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Aggravated
keen23

I'm starting to brainstorm what to cook for Thanksgiving 2014. We are doing a potluck with the neighbors. 10 adults, 6 kids. I'm cooking the turkey (because we get one from work every year and I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to producing an amazing looking/tasting turkey) and have volunteered for a kid friendly app, and a side. Kid friendly app, because half of the 6 kids belong to me, and they're horrible children who don't eat anything. I'm thinking mini weenies in Coke and BBQ sauce (so sugary gross, but the kids LOVE THEM) for the app. Crab puffs are also super easy to throw together too, so that's also an option. Sides is where I'm stuck. I have to do a non starchy vegetable dish- so no potatoes, sweet potatoes or corn. Give me suggestions! No food allergies or restrictions in the group.

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RachelB

Non-starchy vegetable...

Green beans with toasted almonds and sherry? (This is The Partner's mom's favorite Thanksgiving side, and quite easy.)

Steamed or roasted fennel dressed with oil and lemon? (I'm doing this. I'm using walnut oil, but a good olive oil is also delightful. I probably wouldn't do it as the *only* non-starchy vegetable, because fennel / anise / licorice are polarizing flavors.)

Garlicky roasted brussels sprouts? The downside is that they require valuable oven space. But sooooo tasty!

Cabbage braised in white wine with a little onion? (I would be doing this, too, because it is at the border of comfort and fancy. But alcohol is a migraine trigger for one of the people we're hosting.)

We're doing a roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts out of Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook, but that's because our meal is roughly summed up as Mediterranean plus turkey breast and dessert, i.e., somewhat non-traditional.

If you're curious, our menu:

Turkey breast for a meaty main

Mushroom and chickpea bastilla for a veggie main (repurposing the cinnamon and pie crust that would normally show up at the end of the meal)

Maybe mashed potatoes, depending on how many people feel it's not T-giving without them

If mashed potatoes, The Partner will make a turkey gravy, and I'll make a mushroom gravy

Roasted sweet potatoes with apples, chiles, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar glaze

Provençal beans and greens

The aforementioned fennel

The aforementioned roasted cauliflower

Green salad

Cranberry-orange sorbet

Flourless almond meringues for the gluten-free person

Gingerbread

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Geechee Girl

My go to non-starchy sides are spicy-garlicky green beans, ginger-cumin glazed carrots, or balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts.

RachelB, Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook has been on my Amazon wishlist.

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Arete

I drew the lot to host part of the family for Thanksgiving. So, about 9 people. The winners are:

Roast kosher turkey, because the salting that is done to kasher the bird works like brining. Kosher turkeys have always delivered superior taste for me.

Cranberry-orange sauce

Sausage, chestnut, apple, sage, thyme, celery and onion stuffing.

Sliced sweet potato and sliced apple bake, with brown sugar and pecan

Chinese style green beans (non starchy)

Roast cauliflower with pomegranate seeds (non starchy)

Olives, bread, feta, arugula and cucumber salad, and pumpkin pie are being supplied by the guests

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cindyluvs24

I used the Williams Sonoma thanksgiving cookbook this year.

Brined Turkey breast (w/o salt) (free from ShopRite promo) with lemon-parsley gravy

Maple glazed carrots

dressing with cornbread, leeks, a little andouille thrown in

homemade cheesecake

Found a ShopRite brand organic chicken stock for the gravy that was only 140mg sodium/cup as opposed to the others ranging from 350-540 mg sodium/cup

*Have to make everything as low sodium as possible

lasagna tonite and homemade pizza on Friday

I should be cooking right now but i have the Gone With The Wind Marathon on AMC in the background.

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Satisfied
HerNameIsBuffy

The crazy Maxwell Thanksgiving thread got me to wondering what's a typical Thanksgiving spread for people.  Media and tv gives us the basics, but I'm always super curious as to what other people do for their typical menu and I haven't found an quintessential list.

And what are your dishes that just aren't right if they aren't done your way?  What do you need to have per your family recipes to make it feel like Thanksgiving?

Here is my list:  (asterisks denote those done my way or it's not a holiday)

Appetizers

  • crab puffs
  • spinach dip and crudités 
  • cocktail rye and liverwurst
  • chicken in a biscuit crackers and French onion dip (klassy!)

