Without Grandma's "Angel Corn," Is It Even Thanksgiving?

Reading the ingredients list of my grandmother’s corn pudding recipe (frozen corn, Ritz crackers, a whole stick of butter, enough cream to drown a cat), you may ask yourself: Is this one of those oldfangled, topped-with-something-boxed, unapologetically rich Thanksgiving dishes? You bet. Would it taste better made with fresh, in-season corn? Probably. Has that stopped me from spooning a heaping portion onto my plate everything fourth Thursday in November for the past 30 years? Nope! And it never will.

“Angel corn” has been a part of my family’s holiday spread as far back as I can remember. Growing up, it was like crack to me, my sister, and my cousins—a magnificent excuse for a vegetable. As far as kid-approved sides go, it was right up there with Grandma’s pineapple-strawberry jello mold, which somehow passed for fruit and was inexplicably laid out alongside the turkey instead of the pumpkin pie.