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Let’s cut to the chase. Thanksgiving is primarily about the amazing food we intake and the love that flows out of the kitchen and on to our tables. It is not, we repeat NOT the time for amateurs to be anywhere near the kitchen. Especially when it comes to these five staple dishes!

Mac and Cheese

Although mac and cheese has become a staple in American food culture, and various renditions of the dish have surfaced over the years, that still doesn’t take away from the fact that it, in its original form, must be prepared right during Thanksgiving. You can definitely prepare its cousins: lobster Mac and cheese, bacon mac and cheese or my favorite, truffle mac and cheese. But they MUST accompany the original, and the original must be prepared by expert hands. Baked to perfection, crispy on the top and cheesy in the middle.

Any objections?

P.S.: Anyone attempting to make mac and cheese from the box will be removed from Thanksgiving permanently.

Candied Yams

If you don’t know the difference between sweet potatoes and candied yams, then that’s the first indication that this dish doesn’t belong to you. Candied yams is actually a dish that includes sweet potatoes, but the other sweeter additions are what make it POP! This dish can only be executed by a top family chef who has experience with the perfect amount of sugar, syrup and marshmallows (optional) to make your insides two-step while your head spins to Frankie Beverly and Maze.

“You make me happyyyy….”

The end result should make you want to slap the maker. Twice. And if you don’t feel that way? The creator, has failed.

Collard Greens

Sylvia’s Of Harlem threw a nasty monkey wrench in the game when she decided to produce her amazing collard greens in a can. She had folks all over the world cheating with her 10-minute greens. But in my house, the fastest way to go to jail would be to walk in with collard greens in a can.

Don’t get cut.

Collard greens are a gift from the heavens and a true god or goddess of the kitchen KNOWS you have to put in WORK with them! You have to sit there and clean them, cut them, soak them, pre boil, boil, add pork or turkey ( YES, PICK ONE! VEGANS MIND YA BUSINESS!), and let them simmer for HOURS to perfection. There is no other way!

Potato Salad

Potato salad can only go two ways— really right or really wrong. There is no in-between. There are so many ways to make it, yet there are more ways to F-it up! If you do not have experience in the form of real confessional petitions, from real people, with over two dozen signatures, please step away from the potato salad! We don’t want to waste counter space, by having your uneaten dish staring at us all night. Because we will pull the aluminum foil back over it and keep it moving.

The Turkey

By far the most important part of the dinner, the turkey, must be prepared by a top family chef. Let’s face it, it’s already a dry situation that needs to be eaten quickly to savor any juices that this big bird has to offer. The last thing we need is an amateur to dry it out, overcook it— or the fastest death, an undercooked Turkey.

Nobody wants that. Ever.