A Meal of Side Dishes

October 27, 2008

Thanksgiving is coming up in a month, which I’m very much looking forward to. But I was reminded of something last night – I don’t particularly enjoy the turkey. I mean, I don’t not like it – it’s good. It’s just kind of there, but the side dishes are the star of the show. We have really good side dishes with my family.

I was reminded of this last night when my wife and I made dinner. We had some leftover stuffing. She made some potatoes. We had some green beans. What’s this? We don’t have any ‘main dish!’ This can’t be dinner! What did we do? We had a dinner of side dishes. Beautiful. We didn’t have to make another unnecessary dish, just because convention says it’s a ‘main’ dish. And we got to be a little bit lazy, which meant more time for enjoying our side dish dinner.

A couple of food makers have realized that what was their ‘main’ product has actually been outshined by the ‘filling.’ A few years ago, consumers were given the option to skip the Cap’n Crunch altogether, and dive straight into a big box of “Oops! All Crunchberries.” Nice. A couple of weeks ago, Post had the same idea by revamping “Honey Bunches of Oats.” The result: “Just Bunches.” Genius. Because everyone knows, although they won’t say it, that the flakes in that cereal are terrible and soggy.

I’m waiting for Lucky Charms to do the same. Or maybe we could get a ‘to go’ tube of Pop-Tarts filling. For those who are counting carbs. I imagine a special unmarked ‘prize’ can of Spaghetti-Os that says under the lid “Oops! All Sauce!”

I’m really going to start evangelizing for the cause of ‘side dish’ meals.

I’m sure there is some way I can put a Christian ‘preachy’ spin on this, but I don’t have the energy just at the moment to think of it. Perhaps if I sit down with a big plate of cornbread stuffing, the Spirit will move me.