Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Serious Questions

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

It's time to get out the Thanksgiving Binder, a serious compilation of gravy-spattered recipes from my first years hosting Thanksgiving in the parsonage. I make it sound like it was eons ago when this is actually only my 4th time playing Pearl Mesta of the South Shore.

I'm thrilled to know that I'll have a full house of out-of-towners, who can keep each other entertained while I go into that Zen state of massive cooking and baking. And no, I don't need any help in the kitchen, thank you. You can help with the cleaning up, though, with my gratitude.

I do turkey, dressing, a gorgeous cranberry sauce donated by a devoted congregant, Mom's cole slaw, mashed taters, bread and butter, and some vegetable like turnips or brussel sprouts. To be honest, I've not been happy with the veggie dish yet. Any suggestions? Just not the yams with marshmallows thing. Maybe just a simple roasted root vegetables dish?

Also, what do you do when you have a few more people than can fit around your dining room table? Do you do a "baby table" and just let the chips fall where they may as far as who winds up at it? Do you put out name cards at place settings? Set up an extra table in the parlor and eat buffet style?

You all were such deep, real help with the sermon I thought you'd like to tackle the Thanksgiving situation.



Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

For veggies, I say you can't go wrong with glazed carrots.

Blogger Chalicechick said...

The ChaliceDad always made creamed spinach and the ChaliceRelative brings a really good ambroisa.

Thie year, we are having some vegan friends, so I'm sure we will have tons of good veggie dishes.

Blogger Matthew said...

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Blogger Matthew said...

May I put in a word for two neglected vegetables?

Parsnips, with the slight spiciness, are a Thanksgiving staple for me. They are wonderful in a maple glaze and add interest when mixed with carrots. Puree them, and you have an exotic dish people over which people are bound to exclaim.

Brussels sprouts are a controversial vegetable, but I think that is because they are usually overcooked. I don't like them either when they are boiled gray. Roasted, however, and topped with a mustard cream sauce, they are very elegant.

Blogger Anna said...

Squash casserole, Green bean casserole, etc. Pretty much grab some veggie, squash is kind of fall-y, and cook it up with some cream of mushroom soup or a nice rich white sauce and top it with bread crumbs and cheese if so inclined. You can go gourmet with this stuff with homemade white sauce, interesting cheeses, bread, and seasonings, or just the straightforward southern style. No matter what, I can never get enough of a good casserole during the chilly time of year, and there are never leftovers of these at our Thanksgiving family get-togethers.

Blogger fausto said...

I second lareina's glazed carrots. Or you could serve them in a cream sauce with chopped mint. Or bake them in a cheese casserole like macaroni and cheese, but with carrots instead of mac.

Or do like my mom does and mash carrots up in a casserole with sweet potatoes (or acorn squash, if you're yam-averse) and plenty of butter, garlic, and brown sugar or maple syrup.

Or bake acorn squash halves with butter, garlic, and brown sugar or maple syrup.

Or serve baby peas with pearl onions.

Or serve green beans with sauteed slivered almonds.

Or, if you want to be especially adventurous and kitsch, make one of those molded salads with lime jello, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, pineapple and apple chunks, chopped walnuts, and (drum roll, please) mini-marshmallows. I don't know why, but both my grandmother and my mother-in-law always served the same recipe. They both must have read it in some homemaker's magazine in the 1940's.

If you do that, though, it's most effective if you also hang this on the wall over the sideboard.

Or if you want to be adventurous and insufferably esoteric, rather than adventurous and kitsch, try a Middle English vegetable or fruit recipe. One of these, perhaps:

Caboges.--Take fayre caboges, an cutte hem, an pike hem clene and clene washe hem, an parboyle hem in fayre water, an þanne presse hem on a fayre bord; an þan choppe hem, and caste hem in a faire pot with goode freysshe broth, an wyth mery-bonys, and let it boyle: þanne grate fayre brede and caste þer-to, an caste þer-to Safron an salt; or ellys take gode grwel y-mad of freys flesshe, y-draw þorw a straynour, and caste þer-to. An whan þou seruyst yt inne, knocke owt þe marw of þe bonys, an ley þe marwe gobettys or in a dysshe, as þe semyth best, & serue forth.

Rapeye.--Take half Fygys & halfe Roysonys, and boyle hem in Wyne; þan bray hem in a morter, an draw wyth the same lycoure þorw a straynoure so þikke þat it be stondynge; þanne take Roysons of Corauns, Pynys, Clowys, Maces, Sugre of Siprys, an caste þer-to: þan putte it on a potte; þan take Saunderys a fewe, Pepir, Canel, an a litel Safroun; an yif it be noght stondyng, take a lytil flowre of Amidons, an draw it þorw a straynwoure, an caste þer-to Salt, & serue forth stondyng.

Applade Ryalle.--Take Applys, & seþe hem tylle þey ben tendyr, & þan lat hem kele; þen draw hem þorw a straynour; & on flesshe day caste þer-to gode fatte broþe of freysshe beef, an whyte grece, & Sugre, & Safroun, & gode pouder; & in a Fysshe day, take Almaunde mylke, & oyle of Olyff, & draw þer-vppe with-al a gode pouder, & serue forth. An for nede, draw it vppe with Wyne, & a lytil hony put þer-to for to make it þan dowcet; & serue it forth.

[Note: Middle English "þ" is the same as early Modern English "y" is the same as Modern English "th".]

Blogger fausto said...

The most pressing question, though, is this: did you order the Turducken?

Blogger Obijuan said...

Growing up, I loooooved Holland style pearl onions and cream sauce. No one else in my house'll eat 'em now.

Blogger Kim said...

What we ended up doing when the Thanksgiving group got too big, is to hold the dinner in the church social hall, and invite everyone.
I order and cook the (free-range) turkey, my spouse does the stuffing and gravy, and everyone brings a dish, and contributes to the cost of the turkey.


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