Main

  • Turkey ('natch)spiral ham with glaze
  • regular stuffing*
  • German dressing******* (just what we call it, have never seen a recipe for this nor known any other family to have even heard of it but hands down favorite holiday food)
  • cranberry jell from can cut in slices*
  • homemade cranberry sauce 
  • crescent rolls 
  • mashed potatoes
  • sweet potatoes baked
  • canned yams with way too much brown sugar*
  • asparagus from the can (love roasted but kids rebel if not canned on holiday)
  • gravy (for other people - yuck)
  • cauliflower gratin
  • pierogis (mushroom YAY and cheese YUCK)

Dessert

  • Pumpkin pie (yuck)
  • Apple and cherry or blueberry pie
  • cookies (for the kid who won't eat anything in pie form)

 

I think other families do a lot more side dishes with the main meal, but we're picky and I've tried introducing new stuff in the past and no one eats it.

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snarkysuki1724

Appetizers

  • Veggie tray w/dip
  • Cheese and crackers

Main Course

  • Roast turkey and stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Sweet potato casserole with little marshmallows on top
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Homemade vinegar cole slaw
  • Rosemary rolls
  • Pierogi 
  • Green bean casserole

Desserts

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Salted caramel apple pie
  • cookies and/or brownies

Pretty traditional with a little European twist (pierogis), I guess we're not the only ones that serve them at thanksgiving!

 

Edited by snarkysuki1724
riffles

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Satisfied
choralcrusader8613

Ours is pretty traditional, but we're going to do some stuff we've never done before:

  • Appetizers
    • Cucumber rolls with herb cheese filling
    • Meat and cheese platter (this is being done in the shape of a turkey)
    • Crackers
  • First Course
    • Oyster stew (this has become a tradition that we have to have)
  • Main Course
    • Roasted turkey
  • Sides
    • Cornbread stuffing
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Turkey gravy
    • Green bean casserole (doing a crockpot version of this, because I've never made it before)
    • Steamed carrots
    • Deviled eggs (my sister makes these)
  • Dessert
    • Pecan pie (my grandma's making this)
    • Pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce (Sis hates pie, so this is the compromise)
  • Drinks
    • Water
    • Red wine
    • Various cocktails
    • Coffee
    • Tea

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Arete

Appetizers

various dips: cucumber yogurt, beet and walnut, hummus, eggplant.  Pita triangles.  Olives.  Sheep's cheese.  Roasted red peppers.

Main

Turkey, kosher.  We aren't Jewish, but I discovered years ago that kosher turkeys baked up far more juicy because kosher animal slaughter uses salt, so essentially they do the brining for you. Stuffing.  Spinach pie (spanakopita ).  Sweet potato and apple bake.  Mashed potatoes.  Broccoli baked with a béchamel and cheese topping.  Macaroni, cheese, and ground beef casserole (pastitio).  Mushrooms tarts with puff pastry crust.  Homemade cranberry and orange sauce.  Green beans with lemon and garlic.

Salads

Shredded cabbage and carrot with vinegar and oil.  Roasted red pepper with drizzle of olive oil.  Avocado sliced with lemon and olive oil. 

Desserts are a baklava, fresh fruit, chestnuts roasted outside weather permitting.  Almond cake.  Sweet potato or pumpkin pie.

Wine and beer for the meal.  Water and soda if you don't want alcohol.  Greek coffee or herb tea with the desserts.  By herb I mean herb.  Sage, chamomile, bee balm, and mint are freshly brewed from dried leaves to order. 

 

Edited by AreteJo

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Arete

The above is the standard family menu regardless of whose house does the hosting.  I make the stuffing.  Another uncle makes the macaroni casserole.  Cousin 1 makes baklava.  Cousin 2 almond cake. BIL the pies.  Aunt brings herbs she has dried for tea and the spanakopita.  Sis brings 4 bottles of wine.  Cousin 3 the beer.  Host family does the rest.

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Enraged
ADoyle90815

Appetizers are cheese and crackers, and bacon cream cheese rolls made with crescent roll dough. In addition to the bird, there's mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, rolls, and a corn casserole. Dessert is always pumpkin pie that is made the evening before because it makes the house smell so good. Drinks are wine with dinner, and coffee with dessert.

