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Thanksgiving side dish cheat sheet

It’s okay that your kitchen counter isn’t adorned with a sticky copy of The Joy of Cooking, a multi-function food processor and a sharpened set of the best Shun knives.

Instead of being “that” person, who at each Thanksgiving reminds family and friends that they’ve as much culinary imagination as a veteran school lunch lady, muster up the will to … cheat.

Websites like “foodgawker” offer organizable flash card visuals of successful dishes that require little more than a quick trip to the market. Decide on a main ingredient and let the computer mouse nibble around a bit.

Who would have thunk the sack of potatoes sitting in the pantry were so versatile? And mushrooms — so many applications, so little time! Chicken? Cluck, yeah! Pumpkin? Mm-hmm. And bacon? Sinful, but why not?

The best part is that most of the ideas and recipes are civilian, not cooked up by some James Beard Award winner in an industrial-sized test kitchen. And even better, no one at dinner assumes Outback Steakhouse is your idea of fine dining.

For those out there with a more refined palate, care to share your recommendation in our comment section?

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