Chris Rhoades and Daniel Buhrman

For many, Thanksgiving is a holiday known for food. When someone says Thanksgiving, we often immediately think of the big feast. However, when it comes to eating on a holiday, is Thanksgiving really the best of the best? Or are other holidays at the top when it comes to celebrating with food?

Rhoades: Fourth of July takes the cake (or chips)

My pick for favorite holiday food is a bit of dark horse, often forgotten about when we discuss celebratory eating. While I love Thanksgiving, and, Christmas is one of my favorites too, I think the top of my list would actually be the Fourth of July.

To me, you can’t top cooking outside in the middle of summer. And, for our family, Fourth of July has long been synonymous with hand-cut filet steaks grilled by Dad, and eaten on the deck at the lake. Side dishes usually include a potato of some kind, green beans, salad, and my personal favorite, my mom's leftover spaghetti. It’s pretty tough to find a better combination than a hand-cut, grilled filet and Mom’s spaghetti.

While the main meal for my family is a tradition unlike any other, the entire day of eating for the Fourth of July brings me a tremendous amount of joy. Like other holidays, drinks factor in to the equation as well. Until the big event at night, the Fourth of July typically includes your favorite ice cold beverages — alcoholic or otherwise. Stick with your favorite or enjoy a sampling. Either way, you’re having a great day.

On the food side, I love chips. One of my guilty pleasures that I really do try to limit myself on during a normal week. But, for the Fourth of July, I act like the world is going to run out of chips on July 5. Doritos, cheese balls, Cheetos, kettle chips, Lays, Pringles. It literally doesn’t matter. They’re all delicious and a perfect way to celebrate our freedom! My shopping cart before a Fourth of July trip looks like I’m feeding a family of 27, and the only thing those family members eat is chips.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, and am excited for Christmas, but, pass me that filet and Mama’s spaghetti.

Buhrman: It’s a Christmas mystery

The easy choice is Thanksgiving. The fun choice is the Fourth of July. The wrong choice is Valentine’s Day because candy corn bests bitter chocolate. But my choice for most exciting holiday food is Christmas.

Christmas is basically Thanksgiving with murder mystery intrigue. I know it was grandma in the kitchen with the carving knife, but did she get the ham, chicken or turkey?

I think I’ve had a different main course almost every year. Or maybe I’ve had all three depending on how many Christmases (Christmasi?) I went to in any given year. The fact that I can’t remember how many Christmas dinners I have or have had each year also adds some excitement. How can you know which meat you’re going to get if you don’t even know whose house you’re going to next?

I can remember exactly what I’ve had for Thanksgiving every year. Yep, turkey. Maybe that’s my entire extended family being boring on this particular holiday, and maybe other people spice up ham sometimes. But having the same meal, even one only truly cooked to perfection once a year, is boring.

You know why people say even bad pizza is good pizza? I think it’s because we eat so much of it that it all starts to taste the same. Put different toppings on the pizza, or baste the turkey different, and it’s still, at its core, bread covered in cheese and sauce. Still very good, but sometimes change is needed to create a little fun.

The “always the same food” monotony goes for many other holidays, too, what with the aforementioned candy corn, bitter chocolate and the ever-popular Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

And while I think the murder mystery meat is, on its own, exciting, Christmas also comes with my late great-grandma Miller’s crazy cake, that crumbly yet moist, sweet chocolate cake coated coated with one inch of whipped cream and cut into perfect squares. Yum.

I don’t think I have more to say because grandma just went up for a slam dunk on that one. What’s more exciting than that?

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