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The Thanksgiving Evolution...1, or 2 Dishes at a Time

The Thanksgiving Evolution...1, or 2 Dishes at a Time

Old 11-26-2019, 10:04 AM
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Default The Thanksgiving Evolution...1, or 2 Dishes at a Time

Thanksgiving is such a traditional holiday. It's really hard to change it up. Not like Christmas, where anything goes, so long as you bake the cookies. I've tried over the years to introduce new things at Thanksgiving and I always get some push-back. "Nooooo....don't take off the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes!" "D's gotta have his green bean casserole!" It was a big deal just to get some people to eat cranberry sauce that didn't come out of a can. Hey guys, it is not 1961 anymore. Can't we please try some new things this year? My cook's brain is drained from making the same things year after year.

While my DH and I could care less about the turkey, I know better than to take that item off the menu. My angle now is to go for the sides....lots of sides...lots of healthy, veggie-based sides made from the beautiful harvest of our gardens. Bountiful dishes of squash, kale, cabbage, tomatoes, berries and other fruits and veggies. To the DH and I, that's what Thanksgiving is all about...being thankful for the wonderful harvest that nature provides for us every fall. I'm not excluding anything from the past, just adding to it. Who knows, maybe they'll like one, or two of the dishes and allow it on the menu next year.

Some of the extra things I'm doing this year are:

Noshes:
Carrot lox, w/almond cream cheese, capers and green onions
Kale Chips
Roasted Garbanzo Beans, spicy
Home-grown almonds, in shell
Fresh fruit bowl
stuffed mushrooms
chutney, all home-grown stuff (pineapple guava, poha berry, tomato, apple,) w/cheese plate
fresh cider (instead of booze...I hope. My family loves to drink. Too much, some might say.)
homemade french bread

Sides:
Fresh Tomato soup
Winter squash salad
Lemon Brussels Sprouts

The regular stuff will still be there:
Dressing
mashed potatoes
sweet potatoes with marshmallows just around the edges
cranberries (!)
Oyster casserole
green bean casserole (dau is doing that)
gravy
rolls
Pumpkin Pie (dau is doing that)
Ice Cream

Oh yeah...the Turkey too. (One family member asked just yesterday if I could do a ham as well, because his mom always did one when he was little. My answer was an emphatic NO!)

There's a ton of food...I know. The whole crew will be here for 5 days and I'm sure that there will be some more stragglers that show up. I'm cooking all of this stuff just once and it's leftovers for everyone the rest of the week.

~ C

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-27-2019 at 12:43 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tropit View Post
Thanksgiving is such a traditional holiday. It's really hard to change it up. Not like Christmas, where anything goes, so long as you bake the cookies. I've tried over the years to introduce new things at Thanksgiving and I always get some push-back. "Nooooo....don't take off the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes!" "D's gotta have his green bean casserole!" It was a big deal just to get some people to eat cranberry sauce that didn't come out of a can. Hey guys, it is not 1961 anymore. Can't we please try some new things this year? My cook's brain is drained from making the same things year after year.

While my DH and I could care less about the turkey, I know better than to take that item off the menu. My angle now is to go for the sides....lots of sides...lots of healthy, veggie-based sides made from the beautiful harvest of our gardens. Bountiful dishes of squash, kale, cabbage, tomatoes, berries and other fruits and veggies. To the DH and I, that's what Thanksgiving is all about...being thankful for the wonderful harvest that nature provides for us every fall. I'm not excluding anything from the past, just adding to it. Who knows, maybe they'll like one, or two of the dishes and allow it on the menu next year.

Some of the extra things I'm doing this year are:

Noshes:
Carrot lox, w/almond cream cheese, capers and green onions
Kale Chips
Roasted Garbanzo Beans, spicy
Home-grown almonds, in shell
Fresh fruit bowl
stuffed mushrooms
chutney, all home-grown stuff (pineapple guava, poha berry, tomato, apple,) w/cheese plate
fresh cider (instead of booze...I hope. My family loves to drink. Too much, some might say.)
homemade french bread

Sides:
Fresh Tomato soup
Winter squash salad
Lemon Brussels Sprouts

The regular stuff will still be there:
Dressing
mashed potatoes
sweet potatoes with marshmallows just around the edges
cranberries (!)
Oyster casserole
green bean casserole (dau is doing that)
gravy
rolls
Pumpkin Pie (dau is doing that)
Ice Cream

Oh yeah...the Turkey too. (One family member asked just yesterday if I could do a ham as well, because his mom always did one when he was little. !)

