardy.
Paul: Banana is already a dicey flavor. And the Banana Cream Pie knows this. The pumpkin? It can handle a whole pie, and Bananas are kind of the same texture, right? Semi-gelatinous, should make an excellent pie filling. It doesn’t. A giant glob of crushed banana is gross, which is why we hide it in cream. Too high for a niche pick, IMHO.
Zach: It’s a no for me, dawg.
Kris: Underrated pie, and a great pie to throw a slice (don’t waste the entire damn pie) of at your uncle who won’t shut up about politics or the Minnesota Vikings.
Peter: Strawberry Jell-O ‘Salad’
It’s Jell-o and Cool Whip. How can you possibly go wrong here? And no it’s not a dessert. If I’m going to eat my weight in Thanksgiving food, why stand on traditional sugar standards of sides? And because it’s cold, next day it might actually be better. My team is going undefeated in regular season. Y’all are playing for second.
Tex: My grandma makes a mean Jell-O mold. Hers usually has little bits of pineapple in it too, an underrated addition.
Paul: Just because you put “salad” in quotes doesn’t mean we can’t make fun of it.
Wendi: But is it even a Midwest Thanksgiving if you don’t have some sort of Jell-o dish?
Zach: Did you know that “Strawberry Jell-O Salad” is Old English for “some weird trash I refuse to put in my body”? The more you know!
Kris: Jell-o? More like Hell-No.
Kris: Cheesecake with Cranberry dressing
Cheesecake is always good but adding cranberry makes an appropriate Thanksgiving dessert. After the regular stuffing, some sweet stuffing is always good.
Paul: Cheesecake is always a solid choice, and I wish I’d thought of this.
Jordan: I have and never will say no to Cheesecake. This is my draft crush every year. It’s Josh Allen (JAX) one year and Devante Parker another, but no matter what, I will always believe in it.
Zach: Who put this crap on my cheesecake? I was gonna eat that.
Matub: “With his next pick, Kris Burke chooses to ruin a perfectly good cheesecake.”
Paul: Apple Pie (preferably baked in a paper bag) with vanilla ice cream
Like, for real? You people let stuffing AND apple pie slide? Apple pie would have been defensible as the #1 pick and here I am getting it in the second round?
Apple pie is the best pie. Apples are not like other fruit and the softening that happens upon baking is magical. Berries are all the same, pumpkin pie is just squash, and what even is pecan pie? Some bizarre gelatinous goo you would make fun of someone for ordering at Baker’s Square if it wasn’t named after a nut. It’s Caramel Jello Pie, get your Pecan out of here.
Jon: I took pecan over apple because there are strict pie decorum rules at Meerdink gatherings. Apple is a summer pie, and therefore it must stay in its season despite being my favorite. What, am I going to show up to Thanksgiving with a key lime pie? Pie is serious business that must be taken seriously.
Paul: A summer pie, of course! Taking your nice Spring apple pick and making a delectable pie, with some nice spring cider. Yes sir, nothing like getting a box of apple cider donuts from the roadside stand on a 97 degree july day. Your objection is very solid.
Matub: wait, can you respond to a response?
Matub: I guess you can.
Jon: When someone says “as American as apple pie” do you think of summer and baseball and cookouts and county fairs or do you think of Thanksgiving? Whether apples ripen in the fall or not, apple pies belong to an earlier time than the fourth Thursday of November.
Matub: You’re both pretty. (also I don’t like apple pie anyway)
Zach: I don’t like apple pie but I know that puts me in the minority.
Alex: I love the taste of paper baaahg this time a year!!!
Tex: Sweet Potato Casserole
I am shocked -- SHOCKED -- that I was able to snag one of my top four choices at the back end of round two. A lot of orange on my plate? Don’t care. Sweet potato casserole ranks above mashed potatoes for me, and it’s a fantastic dish to dip your turkey in if you want a sweet break from the savory nature of your gravy. Load this down with brown sugar and marshmallows and let your taste buds sail off to heaven.
Wendi: Tex, I am right there with you! It’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s marshmallow-y, it’s a flippin’ party on a plate.
Matub: this is one of my wife’s favorites. I could take it or leave it, honestly. Ranking above mashed potatoes is a BOLD take, in my opinion.
Alex: I have never had sweet potato, so no comment. Ok...I guess one comment.
Kris: Mad I didn’t think of this. It has to be prepared properly. If it’s overcooked or undercooked, it’s a wreck. The marshmallow is just the best.