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Both my DH's family and mine are close by (except his brother in the UK), so we get to go to 2 Thanksgiving meals and I have never ever hosted and may never ever do so. I have chipped in a pie or rolls some years, depending on available time/money. His family changes the menu up from year to year, but here's my family's:

Appetizers:(we never get to be there for that part:my_dodgy:)

Veggies and homemade dip (mmm, capers!), homemade deviled ham & cheese dip with crackers

Main dish:

Roasted, stuffed turkey

Side dishes:

Cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy with giblets, gravy without giblets, yams in brown sugar glaze, green bean casserole, raw cranberry-orange relish, cooked cranberry-orange relish, canned jellied cranberry, various dinner rolls, black olives, Graber olives (green with pit), and maybe something I forgot?

Drinks:

Sparkling fruit juices, wine (for the 2 or 3 who like it)

Dessert:

Pumpkin pie, some other kind of pie

We have 16 people most years.  There's some variation from year to year, but those are the basics. 

Now I'm hungry. 

Edited by WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?
Fixing how it looked

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princessmahina

Ooh, holiday menus-- one of my favorite topics!

 

Seitan En Croute

Mashed Potatoes (from the Pioneer Woman)

Cranberry Sauce (recipe from Pippa Middleton's Celebrate)

Glazed Carrots

 buttery green beans

dinner rolls (pinterest)

Sourdough Stuffing 

PPK Mushroom Gravy

Sweet potatoes

 

Dessert- Chocolate pecan pie AND apple pie OR pumpkin pie

 

Some are tried and true recipes, others are new. I like to switch things up until I find something amazing. Certain things are subject to change. We buy a produce basket every week, so if we get asparagus instead of green beans, I'll make that and so on. I haven't planned for appetizers, but now I'm wondering if I should...

Edited by princessmahina

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

I labelled part of mine appetizers, but we usually ate it more like a small meal. When it was just my parents and the 4 kids, we ate our main meal at about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. The "appetizers" were something to eat while we played cards and waited for the turkey to cook. I never get to be there for that part anymore, but I think it works the same way. 

I love living near-ish to everyone, but I sometimes miss having a leisurely holiday meal without needing to rush   around. (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day) Then I remember that my sister has at least 4 celebrations on every holiday. Her husband has a very big blended family. So, I count my blessings!

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Walking Cat Bed

I tend to make chili with ground turkey :) It's easy and satisfying, and if I'm doing Thanksgiving on my own or with friends, we tend to go less traditional.

Which reminds me...I should see who's planning to be in town for Thanksgiving without local family...

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Lynn18

No appetizers

Turkey, stuffed and cooked in a stand alone roaster

Gravy made from drippings

Mashed potatoes (tons of)

Green Bean Casserole (made with canned cream of mush soup/frozen green beans/frenchfried onions - if I dare gourmet it up I have a mutiny!)

Canned whole berry cranberry sauce (because I don't like the jelly stuff and they all want the canned)

Grands Original Flaky Biscuits (see above re: gourmet...my family...*sigh*)

I used to make a pumpkin pie and a chocolate pie. Half rotted out. So dessert is now

Pumpkin Maple Cream Cake

Gewurztraminer and this year

Leinenkugel Cranberry Ginger Shandy (because I have young 20 year olds coming)

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Cerealgirl
Ooh, holiday menus-- one of my favorite topics!

 

Seitan En Croute

Mashed Potatoes (from the Pioneer Woman)

Cranberry Sauce (recipe from Pippa Middleton's Celebrate)

Glazed Carrots

 buttery green beans

dinner rolls (pinterest)

Sourdough Stuffing 

PPK Mushroom Gravy

Sweet potatoes

 

Dessert- Chocolate pecan pie AND apple pie OR pumpkin pie

 

Some are tried and true recipes, others are new. I like to switch things up until I find something amazing. Certain things are subject to change. We buy a produce basket every week, so if we get asparagus instead of green beans, I'll make that and so on. I haven't planned for appetizers, but now I'm wondering if I should...

