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Cross-Cultural Menu Ideas For A Code Switch Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner. So much room for hope. So much room for disappointment.
Eric Pancer
Flickr Creative Commons
Thanksgiving dinner. So much room for hope. So much room for disappointment.

It's time to stop dancing around the issue. Thanksgiving food is trash. Sitting down to a standard Thanksgiving meal means negotiating between dry and bland or lukewarm and sticky. But it doesn't have to be. If there's one thing we learned the first time around, it's that Thanksgiving is all about "borrowing" from others.

In the spirit of cultural exchange, here are some ideas we took from our followers on Twitter, Thanksgiving classics transformed into vibrant new fusion dishes. Use them as they are, add your own spice and feel free to mix and match. Any way you slice it, that Adobo turkey is going to be dope.

1. Turkey. It's not Thanksgiving without that festive holiday bird. Instead of eating meat that tastes like wet chalk, you could:

2. Mashed potatoes. Ever cold, ever oversalted and underseasoned. Rather than mashed potay-nos, try serving:

3. Stuffing. Sick of filling your turkey with damp croutons? Do this instead:

4. Green bean casserole. For the love of all things holy, put those mushroom soup cans away. Green beans are a sensitive vegetable, and they deserve some finesse:

5. Drinks. There's really only one way to go here:

And if you're squeamish about deviating from tradition, we totally get that. Keep it classic if you must, but for everyone's sake, go ham on those leftovers.

Let us know what concoctions you wind up with, and be sure to send the photos to @NPRCodeSwitch.

P.S. Before the hate mail starts rolling in, let's get something out of the way: We see you, mac and cheese. We see you, pumpkin/sweet potato/pecan pie. Keep on keeping on.

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Leah Donnella is an editor on NPR's Code Switch team, where she helps produce and edit for the Code Switch podcast, blog, and newsletter. She created the "Ask Code Switch" series, where members of the team respond to listener questions about how race, identity, and culture come up in everyday life.