Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by dbny, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    I know it's early for this, but I'm very excited about Thanksgiving this year and have already begun planning the meal. We are having a small group, no more than 8 at the most, so I'm ordering a heritage turkey and also roasting a couple of ducks, per DH's request. The turkey is being grilled, using a recipe from a Nantucket holiday cookbook I found while camping, and I'm also making oyster cornbread stuffing from the same book. I'll make another stuffing too, for our guest who doesn't like oysters. A few weeks ago, the NYT ran an article about booze marinated fruit, so I'm putting up plums & cranberries in spiced rum, which I think will go nicely with the duck. I'll also make my usual fresh cranberries, and have a can of jelly for the one guest who grew up with it.

    What are your menu plans?
     
  2. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I'm coming to your house for dinner.
     
  3. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Actually for many FSUers, Thanksgiving is this weekend. :)

    Our plans have been derailed by my disorganized family, and the inlaws have decided that turkey is too much work so we are having roast pork apparently.

    Hubby and I will be celebrating American Thanksgiving in November as has become our custom (we are not American - but any excuse to celebrate is a good one for us, and we've always felt Americans do Thanksgiving better anyway). Last year we made a full turkey and turned it into meals for weeks afterward; this year we have cut meat out of our diets almost entirely, so I'll be very interested to see what everyone is planning for their sides. Can't wait for the November food magazines to hit the stands - always some great inspirations there too!
     
  4. Nora_Charles

    Nora_Charles New Member

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    First of all, hi dbny! I've been wondering how you're doing! :)

    Now then. We are total traditionalists at Thanksgiving. Our menu includes:

    Roast turkey
    Sage dressing
    mashed potatoes
    sweet potatoes
    scallopped corn
    cranberry sauce (the canned kind)
    dinner rolls
    pumpkin pie
    a jello salad (with fruit and/or nuts, not that icky veggie stuff! lol)
    and of course, sweet tea to drink!
     
  5. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    It's not too early at all ;)

    I'm banned from the kitchen during big family dinners. I assume that someone is cooking a turkey, and there will probably be mashed potatoes and stuffing. Beyond that I have no idea :D I've been charged with keeping my 3 year old nieces out of the way. I job that I absolutely treasure!
     
  6. SharonDudd

    SharonDudd New Member

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    Hey NC: How are you doing these days? Sounds like dinner at my house while I was growing up. Dad always made the turkey and his own homemade stuffing but none of us was ever allowed to help or observe so when we lost him, Thanksgiving has never been the same.

    I can do without the canned cranberry jelly (ICKKKKKK). We never knew that there were fresh veggies available other than summertime corn on the cob. Everything was out of a can. I grew up hating veggies until I became chief cook and bottle washer! Imagine discovering fresh steamed asparagus instead of the slimy stuff out of a can? Or fresh spinach? Have you ever even seen what that looks like inside of a can! Don't...just leave it to your worst nightmare.

    Luckily I had a wonderful mentor who taught me how to cook a few things really well and she was French and years ago taught me how to make this wonderful green bean casserole but NOT the nasty one with mushroom soup and dried onions. It's with a roux and spices and is just wonderful and decadent and I have to buy the industrial size cans for leftovers because it tastes even better on the 2nd or 3rd day if it makes it that long! That's what I'll probably cook and the potatoes at my daughter and son-in-laws first Thanksgiving in their brand new house. They are hosting the holiday for the family and some friends who are too far from home to go home. It's also the Thursday after my baby girl turns 30 so it's going to be a great year.

    dbny: I wanna come to your house next year!
     
  7. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    In my family - it's all about the stuffing. Everything else - including the turkey, is just accompaniment. Thing is - it's the basic bread stuffing from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. My dad was always in charge of dinner - my mom would often say that she'd never cooked a turkey.

    Dad changed up a couple of things. 1) Cut WAAY back on the salt 2) Use commensurate amount of Poultry Seasoning instead of the various herbs.

    The secret of the stuffing, is that you must have the bread cubes small (1/2 in) and stale (no using dried pacakged stuff). Also, this stuffing has no liquid in it other than what comes from the butter.

    You can keep your apples and oysters and sausage and chesnuts and whatever else. This is stuffing nirvana!:lol:
     
  8. Norlite

    Norlite New Member

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    Just another chiming in to say it's not too early, since it's only 4 days away for a lot of us.

    Just the traditional here. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes various squash, must-have cabbage salad that my kids remember from my parents house, corn, pickles, tomatoes, celery, radishes olives, cheese, fresh baked buns, pumpkin pie, apple pie, apple crisp, cinnimon rolls, fudge, ice cream.


