Thanksgiving Menu 2016

So what is everydoper planning for Thanksgiving?
What do you have to have? What are you planning to make new & different?

Dish Dish Dish (Pardon the Pun(s)

(Apparently we are going out of town… we’re staying with the 'rents in a condo & will be doing cooking there… sounds pretty good to me! We’re pretty traditional… Turkey, mashed and gravy, Stove top, etc. I think we’re having 2 kinds of green beans & broccoli casserole, plus Mom’s pecan pie, cranberry relish a’la Grandma & Deviled eggs. It’s not proper Thanksgiving without these… and cranberry limeade punch!)

Nothing special. There will be 5 of us, as usual, and this year I have vowed not to make so much food. I’m making a ham, sweet potatoes (no mashed) and stuffing (only one kind! And no desserts for me), my son is making a turkey breast (not a whole turkey and no homemade cranberry sauce) and some egg nog, my husband is making greens and mac’ n cheese (no lemon meringue pie) and my son’s girlfriend is making apple pie and pumpkin rolls (leave the cookies for Christmas).

That looks like a lot but, believe me, we’ve cut way down on the dishes being made. Also plan to cook everything in smaller aluminum pans.

Hey, that sounds good. We never have enough deviled eggs. Many times, we’ll encounter an unauthorized relative in the kitchen before dinner is officially served, ask them what they’ve got in their mouths, they say “Nuffin”, but the egg platter is down by one. While you chase that relative out, another shows up…

I wil be making lasagna, of course (it’s my own personal traditional holiday food), but this year I am also adding some snacks to my repertoire: cinnamon pecans and almonds.

Looks like just me and my mother this year - I’m planning on turkey breast, instant mashed potatoes (with Applewood smoked bacon), and roasted green beans, washed down with some Martinelli’s cider (probably apple-pomegranate); probably throw in some pumpkin pie for dessert.

Turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potatos, and biscuits.

I have 20 coming to the house.
My stuff:
Turkey, with a sausage fennel stuffing
Gravy made from drippings and homemade stock
Riced potatoes (possibly mashed - with gruyere cheese and buttermilk)
Dressing (that which would not fit into the bird)
Sweet potato au gratin
Bisquik drop biscuits
Some sort of green bean casserole (maybe the alton brown fancy one)
Cranberry/pineapple relish

Possible adds:
Butternut squash and sage lasagna for my new vegetarian niece.
Vegetarian dressing of some sort
Vegetarian gravy (small bowl). Veggie stock and butter I guess.

Another something in the smoker. The main bird has to be roasted in the oven, but I might do another something in the smoker for fun.

I’ll be spending the holiday alone since my husband has gone to help his parents with some legal issues and he won’t be home till after T-day. I don’t want to drive to my mom’s, so I’ll hang at home with my critters. And I won’t be cooking anything special.

And, honestly, I really don’t care.

Deviled eggs
Roast whole turkey, stuffed, extra (sausage) dressing on the side.
Mashed taters, not whipped
Giblet gravy, made from scratch with stock (also made from scratch)
Cranberry relish, with fresh local cranberries, sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, Grand Marnier, orange zest
Some sort of vegetable, probably yam. I leave that stuff to the wife.
Dessert brought by a friend of ours.
Wine and perhaps some port

Each year we go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. They have a small house with lots of people invited, so we tend to cook what we bring at our place and then drive it over. Their kitchen is always crowded and too small to work well in it.

This year, as usual, we’ll be cooking the turkey. I’ll brine it for day or so beforehand [that reminds me… I need to buy a new brining bucket] and then oven-roast it I’ll likely stuff it with apples, cranberries, and half an onion or so. I’ll rub the skin with butter and sage before putting it in the oven. I’ll probably carve it at home and put the meat in a crock pot with a locking lid for transport. I’ll make up some giblet gravy at the in-laws after we arrive. I don’t have any homemade stock so I’ll likely simmer the gibs in canned stock or, if I can’t find it (we live in a small town without a large grocery store) chicken broth.

I hate to admit it but we’ll likely do just regular boring Stove Top stuffing. I’ve never made homemade (but would love to try it if someone has a good recipe) and would have to make it at home and transport it across town, where it would sit for an hour before actual dinner. By then it would be cold. So doing up a few boxes of Stove Top gives my in-laws some semblance of stuffing for their table.

I’ll also make up some cranberry sauce / relish, and the Grand Mariner recipe Chefguy mentions sounds yummy… I’ll have to experiment with that.

My wife will be making a few apple pies to bring as well. She has a Betty Crocker recipe she uses each year that’s about as boring as you can get… each year she tries different apples in an attempt to find the right ones. I think a sweet crisp apple and tart mix sounds good this year; I’ll see if I can’t talk her into doing that.