Jordan: Peach Cobbler
Waiting until the bottom of the second round to grab a dessert after a strong run on sweets definitely thinned out the draft pool, but I still got my guy. Peach cobbler is perpetually underrated and under-utilized dessert, but it’s elite range and pedigree allows it to stand out from the other generic baked desserts. Have it with a large dollop of cool whip or take it a la mode. I will always champion a little southern hospitality at Thanksgiving.
Paul: I have decided I need to incorporate more Southern foods.
Jon: This is good food guidance.
Jordan: Cranberry Salsa
Anything cranberry related at Thanksgiving is a must, but Cranberry Salsa is like drafting Hollywood Brown. It’s exciting, adds flavor, and in the right offense, this side can change the face of your meal. Spice up your Thanksgiving meal with a little zest as the assortment of sweet and spicy captivates your loved ones with this modern twist on a classic. There’s also the leftover factor, which has played a heavy role in this draft. Layer this concoction on eggs in the morning, whip up some turkey tacos, or design some cracker-related plays by adding it on a cream cheese spread.
Tex: BOOOO. Cranberries come in gelatin form out of a can or not at all.
Matub: Boo to all cranberry-related sides. Gelatinous or otherwise.
Tex: Brandy Old Fashioned sweet
I gave Louis Bien crap for drafting a rye old fashioned in the SB Nation draft despite being a Wisconsin guy, so I can’t very well go against my nature and let myself end up with any other beverage. While I’m generally a whisk(e)y neat guy at my core nowadays, this is the iconic Wisconsin drink, and one that I make pretty damn well if I may say so myself. And since I spend Thanksgiving away from my home state these days, it’s a way of having it with me during the holiday.
Matub: Bourbon Old Fashioned all day. Don’t @ me.
Tex: Matub’s not from Wisconsin (if that comment didn’t give it away). Forgive him.
Zach: Well I am from Wisconsin and I agree with Matub *air horn*
Kris: Damn it, Matub™️
Paul: Hot mulled cider
Hot alcohol is really hard to pull off properly. Ice actually serves to hide the taste of alcohol, and heat, conversely, makes it overpowering. The spices and acidity of cider keeps that flavor under wraps, and if you can dose it with some bourbon, so much the better.
Jon: Mulled cider is so good. I want some.
Tex: Mulled cider plus a finger or two of rye is elite, and it’s definitely one of my top beverage options. If not for my personal association with my choice one pick ago, it might have been #1.
Kris: Pork Loin Roast
Non-traditional but also oh so delicious. Wrapped in bacon and you can shove the turkey up your, uh, turkey hole. If you have a family member who works in retail, turkey isn’t always the best option for them because it makes you sleepy and can make that 2 AM wake up call a challenge.
Jon: I want to come to this Thanksgiving gathering where the side dishes are just main dishes. The only main dishes Thanksgiving feast! Genius!
Tex: What’s next, a slab of ribs, an entire ham, and a giant T-bone steak? I don’t think I need extra protein beyond the turkey.
Paul: Turkey Pizza
Matub: Wrap it in bacon and I don’t care what you call it, as long as it’s on the table.
Kris: We wrap ours in bacon. It’s heaven.
Jordan: Sign me up for this Gainsgiving.
Peter: Spotted Cow
I have some regrets about the order of things here because of what’s left on the board, but no quibbles with the first three picks. Beer is the best thing to pair with early day football and snacks. By the time dinner rolls around, the switch to wine is inevitable, but beer -- and in this case Spotted Cow -- does a great job of not filling you up for the eating Olympics to come. The sweetness pairs well with the assortment of ultra-salty snacks.
Tex: Those who know me know that Spotted Cow is among my lower-rated beers from New Glarus -- I find it good but not special. However, it balances well with heavy foods like those at Thanksgiving. You don’t want to overwhelm your other dishes with the hoppiness of a Moon Man, so I won’t quibble with this pick one bit.
Wendi: Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. That is all.
Zach: Hard pass. *hands in Wisco Cred card*
Alex: My family eats at 11:30 AM (I know, they’re odd) so if I had a Spotted Cow before food I might get a few looks and a talking to. Either way, Spotted Cow is always a great move.
Alex: Roasted Vegetables
Very tasty, just the way grandma makes them. Sometimes you need to take the safe route, like taking a kicker later in the draft to ensure success when you need 3 or 1.
Roasted vegetables aren’t going to make or break Thanksgiving, but when it comes down to it, you’re going to be happy those vegetables won’t kick the ball off the upright and then the crossbar in a playoff game to lose to Nick Foles.
