First Pitch: Grading the Thanksgiving Meal on a 20-80 Scale

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving today! We had several articles up on the site yesterday for you to catch up on. Tomorrow we’ll be continuing the Pirates recap series, looking at the bench and the depth of this team.

We’ll also have a Black Friday sale tomorrow, featuring baseball card packs and other sales on the site.

Today we’ll have some fun, with 20-80 scale grades on all of the components to the Thanksgiving meal. Add your grades in the comments below.

80 Grade

Pie – Let’s be honest: The best thing about Thanksgiving is the pie. In a world where every other holiday is dominated by cake, Thanksgiving gives an opportunity for pie to shine as the clear MVP of the dessert world. We should have pie for every holiday, and for birthdays.

70 Grade

Sweet Potatoes – You can go up or down in value here, depending on how you cook them, but any side with sweet potatoes is going to be at least above-average, and likely plus grades overall.

Corn – Same concept. You can cook it any way, and my favorite for today is this recipe. This is a side that you can have throughout the year, and it always turns out starter quality or better.

60 Grade

Green Bean Casserole – It’s just green beans, crispy onions, cream of mushroom soup, and a few other ingredients, but this gets the plus grade as it’s a side I’ll have the most often throughout the year.

Vegetables – Whether it’s carrots, spinach, brussels sprouts, or other random vegetables, all of these play up during Thanksgiving. Typically I’d go a 50 grade here, but most of the team being composed of bread, dry meat, and pie allows the vegetables to play up.

50 Grade

Turkey – I’d give this a 45 grade, as it’s the main course and clearly can start. Turkey is a highly replacement level meat. It takes forever to develop, it’s never as good as you thought it would be, and you’re always left thinking it could be more. Every bite leaves you thinking “This is good, but I could have just picked up chicken for a much better result. I should have done ribs today.”

Stuffing – I love stuffing, but you only really have it on Thanksgiving. Perhaps during a few other nights of the year as a side. It’s an average starter. You want it on the table at Thanksgiving, but you can also upgrade over it anytime the rest of the year. Add some apples and onions, or cranberry and pecans, to elevate to 55-60 grade.

Cornbread – You could also go cornbread stuffing, which would also lead to a 55-grade. Or just plain cornbread. Honestly, cornbread should just be a bench option in a meal where one of the core sides is literally a bread casserole. You don’t need additional bread in the scenario. But then again, cornbread is amazing, and depth is important.

40 Grade

Gravy – You know those positions on a baseball field where you’ve got two guys who aren’t starters, but if you somehow combined their production, you’d get an average starter? Turkey and Gravy together would be a nice platoon with above-average production. Individually, neither can start. Gravy can also platoon with stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Cranberry Sauce – Very similar to gravy in that this accentuates other players, but doesn’t stand out on its own. If you had to pick platoon pairs, I’d put gravy with stuffing and cranberry sauce on turkey.

30 and Below

Mashed Potatoes – You’d need the gravy to elevate this to at least being a bench option.

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