Turkey free?! Happy ThanksLiving!

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Happy
PennySycamore

Turkey  -use the recipe from James Beard's Theory and Practice of Good Cooking -involves turning the bird

Stuffing/dressing  -might be Stovetop, might be Pepperidge Farms

Gravy   -not my mom's giblet gravy, alas, but maybe Williams-Sonoma gravy base gravy

Cranberry sauce out of the can-  It had better have those ridges from the can on it.

Mashed potatoes

Green bean casserole

Mac and cheese -this became a tradition because my sister's FIL used to bring it

Maybe sweet potatoes of some kind

Parker House rolls  -from Beard on Bread

Pumpkin and apple pies -homemade  with maybe a pastry turkey on the apple pie

Maybe another dessert

We might have toasted pecans as an appetizer.  Growing up, we'd have rice and not potatoes, green beans simmered with fatback and often corn.

Various drinks: Iced tea, sodas and so forth.  Unfortunately not wine though as we have several family members who are non-drinkers.

 

ETA: Even though I roast a turkey, I don't eat any of it as I'm a vegetarian.  I sometimes make a Tofurky or other veggie roast and sometimes I just eat sides.  I do like to make some veggie stuffing with veg broth.  I do loathe Tofurky gravy though.  IMHO, it's awful!

 

Edited by PennySycamore

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Aggravated
pamplemousse

Those menus all sound good.  Mine this year will probably be whatever the restaurant at the local state park has on the buffet.  (Good buffet with homemade soups, BTW -- I ate there last year.)  It's just me and my sister -- other sister who normally hosts is going with her family to North Carolina; my niece's boyfriend's family invited sis's family to spend niece's birthday and Thanksgiving with them.

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Enraged
ADoyle90815

I also must have the cranberry sauce from the can, and it has to have the ridges from the can on it. Anything else, and there would be a mutiny in my family.

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TuringMachine

I'm probably forgetting stuff but this is the menu as best as I can remember:

  • Appetizers
    • Cheese and crackers
    • Chips and dip
    • Smoked salmon (the farmers market sells some really yummy stuff)
  •  Main
    • Turkey
    • Gravy
    • Wet, dry, and vegetarian stuffing (the stuffing my mom makes has sausage in it)
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
    • Homemade cranberry sauce
    • Canned cranberry sauce that only my Grandpa eats
    • Some vegetable dish from my mom
    • Possible various vegetarian dishes from my uncle (he never does the same thing)
  • Desserts
    • Homemade pumpkin pie
    • Homemade apple pie
    • Ice cream
    • Pumpkin cookies
    • Possibly something else someone brings

For most of my life the menu almost never changed. Then my parents moved across the country closer to my mom's sister. They always bring something(s) different.

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Depressed
Maggie Mae

I'm thinking pasta with jam sauce . (Not really. But this video is adorable. And sort of related to the conversation.) 

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AlysonRR

We're having:

Roasted goose or duck with a blackberry pan gravy
Parsnip latkes
Mushroom kugel
Feta, date, and cabbage salad
Roasted shallots
Steamed brussels sprouts
Pecan pie and pumpkin pie

There may be some deletions - the kugel is mainly for my daughter's benefit, since she's a vegetarian, but she may feel that the latkes and salad are enough.

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Happy
PennySycamore

I'm thinking pasta with jam sauce . (Not really. But this video is adorable. And sort of related to the conversation.) 

My mom made lasagna one year.  My brother was getting married a few days later and she knew we'd eat well with all the wedding festivities so lasagna it was.

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RabbitKM

Oooh can I share even though I am not hosting holiday dinner? I am going to a friend gathering dubbed "Friendsgiving" this Saturday, which is a potluck.  The general rules of Friendsgiving is that the host/ess provides the turkey, everyone else brings something, but it cannot need to be cooked at the host's house.  I am bringing my favorite stuffing recipe!  A few years back, I stole the recipe from this blog post: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/pumpkin-cornbread-stuffing-with-country-sausage-and-sage/

It is truly amazing.  I love stuffing, but this is on another level.  

As for real Thanksgiving, I am probably going to my boyfriend's family's, so I am not sure what to bring for that.  Maybe pumpkin cookies.  

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