By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
BECK: What makes the perfect Thanksgiving dinner?
Taylor Beck
Taylor Beck
What makes the perfect Thanksgiving dinner? Apparently, for Georgians, all it takes is turkey and a side of mac and cheese.
For the last couple of years, a “career site” called Zippia has published a map of peoples’ favorite Thanksgiving sides by state. The site uses Google trends to uncover the favorite of more than 20 traditional side dishes to see which ones wins out.
In Georgia, mac and cheese reigns supreme, but the most popular answer across the U.S. was mashed potatoes — a total of 10 states said mashed potatoes were a must on Turkey Day. Following closely behind were rolls, green bean casserole and mac and cheese.
As I write this column in time to meet our early deadline, I can’t help but daydream about the feast I’ll likely be having on Thursday. But as you’re reading this, well, I’ll likely be in a food coma that’s some kind of fierce.
I’ll pass on the green bean casserole, but I have to agree with my fellow Georgians and say that mac and cheese has to be on my plate. I also enjoy dressing (or stuffing to some) and sweet potato casserole.
But, over the last several years, I’ve discovered the key to a perfect Thanksgiving dinner isn’t about what’s on your plate come supper time. Rather, it’s all about who you get to share that special meal with.
This year the Beck crew will travel to Alabama. We’re excited to visit with our family members, most of whom we only get to visit about once a month, at best.
Before moving to Covington, my wife and I lived in Alabama, just a stone’s throw from our families, but now we’re hundreds of miles away, which made for quite the change, as one might imagine.
A change I still haven’t come to grips with is Thanksgiving without my Mawmaw Beck. She passed away in the spring of 2020, and every holiday and momentous occasion has felt odd since.
But, for me, Thanksgiving hits differently.
Since I could remember, my family would gather at her house to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other major holidays with a big meal and “get-together.” Mawmaw would spend days ahead of time preparing and cooking up some mean dishes of turkey and dressing along with several other food items. And she had to do that, because when you have six children, more than a dozen grandchildren and even more great-grandchildren, well, they all need something to eat, right?
Mawmaw Beck was always the sweetest host. She always made sure everyone had plenty to eat and a comfortable place to crash after the feast was finished. And, now that I really think about it, I don’t remember ever seeing her actually eat. She always insisted to wait to fix her plate last, but then she would go around and check to make sure everyone had what they needed before worrying about herself.
But that’s who she was — selfless.
Though I painfully miss her every day, I’m so thankful for the life my precious Mawmaw Beck lived. She was a God-fearing, kindhearted person —the kind of person I strive to be today, yet find a way to fail.
Boy, if only I could share one more Thanksgiving dinner with her. Now that would be perfect.
Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The News. Reach him at