There's a ton of food...I know. The whole crew will be here for 5 days and I'm sure that there will be some more stragglers that show up. I'm cooking all of this stuff just once and it's leftovers for everyone the rest of the week.

~ C
Uff Da ! How many do you expect ?

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-27-2019 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:51 AM
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12 big & 3 little people coming. 21 pound turkey - 2 GSs like to return next day for leftovers so have to plan for that.

Wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Mom’s Cranberry Salad:

Day ahead:
1 lb whole cranberries (throw sack in freezer - you want frozen)
20 oz can crushed pineapple - drain well - 3-4 hours
2/3 cup white sugar
Use food processor: grind up frozen cranberries 1/2 bag at a time or 1/4 bag at a time if you use blender.
I tried Kitchen Aid mixer grinder attachment but it didn’t work out right.
Put above in large bowl then fold in 8 oz miniature marshmallows (we like 6 oz better)
Cover & refrigerate over night. Next day fold in 8 oz thawed Cool Whip or same amount freshly whipped cream.

Freezes great if you make ahead of time but serve thawed.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:17 PM
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I totally agree with you but it does take time (years) to modified the "expected" meal. Our holiday meals have changed over time. We have increased health awareness, food sensitivities, allergies and vegans/vegetarians to consider. My family knows that the dinner dishes will be my choices, not the meal they remember from their childhood and I don't want to hear any whining. My family occasionally ask, if we could have a particular dish for Thanksgiving, but know that it might or might not be made. I do keep most of the traditional food, but have incorporated different versions and added new foods too. For example, my stuffing is vegan (cooked in the crock pot with vegetable broth), no cream or cheese sauces on side dishes (milk allergy), mashed potatoes (nothing added just potatoes), salads (healthier versions with more vegetables and less dressing), roasted vegetables etc. The food disappears, we are thankful for each other and for all that we have, and enjoy the time together. For the younger ones, my Thanksgiving dinner version will be the one they fondly remember.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tranum View Post
Uff Da ! How many do you expect ?
7-10 people, but they will be here for 5 days. I expect them to dig into the leftovers the days after Turkey day.

~ C
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:43 PM
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I'm not going to the family Thanksgiving event for various reasons. While I'm staying home I will be sending the hubby with a green bean casserole suitable for the vegans in the family. You can get vegan cream of mushroom soup, but I'll be making it with the vegan nutritional yeast/cheese sauce, fresh green beans, and fresh mushrooms. Easy to make but I do suggest smoked paprika helps it quite a bit. Even the Keto hubby can eat it, carbs are low enough.

I really like the fresh cranberry relish made with the old fashioned grinder. You could probably do in a Cuisinart but I just grind a package (or two, they've gotten smaller over the years) of fresh cranberries, an entire orange (seeds removed but skin and all, an apple, and maybe some finely chopped walnuts and/or cranberries. I use quite a bit less sugar than usually recommended, maybe 1-2 cups?. Make the day before and the pectin in the apple and cranberries doesn't make it like the gelled variety, but it does thicken up a bit.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:15 PM
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Wow, you are a trooper, Tropit, for cooking all that variety. I cook also but my numbers have been reduced down to 4. Everyone gets one favorite. So I whittled it down. DH does the turkey, stovetop instead of real southern dressing, spinach casserole or roasted brussel sprouts, rolls, sweet potato casserole and cranberry pie. I happily discovered that no one likes green bean casserole around here.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:57 PM
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I'm actually grateful to miss the 'traditional' dinner with hubby's family this year. Same people make the *same* things...including the dreaded green bean casserole. Even the pies are pre-set/no variation. Sigh. I'm going home to my tiny family gathering w/hubby mom & sis. We're thinking lamb roast, whichever veg is looking good roasted, and a pear/cranberry crumble for dessert. Simple and yum. Your feast sounds delicious!
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:57 PM
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Wow, that’s a lot of choice. I do Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, a side vegetable, salad and a dessert.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:12 PM
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You are a veritable cafe/diner! Not in this house though!! We've discussed it, family wide, and the consensus is, tradition wins. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, both fresh and canned, veggie, jello salad, rolls, and pies for dessert. Christmas is prime rib, New years is lobster and egg rolls, and Easter is ham. At least we don't have to plan menus much!
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