So what’s on YOUR Thanksgiving menu?

I’m just curious…Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where, for many of us, Family Tradition Reigns.  Remember the Friends episode when Monica had to make 4 different kinds of potatoes because each Friend had a different idea of what were the “right” potatoes, without which “It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving”?

So I’m curious, and I hope folks can take a few minutes in the comments to share–what will you eat on Thursday?

Here’s our Thanksgiving menu:

  • Turkey (free range), about 14 lbs for 5 or so people because we love leftovers and turkey stock, roasted according to The New Basics cookbook–cooked on a bed of veggies and basted liberally with tawny port wine. (One year I used ruby port–the turkey was an improbable but gorgeous bright red-gold color when it was done)
  • Stuffing, in the bird, and yes I know how much fat it gets in it, also from The New Basics: the recipe calls for dried cherries and toasted hazelnuts and sausage; I’ve instead used raisins, pecans, and extra apples, and omitted the sausage.  Lots of sage and thyme, hopefully from the herb garden, which hasn’t frozen yet.  Like the turkey, this has lots of port wine in it, and no added butter.
  • Garlic smashed potatoes. I am too lazy to peel and whip them. No deep reasoning here.
  • Cranberry-orange relish, my mom’s recipe: this is where you basically hack up an (organic) orange into inch-or-so chunks, remove whatever seeds you can easily remove, chop it in the food processor, and then toss in a bag of (organic) cranberries and some (maybe a cup?) sugar, and pulse till it’s a consistency you like. Incredibly easy but fabulous. (Mom, if you read this, please feel free to comment or correct!) I swear the first time I actually saw the canned stuff served at a Thanksgiving table on a plate, complete with the ridges from the can, I had no clue what it was. Or why anyone would want to eat it.
  • Sweet Potatoes, form of cooking and serving as yet undecided.  Before children I did a thing with bourbon and pecans and brown sugar that was wonderful (sweet potatoes with bourbon get an awesome flavor), but the kids probably wouldn’t go for that, so most likely I’ll just steam them and then bake them with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whatever.
  • Rolls or bread. Full disclosure: this is by my husband’s request, and I was like, “we need bread on top of  all this?” However, I do have a thing of ready-to-bake dough from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes book, sitting in the fridge,  and it’ll be fairly easy to pop the turkey out of the oven and rolls in, and they can bake while the bird is resting.
  • Pie: My own preference is the Pecan Pumpkin pie from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts–covers two classics in one pie, and is much better than any other pecan-pumpkin pie I’ve made from any other recipe.  However, since I’ll have my hands full in the next few days anyway, and since my son is begging for apple, I’ll make one apple pie and one pumpkin pie.  Pecan maybe I’ll do at Christmastime or something. (Did you know you can double the amount of pecans and substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup in Your Basic Pecan Pie Recipe–you know, the one on the Karo bottle that you thought was a treasured old family recipe–and it’s ten times better and doesn’t support the corn industry?)

So that’s our feast.  And yes, I do realize that, despite the name of this blog, there is not a single literally “green” food on the menu.  It would just be overkill, since we’ll only be able to even dent the above, and for me it really is the above foods that comprise a “real” Thanksgiving. 

So, how about you? What do you eat on the Big Feast Day? I’d especially love to hear from Turkey-Free Veggiefolk…if it were me and I were doing a bird-free Thanksgiving I’d probably do most or all of the above, minus the turkey and probably the sweet potatoes, cook the stuffing out of the bird (of course), and have as a “main” (i.e. pretty and impressive) dish a big Baked Stuffed Pumpkin with Apples (the recipe works in crockpot or oven!).  And in that case, I wouldn’t balk at fresh-baked rolls and would probably add a few Green Things…But EVERYONE, whether you are To Bird or Not To Bird, I love to hear what you’ll eat!


Posted on November 24, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hehehe–Thanksgiving is a totally carbo kind of feast. I’m so impressed by how healthy you are. Even the potatoes…unpeeled is better, but I just love the creaminess of the mashed variety.

    We are a very traditional family. My mom makes an herb stuffing…I love the purity of the bread and the giblets and onion/celery.

    Other than that, we’re having the usual. Sorry to be boring. 😉

    • greenmomintheburbs

      At Thanksgiving, there’s nothing boring about the usual!

      (And I just realized the OP didn’t mention that there is bread in with the apples and raisins and stufffor the stuffing…I save heels of bread all year, cut them into cubes if I catch them between stale and moldy, and toss them into a giant ziploc in the freezer. I use them for bread pudding and turkey stuffing all winter.)

  2. I like turkey as much as anyone else, but for this feast, I’m all about the side dishes. In a big family, you get a lot of variety.

    I’m always interested to see several dishes of mashed potatoes, and I used to sample them all, but now I have food allergies (ah, the aging human body …), so I refrain.

    For my part, I enjoy cranberry relish in all its forms. My sister-in-law’s friend always sends her cranberry relish that sounds much like your mom’s recipe. “Sends”? Right. One year she and her family joined us, and she brought it, and now she is required to send it every year whether she joins us or not. I like both the canned forms (with ridges and with whole berries). And I like whatever anyone else comes up with any given year.

    When I lived in Texas, I was introduced to cornbread stuffing. I recommend it. My boss, who was originally from Chicago, said he never quite got over his longing for bread stuffing; since he’d married his Southerner wife, cornbread was all he ever got and it just wasn’t the same. But I have to say, I like it.

    I’ll bring a green salad that includes a few fruits (probably orange or grapefruit as well as pear), dried cranberries, and whatever nuts I have in the pantry (in a big family, you also get a lot of nuts, but that’s a whole different thing).

    I’ll also be bringing my guitar.

  3. I’m from Texas and it definitely wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the cornbread stuffing!

    We are also having a turkey (locally pastured), mashed potatoes like my MILs(full of creamy-ness and cheese), pan seared broccoli – a first for us, mac n’cheese, green bean casserole, a couple of kinds of bread, and pumpkin pie and a couple of other desserts

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