Tex: I can’t argue too much here. It’s probably a good idea to have something respectably healthy to balance out the gluttony of the rest of the meal.
Matub: Macro Brewed Beer
As much as I respect Peter’s choice of Spotted Cow, it’s not widely available outside of Wisconsin. It’s especially weird for a *gasp* NEW YORKER to choose it.
I went with a classic. Because you know what goes with Thanksgiving? Football. You know what goes with football? Beer that you can get literally everywhere and then proceed to drink 12 of.
Paul: For long day drinking, it is imperative to have a low ABV choice.
Tex: Sure, I’d have a Hamm’s or five.
Jon: Pan Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts
When it comes to cooking, I am not a sides man. They’re often too finicky and they yield portions too small to feel like they’re worth my time. However, I will make an exception for these. For far too long, I didn’t even try brussels sprouts on the misguided belief that they were gross, possibly guided by them being named dropped in every kid’s TV show as the epitome of disgusting food. But cook them in a cast iron skillet with butter and bacon? You’ve got a side worth spending a little time on. Granted, most things taste good when combined with butter and bacon, but brussels sprouts taste great cooked this way and you get to pretend like it still counts as eating a vegetable.
Matub: This wasn’t on my board but I’m upset I didn’t think of it. My wife and I recently spent a few nights in Breckenridge and had dinner at the Breckenridge Distillery (home of some of the best bourbon in the country). They have a cast-iron cooked, bourbon maple glazed, bacon brussels sprout appetizer that will end your entire night. Monster sleeper choice by Jon here.
I am a teetotaler and I don’t want water. Milk is the choice.
Tex: Hell yes. If you’re going non-alcoholic during Thanksgiving dinner, there’s no other option in my opinion. And it’s clutch with dessert regardless.
Matub: Jon in round 3: Big Brain Time. Jon in round 4: I dunno...milk? Sure why not. I should note I had to google “teetotaler”.
Wendi: Make it chocolate and I am All. About. It. BTW Matub you still owe me a jug.
Zach: Adults drinking milk is weird. You’re all weird.
Alex: Milk from cows is weird. I am sorry Wisconsin, I love you but milk freaks me out. Also, I just spend about 30 minutes down a Teetotalism YouTube rabbit hole. For those keeping score at home it means someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, and they also just want to have fun.
Kris: I could milk some cow puns here but I’d probably get kicked in the dairy air for such an udderly ridiculous notion.
Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts after a heavy meal. It’s an amazing combination of dessert and after-dinner coffee. You can go as light or as heavy as you want by altering your ladyfinger-to-filling ratio.
I highly recommend this incredibly easy Pumpkin Tiramisu if you want to stay closer to the traditional choices. A word of warning: Do not skimp on your ladyfinger choice if you go store-bought. You WILL regret pinching those pennies.
Tex: As someone who gags at the very smell of coffee, it’s a no-go for me. But if you’re into that flavor, this seems like a great choice.
Matub: I gag at the very smell of Tex.
Alex: trips to Breckinridge and tiramisu? Oh Matub you fancy huh?
Alex: Cherry 7-Up
My dad always used some to glaze the ham and then we drink the rest. This choice to me was about family, just like Thanksgiving. Cherry 7-Up on Thanksgiving to me is like when Brett Favre was traded to the Green Bay Packers, it’s just the right move. Plus, once the day gets going, Cherry 7-Up makes for a perfect mixer. After a full day of family that is filled with eleven children under 10, sometimes you gotta take the edge off.
Not to mention that my dad loves reading Acme Packing Co. So shoutout to Chuck Anderson.
Jon: I can respect the choice, but there are strong “getting over a stomach bug” associations with 7-Up for me.
Paul: Cherry 7-Up is, perhaps, the most underrated soda, and a sneaky good Old Fashioned mixer.
Peter: Fancy Ice Cream
So I’m going to cheat and include custard here because if Kopp’s has a flavor of the day like pralines and cream or caramel cashew, it’s a move with pie for sure. But we also often grab an artisanal ice cream (Wisconsin dairy farms, what’s up?). Maybe a half a scoop in the coffee just for fun? Whip cream is enough for a pumpkin pie or even a pecan, but ice cream makes everything better.
Matub: Define “fancy” for me. There’s a place in Findlay, Ohio that sells scoops of ice cream in a box like they’re donuts. Are THOSE fancy?
Wendi: Matub, it’s ice cream we eat with our pinkies out, duh.
Tex: As a Milwaukee native, you know I love me some Kopp’s. But in this case, find some Jeni’s (preferably their sweet potato and torched marshmallow or cognac with gingerbead if possible) and thank me later.
