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Kolby KickingWoman 
Indian Country Today

The holiday season is officially upon us.

That is, unless you are cut from the same cloth as my partner, who put up the Christmas tree the first week of November.

A little early for me but I’m not Ebenezer Scrooge, so up the tree has stayed.

There is so much to be thankful for — family, friends, great colleagues and place of work — I could go on and on.

I’m going to take a different approach to this Thanksgiving #KickinWithKolby.

Here are my “starting five” Thanksgiving food staples. I know each family has their own little spin but I’m going to stick with the classics, starting with the dish that carries ‘em all.

1) MASHED POTATOES

Whether you serve them creamy and smooth or a little chunky, mashed potatoes have long been the G.O.A.T of the Thanksgiving dinner.

Some foods get swapped out to make room for a new dish or new recipe but the mashed potatoes always stay. When was the last time you had Thanksgiving without them?

Also, the secret to a pro plate at Thanksgiving is the setup. Make sure you put the mashed potatoes next to no. 2 on this list so any excess gravy can be scooped up.

2) TURKEY

I mean, another name for Thanksgiving is “Turkey Day” so having it come in any lower than the second position would be unacceptable.

As I said, you have to put the turkey next to the mashed potatoes so you can make a little Thanksgiving cone of goodness; with the potatoes and gravy acting as the ice cream and the turkey the cone. Don’t knock it till you try it. 

3) Mac’ and Cheese

I should have prefaced this list with the fact that I am not a great cook by any means. I have been blessed to be surrounded by people who can, though. Also, to be fair, mac’ and cheese is one of my favorite foods year-round.

The secret to a good mac’ and cheese is the crispy top layer, it makes a world of difference.

As you make your way over the hill toward the food coma, this dish will definitely push you along just a little bit closer.

4) Cranberry

My favorite part about cranberry sauce is that it is one of those dishes that isn’t uniformly enjoyed by everyone the same. You know what that means? More for me!

5) Stuffing

Over the years, stuffing and I have had an on and again, off again relationship. There were a number of Thanksgivings in my teens where I don’t believe it even made my plate.

But we’re back on and I look back on myself and just shake my head.

While stuffing from a box will get the job done if you are in a pinch, having it homemade is mmm, mmm, mmm delicious. 

6) Bonus: Leftovers

I went back and forth whether or not to make this selection a compilation of Thanksgiving desserts. However, I would argue the leftovers that sustain oneself over Thanksgiving weekend are not too far behind the meal itself.

My favorite thing to do with the leftovers is to take a King’s Hawaiian sweet roll and make a big ol’ hodge podge leftover sandwich. There’s no limit to the combinations you can make.

So there’s my “starting five” and “sixth man” of Thanksgiving.

I wish all of our readers a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Good luck in all of your Turkey Trots, Turkey Bowls and any other traditions you may have.

If you’re watching the games, I’m taking the Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills.

And while we're talking about traditions, don’t sleep on the dog show! My favorite winner of the past couple years has to be Thor the Bulldog.

I mean look at him.

Until next time. 

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