free hit counter Snacks, please!: T Minus 5

Friday, November 16, 2007

T Minus 5

In six days, we will have 18 people in our house, possibly 22, counting babies, for Thanksgiving! Oh, what fun. And so many things to be thankful for this year...

Enough of that. On to the main dish: What are we going to feed them?? David will be tackling the big bird. He says he has a strategy, but since I haven't seen him compulsively reading back-issues of Bon Appetit, I'm not so sure. (And he appears unwilling to drive 50 minutes north for a reasonably priced, locally raised, top-rated Tom.) Whatever. The frozen Butterball got top ratings from Cook's Illustrated -- and it's just 99 cents a pound. The stuffing also will be up to him, but he promises apples, which sounds good to me.

Butternut squash? A must have, in my opinion. I'm going to try an recipe that calls for smooshing roasted squash with maple syrup. Yum, yummy. Question: Should we also have roasted winter veggies? A combination of parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes, perhaps?

Mashed potatoes. I guess so, right? With garlic? Or just lots of butter? I think people expect mashed potatoes, but I can't say I'm all that excited about the options.

My friend Stephanie makes a yummy corn pudding -- and it's one of those recipes that calls for a container of this, and a box of that, and...more butter! So perhaps that too.

And we must have green things. I'm intrigued by a green beans amondine recipe in yesterday's WaPo. Calls for fried leek rings! And butter. Everything has butter. And that's why everything is good. (Do I have enough butter? I have just five sticks in the house! Must buy more!)

A green salad? With cranberries and goat cheese and pecans? Perhaps.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of a wheatberry/cranberry salad too. No butter! How healthy!

I have guests who have offered to bring things, accept direct assignments, etc., but I DO find it difficult to delegate when it comes to food... Auntie Pamela is bringing her pies, of course. And I must ask David's mother to bring some kind of casserole that involves cream of mushroom soup, because he expects and loves it. What else am I missing? A couple of years ago, I made a fresh cranberry relish with orange zest, which was quite... zesty! Bread. Maybe the children will want canned corn? And I think my father will want jellied cranberry sauce -- the kind that comes out with can marks along its perfect cylindrical shape.

Please advise! I love to talk about food!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to have lots of bright green veggies, including fresh greens in a salad.
I'm going over to Naples where one of my sisters and her family will be visiting her in-laws.
Jane in Florida

November 16, 2007 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

That's good advice, Jane. So I will definitely have the green salad and now I'm considering whether to do something with Brussels sprouts. My grocery store has asparagus on sale, but it must be from very far away. (Kingsolver, be quiet!) Anyway, I think that's more of an Easter vegetable. For bread, I'm now thinking of mini-cranberry and mini-corn muffins. Next: Need to consider the apple.

November 16, 2007 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

P.S. Have a great Thanksgiving in Naples! That'll be nice.

November 16, 2007 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Frank said...

Fresh veggies? At Thanksgiving?

In my family this was always a casserole meal. Turkey, cornbread dressing, asparagus casserole (with eggs, and onions and condensed cream of asparagus soup), yellow squash casserole(with butter, vidalia onions, and breadcrumbs), sweet potato casserole (with spices, pecans, and a healthy dollop of whiskey for a fall flavor), fresh cranberries with orange zest, pickled apples, and white wine. I am making myself hungry thinking about it.

November 16, 2007 at 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely be careful about the asparagus this time of year. It's likely from outside the country and may contain too many pesticides to think about.
Brussels sprouts are a good choice, especially if you buy them fresh and braise them with some garlic.
I'm more of purist when it comes to vegetables and do prefer the fresh ones or even frozen, just not mixed in a casseroles. We didn't have casseroles when I was growing up. Maybe that's more of a Southern thing?
Jane in Florida

November 16, 2007 at 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which squash & maple syrup recipe are you looking at? I found one online that sounded tasty but in the picture it looked like baby food, not sure how well that would go over with the masses. There was a crushed sweet potato recipe in the Post that was savory instead of sweet, healthy too. Might make that one. Not sure about the brussel sprouts, had them at a restaurant recently and they were fab - apparently they were wrapped in bacon, then cooked. The vegetarians who had been enjoying them were horrified. There are demands for the obligatory green bean casserole but I'd love to make a green vegetable that is actually healthy. I love the idea of mini muffins but might throw in some pumpkin ones too. :)

November 17, 2007 at 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this sounds wonderful, but trying to do too much may make you too exhausted to enjoy your company. Letting go is hard, but reconsider letting more people bring things. Trust a lot of prep ahead of the big day i.e. muffins made now and popped in the freezer. Think about oven space - what will be cooked when. To keep warm,besides the oven, I have wrapped containers in foil, then towels, and put in a cooler.
Best Wishes, Deb in Delray Beach

November 18, 2007 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

You guys are great!
Frank -- I suspect that whiskey becomes a winter flavor at Christmas, huh? The greenbean casserole is on its way, as is a sweet potato casserole with candied nuts on top. (I am delegating, a wee bit... you're absolutely right about the fun, Deb.)
And Jennifer, brussels sprouts wrapped in bacon! Anything wrapped in bacon is FABULOUS, in my book.

November 19, 2007 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger RandomReality said...

Wheatberry/cranberry salad sounds awful. Bleh! Hey, I have e-mailed you several times at NEA and my e-mails keep bouncing back!! Did you put me on your SPAM list????

November 19, 2007 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Daav said...

I've got the perfect Thanksgiving dish: Baked onions topped with butter and wrapped in bacon, smothered in cream of mushroom soup, then drizzled with whiskey! I can't wait!

November 19, 2007 at 1:13 PM  

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