Peter: Recently discovered Jeni’s and am now angry you didn’t tell me about it sooner.
Alex: Kopp’s over Culver’s custard????? Dude.
Tex: This might be the first time I’ve ever heard a “Culvers > Kopp’s” take. That’s even more dubious than banana cream pie over pumpkin.
Kris: Kopp’s is better than Culver’s but both are very good. As far as the fancy part, is that like Dulce de Leche?
Kris: Butterball Shots
For when those obnoxious in-laws push you just a little too far. It’s not the strongest shot on earth (butterscotch schnapps mixed with Bailey’s) but it’s still alcohol aka a B.S. tolerance-raiser. Even if you do like your in-laws, it’s a great shot to have in social settings that won’t totally mess you up.
Wendi: I have a lot of questions. And thoughts. And questions and thoughts.
Matub: Decent holiday shot when it’s brisk outside. Another great way to drink all day and not over-indulge. I like it.
Paul: Cranberry Baked Brie
You need a cheese. It’s hard to have a Thanksgiving cheese though. Fortunately we have cranberry baked brie, a far superior use of cranberry than that terrible “sauce.”
Crackers and brie are an elite snack, and while you’re waiting for the main course, this is an elite thanksgiving appetizer.
Wendi: Cannot even disabrie with that choice.
Matub: BOO WENDI BOOOOOO
Tex: Glazed Carrots
Let’s put a bow on my heavily orange-colored menu with a vegetable. It’s a bit of a similar flavor profile to my other side (heavy on the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon) but it brings a very different texture, with some snap and crunch from the carrots. It wraps everything up nicely.
Matub: Tex had minimal options here and choosing a side from most Thanksgiving tables with the 2nd to last pick is a true steal.
Wendi: Hot take: cooked carrots covered in sugar and butter are bomb. Yep, I said it.
Alex: I too, invite my pet rabbits to Thanksgiving.
Matub: Alex, you picked “roasted vegetables” earlier. You literally chose a grilled salad.
Kris: Oh man, this is outside the box but oh so delicious. I’m also with Matub. You can’t criticize a vegetable when you yourself picked multiple vegetables for a single dish.
Jordan: Fantasy Factory IIPA
As someone who doesn’t reside in Wisconsin anymore, I love coming back to family gatherings and gaining access to this All-Pro IPA from Karben4. It’s goofy cat-riding-a-unicorn label shouldn’t distract you from the fact that it’s a fantasy in itself with its malty flavor and the slightest hints of citrus, while not being too heavy to prevent you from enjoying your feast. This local brew reminds me of home and that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. And for those of you about to slander an IPA, ditch the light beer at the kids table and grab a 6.3% ABV Fantasy Factory at the adult table.
Matub: Elite label. Poor choice. Going with your heart instead of your head here. This is a hop-forward IPA with an IBU rating of 65. You risk alienating your guests if they aren’t hopheads. This is Tavon Austin in the top 10. Gadget pick.
Tex: I’m kind of surprised that nobody picked any pumpkin beer. I’m admittedly a bit of a pumpkin-head in the fall, but if I’m drinking a beer at Thanksgiving it’s probably going to be something like Southern Tier’s Pumking or Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale. Either makes a great complement to any Thanksgiving meal.
And there you have it. Here’s a summary of everyone’s picks,
APC Thanksgiving Meal Draft
|Writer||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
|Writer||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
|Jordan Smith||Baked mac & cheese||Peach cobbler||Cranberry salsa||Fantasy Factory IPA|
|Tex Western||Pumpkin pie||Sweet potato casserole||Brandy old fashioned sweet||Glazed carrots|
|Paul Noonan||Stuffing||Apple pie a la mode||Hot mulled cider||Baked cranberry & brie|
|Kris Burke||Mashed potatoes||Cheesecake||Pork loin roast||Butterball shots|
|Peter Bukowski||Tiropita||Strawberry Jell-O salad||Spotted Cow||Fancy ice cream/frozen custard|
|Alex Crawford||Green bean casserole||Banana Cream Pie||Roasted vegetables||Cherry 7-Up|
|Matub||Potatoes au gratin||Crescent rolls||Macro-brew beer||Tiramisu|
|Jon Meerdink||Pecan pie||Cranberry sauce (canned)||Roasted bacon brussels sprouts||Milk|
Tell us who you think had the best draft in the poll and the comments below, and use this thread as your Thanksgiving meal discussion thread!
Who had the best Thanksgiving meal draft?
This poll is closed