Call this the appetizer dish.

With three NFL games slated for Thanksgiving Day, I figured I’d give readers a bonus edition this week. It’s my gift to you during this holiday season. 

For me, Thanksgiving is football, food and friends. The Triple F. There is nothing better than dozing off in the recliner during the final game of the day with a full belly and a dog on your lap.  

I’ve never been one for a traditional thanksgiving. My dinner request is always Mexican. And it’s always a let down to see turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing on my plate instead of an enchilada. 

But, if I were cornered in the kitchen and asked to pick my top Thanksgiving dishes, I would say cornbread stuffing, my mom’s sweet potatoes that she coats in frosted flakes, mashed potatoes (without lumps), pumpkin pie and the corn dish Lady Human makes. 

Turkey is not my favorite, and I would much rather have it the next day on a sandwich with pepper jack cheese and mayo.

Grandma Clarkston up in the Mat-Su Valley does Thanksgiving Day right. Since she hosts upwards of 20 people, the menu resembles something you would see at Golden Corral. There are the traditional turkey and fixings, but there is usually a lasagna, a ham and enchiladas. My granny, who turned 93 on Sunday, is a pleaser. Back in the day, she baked enough pies to cover half of the floor in her garage. 

Speaking of pie, I think I will replace pumpkin pie with my grandma’s chocolate pie on my top 5 Thanksgiving Day dishes list. 

Because of the pandemic, this will be the first time my grandma has not hosted a Thanksgiving dinner in decades. Instead, she will most likely spend the day watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Family Feud on the Game Channel.

More than ever, this year is the time to pick up the phone and touch base with your relatives, especially the grandmas in your life. They will appreciate it. 

So before I doze off during that third football game of the day, I will be calling Grandma C not only to see how her day is going but to wish her a belated 93rd birthday — only seven more years before we celebrate her 100th birthday by zip lining. 

Now, for Thursday’s games. 

HOUSTON (3-7) at DETROIT (4-6)

Don’t let Houston’s record fool you — the Texans are a decent team, and quarterback Deshaun Watson is playing well. The Texans had a brutal opening schedule that pretty much eliminated them from the playoffs. Watson and Co. should feast on a Detroit defense near the bottom of the league in yards allowed per game (397.4) ... Texans 32, Lions 21.   

WASHINGTON (3-7) at DALLAS (3-7)

Believe it or not, the winner of this game grabs the lead in the NFC East. Completely crazy. 

Alex Smith is the story here. Last week Smith won his first game since nearly losing his leg a few years ago. If you haven’t seen the ESPN documentary “Project 11,” do so. It is worth viewing. Seeing Smith lead the Football Team to the playoffs would be tremendous ... Football Team 28, Cowboys 24

BALTIMORE (6-4) at PITTSBURGH (10-0)

The tastiest game of the slate is the nightcap between AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh. 

The Steelers held off a late Ravens charge in Week 8 to prevail 28-24.

Two Ravens’ running backs have been ruled out because of COVID-19, which leaves Baltimore thin at that position. Could this be the big Lamar Jackson game we have been waiting for this season? ... Steelers 27, Ravens 24

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