My in-laws will be boiling a ham, and someone will be bringing rolls—likely pre-packed, pre-cooked rolls similar to King’s Hawaiian. There will be deviled eggs, sweet potatoes with caramelized marshmallow goo on the top, the standard green bean casserole made with Lutheran glue, mashed potatoes, potato salad, a green salad of some sort, and this vomit-like, putrid crap that my MIL makes by dumping a bag of uncooked egg noodles in a crock pot, adding enough ham cooking juice to get them damp, then cooking them for about 4 hours. Revolting. There will also be a huge tray of Super Bowl Party-style snacks: Veggies and dips, crackers and various chips, meats and cheeses with spreads. Maybe some summer sausage or venison jerky.

My SIL will make a couple of banana crème pies, a couple of chocolate crème pies (Jell-O pudding in Oreo crusts… not haute cuisine but yummy enough). She might make a couple of pumpkin pies as well.

If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll make up some spiced cider. Nobody in the house drinks, so it’ll be coffee, sodas, and my cider.

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is where I’m a Viking

As I mentioned in another thread, I’m deep frying a half of a turkey breast this year. It will be stuffed with a simple cornbread and dried cranberry dressing. I hope to have sweet potato fries around it (really yams, but I’m not a purist.) And maybe fried bread.

I will grill the other half of the breast, my traditional stuffing is chestnuts simmered with bay leaves, and the turkey liver, lightly fried in bay leaves. If there’s time, I may put a mushroom polenta under the skin. Oh, the stuffing in each case goes into a pocket I cut in the breasts. (Thank you chef Robert Irvine for the tip.) I will probably grill over brown and wild rice to catch drippings. That will be the startch this year, I have no time for mashed potatoes.

A leg and a thigh will be done coq au vin. Another leg and thigh will be cacciatore. These are always crowd pleasers. And easier to eat for people not looking for something chewy. You know who you are. Cacciatore always makes mom’s house smell like an Italian restaurant.

I will make a green bean casserole from scratch for the first time ever. Paula Deen’s method seems simple enough. Maybe I’ll use a bit less butter.

Typical giblet gravy is all the more important, I have no drippings to make gravy with. Roasted neck, heart, gizzard and wing tips, roasted veg, simmered, minced and thickened with cornstarch. Touch of Marsala.

Back and wings go into soup. Escarole will be added to the soup at the last minute. Try it, if you absolutely hate escarole, and see how good it is.

Cranberry sauce from scratch. Minced rosemary, half the sugar, and sweet marsala. Nothing else. Accept no substitutions. Really, I found this recipe and the flavors just work perfectly.

Individual pears in puff pastry, Gordon Ramsey’s recipe. One slice of pecorino Romano on top. Hey, people put cheddar on apple pie, same deal.

No time for pumpkin pie. Plus, last year, my pumpkin tiramisu was a flop. I just don’t put in enough sugar.

Oh, and a butternut squash. Diced and tossed with olive oil, fresh chopped sage, and Parmesan. I just had some right now. Nutty and sweet. Try it if you’re tied of brown sugar and min-marshmallows on your vegetables.

I’m having dinner with my parents instead of us going to a restaurant like last year. Mom’s making road capon instead of turkey. I’ve never had capon before. What kind of wine does with it?

I’ll be taking homemade bread and squash pie. The latter is made just the way pumpkin pie is, slightly brighter color just a little sweeter.

My daughters like roast chicken more than turkey.

Roast Chicken with dressing
My take on Green Bean Casserole
Mashed potatoes and gravy from the drippings and home made chicken stock

Desert is still up in the air.

Nothing fancy.

Like many people, the recent election has put a strain on family conviviality. This year, it’s just me, my wife and son. Honey baked ham, mashed potatoes and the ubiquitous green bean sludge casserole. I’ll miss all the home made pies at our usual haunt, but my wife is adamant about avoiding her family, who were united against our preferred candidate. Which is ok, except they won’t shut up.

Update: Not making mashed sweet potatoes. Daughter has requested chucked candied yams. Also, hubby is insisting he needs the lemon pie. Son started eggnogg tonight. Either it’ll be delicious or we’ll all die. Oh wait-- why not both?

We’ve been invited to (stay with me here) our son’s girlfriend’s godparents’ apartment in SF–apparently they live near the Powell cable car turnaround. And are vegetarians. No idea how this will turn out.

There’s a restaurant down the street from us that’s putting on a spread. Not a buffet, but the menu looks sufficient. I think we’ll go there.

Going to a friend’s house. He and his wife raise (and then sell) heirloom turkeys, so we’ll be having one of those. No idea on the rest of the menu, but it will be good. He’s a fantastic chef. I’ve asked what I can bring; I’m a baker, though, not a chef. :slight_smile: