Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today.
I'm up making cranberry sauce and steaming summer squash (no, this won't be a locavore feast, although I am serving a local turkey and local potatoes, and probably other things that I'm too tired to think of at the moment), and I started to think about my menu and wondered what my friends are cooking up today?
So, first off, despite my love of cooking and my love of all things locavore, for us Thanksgiving is first and foremost a family holiday, and the menu has been constructed of various family members' favorites over the years. So, yes, it's pedestrian, and somewhat commercial, even, but it's our very, very traditional feast.
We're having a very small crowd this year - just me, Dave, Con, my mother and my father-in-law. We're also having an early dinner (probably 1:30 or so), and then we're planning to see THE BLIND SIDE, which is one of the few movies out there which we'd all be happy seeing (my father-in-law basically only likes to see inspirational movies).
So here are our family favorites:
Turkey - I am trying something new this year - I liked the title of this recipe: World's Simplest Thanksgiving Turkey.
Mashed potatoes - with skins partially on. These are from Tantre and I'll make them with sweet butter and some half and half and salt. That's it. Con likes me to try to imitate the Roadhouse mashed potatoes, which are his favorites. He's the mashed potato king in our brood, so he gets dibs on the type. If it were me and Dave, it would be garlic mashed all the way.
Squash pudding. I've talked about this here, before. This is NOT a sweet squash - it's a summer squash pudding that's decadent and savory. My mother started making this in the 60's and it ain't Thanksgiving without the Squash Pudding (this is a bow to me and to Mom and to Dave).
Cranberry Maple Sauce - this is a recipe from the Silver Palate New Basics cookbook. Bowing here to Dave, who likes the maple, and Mom, who likes the orange zest. It's fabulous and simple - 1 bag of cranberries, rinsed, 1 cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of raspberry juice (but we don't drink juice so I used a bottle of pomegranate cherry juice instead) and the zest off one orange. Boil, bring down to medium, cook for 10 minutes, cool. Add a cup of toasted walnut pieces, if you choose to. We probably won't - I'll take a poll. I'd prefer the walnuts, but I bet, I'll be outvoted.
Katherine's Gravy - this is my sister's recipe that's a bastardization of a Craig Claiborne N. Y. Times vegetarian gravy. I still have the recipe card she gave me, and I commune with her a little every time I take it out. We all love this recipe, although we do a non-vegetarian version (I use chicken stock).
Stuffing. Okay... confession time. It. has. to. be. Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing. A la the package recipe. With my homemade chicken broth. Then baked out of the turkey. So, um, yeah. But that's the way it rolls on the Shikes side of the family. Dave prefers cornbread stuffing, but he gets outvoted here. ;-)
If there were more people, I'd do Tyler Florence's upscale green bean casserole recipe, but we just don't have enough people, and the food we have are the main faves.
Dessert: Another confession here: Costco Pumpkin Pie. It's better than any of the versions I've made over the years. Sigh. At least according to Con, and he's also the Pumpkin Pie king. Mom just wants pumpkin pie. My father-in-law and Dave love Pumpkin Pie, too. If there were more people, I'd also make my mother-in-law's Sour Cream Apple Pie, but there just aren't. Me - I like Mince Pie, but I'm totally outvoted here.
And finally, you have a choice of Calder vanilla ice cream on that pie or whipped cream.
So, what are you all cooking up today? What are special family faves?
Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating!