I've always liked the idea of Thanksgiving. A midweek public holiday dedicated to eating food with family, and being thankful for what the past year has brought you.
What's not to like? We could all use a little more gratitude in our lives.
But, every year, without a doubt, the food that is served up stops me in my tracks. Or I should say, stops me in my Instagram scroll.
Not because I particularly love turkey, but because there is one very common side dish that I can't get my head around. And that's the sweet potato casserole - aka the savoury dish that is topped with marshmallows.
I just don't understand why. Sweet potatoes are delicious. Marshmallows are delicious. But at what point did someone look at those two things and go, "Yes. That is a match made in heaven." But surely it has to be good? I mean even Nigella Lawson has gotten behind it.
Of course, this is not the only Thanksgiving dish that raises eyebrows.
There's ambrosia salad - which personally, I think sounds worse than the sweet potato casserole.
It's a mid-western "delicacy" that is a combination of marshmallows, canned fruit and - wait for it - either sour cream or mayonnaise.
It's the type of dish that you're almost certain that it started as a mishap in the kitchen. Surely they meant to put sweet cream but picked up the wrong container. But the question remains, why do people keep eating it?
And the same can be said of frog eye salad - a mix of canned pineapple and mandarins, pasta, coconut and whipped cream. And looking at some of the recipes you can also chuck in - you guessed it - some mini marshmallows.
This is just the tip of the (marshmallow-covered) iceberg. Looking through the history (cook) books and the weird foods continue.
Things like ham and banana casserole - whole, peeled bananas wrapped in ham, covered in cheese and cream. Trust me, it doesn't even look like it has potential to be delicious.
And then there's the jell-o salad which is a combination of some sort of fruit - pineapple, apple, kiwi fruit, whatever you like - mixed with cottage cheese, cool whip, and jelly.
I just look at these recipes and I wonder why it is that Americans - according to the internet, at least - can't get their head around fairy bread. Or that we have plain pieces of bread, rather than bread rolls, to house our sausage sizzles in.
I do wonder, however, if these dishes will ever make their way down under. Will we get on the savoury-marshmallow bandwagon? We've already embraced Halloween, is Thanksgiving next?
It's not unheard of to see pumpkin pie in Australia. Full confession, I have tried it, and it is delicious, and definitely worth a try. But would I do the same for ambrosia salad? Probably not.
But if someone out there is willing to come to its defence and prove me wrong, I am here for it. I'm not saying I will ever understand the recipes, but I'll give them a go. You only live once, right?
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