Thanksgiving is approaching and Scott and I are attending two celebrations this year. We’ll will be spending the actual holiday with his mom down in Virginia and then on Saturday, we’ll gather with my family back up here in Philadelphia.
Because I’m not hosting either meal, I don’t get to have much of a say in the menu beyond bringing my assigned potluck items (pie and potatoes). And so, to satisfy my urge to sift through cookbooks and choose a selection of harvest-y dishes, I bring you my imaginary menu, Thanksgiving style (you last saw me do this last spring in anticipation of Passover).
To start out, I’d make a batch of the Lentil Pate from Kim O’Donnel’s fabulous book, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations. I made it last year for a story on Table Matters and it was seriously amazing. For dipping, I’d bake up a batch of the Semolina Cracker Sheets from Ivy Manning’s Crackers & Dips. I’d put out a few jars of pickles and preserves, along with a log of chevre and call the appetizers done.
Before we get any further, I must make it clear that the turkey is assumed. I haven’t selected a recipe for it because I’ve spent many a year roasting turkeys with my dad and so it’s one of those dishes that is ingrained in my muscle memory.
With the turkey taken care of, I’d bake off a batch of the Pumpkin Cozy Rolls from Tara Matazara Desmond’s fantastic new book, Choosing Sides. A great number of my recipe selections are from this book, so prepare yourself to see it a lot in this post.
No turkey centered meal is complete without some kind of stuffing. I love it when it’s cooked inside the bird, but know that it’s a method that gives food safety folks the shakes. Whether cooked inside or out, I think this Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Herb Stuffing sounds like a winner.
I’m a big believer in having lots of lighter vegetables on the Thanksgiving table and so some sort of salad is a must. I’m something of a fool for arugula and so think that Arugula with Sugar Cranberries and Pancetta from Choosing Sides sounds like just the thing. If was cooking for my Jewish family, I’d skip the pancetta and sub in some toasted nuts instead.
Buttered green beans topped with slivered almonds are a Thanksgiving requirement in my family, but if they allowed me to tweak things ever so slightly, I’d do so by making these Green Beans with Smoky Pistachio Dush from Cheryl Sternman Rule’s Ripe instead.
For my husband, I’d do a batch of these Browned Brussels with Maple Butter from Choosing Sides. He cannot abide the green bean but loves sprouts, maple syrup, and butter. The combination would make him thankful indeed.
If the table could handle just one more dish, I’d add a batch of the Roasted Butternut and Spuds from Choosing Sides. I have a casserole of mashed potatoes, winter squash and a mountain of cheese that I dearly love, but it is HEAVY. This version sounds lighter but still delicious.
For dessert, I’m turning to Nigel Slater’s newest work, Notes from the Larder. He has such a nice way with seasonal desserts. This recipe for Pear and Chocolate Oat Crumble looks both restrained and decadent. I bet it’s perfect with a little bit of vanilla ice cream and a post-dinner mug of tea.
That wraps up my fantasy menu for the coming holiday. Now your turn. What dish do you long to make for Thanksgiving this year?