Luckily, my extended family’s gathering is potluck, so I am only responsible for some of the vegetables and the desserts*.
* Pumpkin cheesecake, apple crisp, butterscotch meringue pie, and possibly cherry pie. The first three desserts have stories behind them, which is why they’re on the menu. All of which can be made gluten free** with no change to the flavor.***
** I have an aunt with celiac disease, so we work hard to make sure the feast accommodates her needs.
*** If y’all want recipes, let me know and I’ll do a post.
As I do every year, I think about the traditional meal and what I like about it, as well as what I would change about it if I were cooking for just the four of us. In general, we here in Jenworld don’t care for turkey. I don’t know why, except that it does not taste just like chicken.
I like most of the traditional foods, including mashed potatoes, my sister’s corn soufflé (for which I still need to get the recipe), sweet potatoes, fluffy white rolls with butter. I can take or leave turkey, dressing, and cranberries. And I assiduously avoid green beans every year.
So, if I were cooking a proper Thanksgiving meal for my household only, I think the menu would look something like this:
- roast chicken, not stuffed
- mashed potatoes, made with Yukon gold potatoes that were not peeled before cooking
- roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower, with a little olive oil and salt
- pan-seared Brussels sprouts
- my sister’s corn soufflé, if I ever get around to getting the recipe from her
- possibly also fluffy rolls with butter
For dessert, I’d probably make only two and even that would be excessive. My girls freaking love the butterscotch meringue pie, so that’s a necessity. And then I’d lean toward the pumpkin cheesecake, because it’s traditional for us, but only if I could elicit a promise from Pete to help eat it. (He normally doesn’t eat dessert because it’s just not his thing.) (Weird, I know.) If I couldn’t get a promise of gluttony from him, I’d make an apple crisp.
It’s a lot of food, but Thanksgiving comes only once a year. Even our Christmas dinner doesn’t even come close to this amount of food.
What about y’all? What is traditional at your Thanksgiving dinner? What do you love to eat and what do you happily avoid? And the all important question: Cranberries from a can (and are can-shaped) or fresh and from scratch?