    Just the very basic comfort foods.
     
  9. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Sharon this really resonates with me - the best cook in the family bar none was always my grandmother, where we gathered for all the major holidays. She allowed us in the kitchen, but so much of what she did was by feel, not recipes or timers or measurements. When she had a debilitating stroke, while she was still with us, she could no longer communicate, let alone cook, and then she finally passed a couple of years ago. Over the years, family members have tried to assemble her best recipes - each of us seemed to have one or two, often scribbled on the back of an envelope as she told them to us. Others are lost forever, but we are constantly searching out ones that sound close, tweeking them, trying and trying, until we can say "just like Granny's."

    You might enjoy this essay from a recent issue of Saveur: http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/Solo-Act
     
  10. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

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    Being from the South, my family's Thanksgiving has different variations on what all of you (ya'll) have.
    The Turkey is stuffed with cornbread dressing. An additional pan of dressing is made and baked. The gravy is made from the drippings.
    A ham is baked that has been scored across the top, with the pineapple and cherries held in place with toothpicks. Over the years there has been many different attempts at a glaze. In the 70's, the "Tang" glaze was not well received. After that came the "Coca-Cola" glaze.
    Mashed potatoes are the last thing made, so that they are piping hot when served. Fresh peas, green beans with a ham bone in them, fresh corn off the cob. A fruit salad made with a can of fruit cocktail, sour cream, sugar, mini-marshmallows, and pecans is usually a divider. You like it or you don't. No one but Dad eats the cranberry sauce, so he's ok with the can.
    Desserts usually consist of pies (apple, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, with the occasional cherry or chess pie.), or cakes (Cocoanut, spice, gingerbread, or chocolate.)
     
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  11. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

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    Also, there is always plenty of candies and cookies. Mom loves fudge and will make a few tins of it. My sister usually makes sugar cookies and chocolate chip.

    We normally stay perpetually full. It's a wonder that no one is that large a person.
     
  12. Nora_Charles

    Nora_Charles New Member

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    Never mind my menu. I'll be at DarrellH's house. And then in a food coma. :)
     
  13. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    DBNY,
    What time did you say dinner was? After all, you said you were only having a small group, so surely there'd be room for moi!;)

    I am not cooking this year but instead am going to a cousin's house, where other cousins and their families and a few aunts and parents of cousins-inlaw will congregate. I have no idea what they will want me to bring and only hope they'll give me a few days' notice. I make fabulous mashed potatoes (from scratch, mixed with sour cream and cream cheese for the mashing and then baked, yum!) and I made cranberry-orange sauce last year that was pretty darn good, too. My family specialty is M&M cookies that I make come out very chewy. So, we'll see.
     
  14. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

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    Hubby and I are spending it together this year without other family - I'm boycotting that scene. We're not having a traditional meal at all, but probably going to have something we both like.
     
  15. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    Wheeeee Thanksgiving thread! My mom always goes for different menu each year, so the only thing I know is we will have two different birds: obligatory turkey and something else. Last year was pheasant, and we had goose year before that, so I'm assuming it's duck's turn this year :)
     
  16. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I've experimented with various stuffings over the years, using wild rice, bread cubes, and cornbread as the base.

    The best of them all is cornbread with sausage and apples. ;)
     
  17. KatieC

    KatieC On hold

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    Okay, I was going to make stuffing from a box, but you've inspired me. I can look up cornbread stuffing online, but would someone like to post an easy recipe? Or shall I look through the recipe thread?

    I'm doing the traditional turkey, gravy thing, but veggies are carrots and parsnips roasted in bacon fat. I don't do them often, but Thanksgiving is a good reason. Anything can taste good cooked in bacon fat. And apple pie because nobody likes pumpkin!
     
  18. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

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    I love Thanksgiving!

    I have no clue what our plans are, but last year...

    Roast turkey with stuffing
    Yukon gold mashed potatoes
    Green bean casserole
    Cream corn
    Cranberry sauce
    Rolls
    Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert

    Oh, man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. I made half a roast turkey breast for dinner the other night. LEFTOVERS!
     
  19. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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    An old friend of mine's sister used to buy the November issue of Gourmet magazine (isn't that defunct now) and take the Thanksgiving menu from that, assign a dish to each member of the family to bring, and everyone really looked forward to doing that, as opposed to a regular old potluck dinner.

    I'll have to check out a food mag to see what their Thanksgiving Day menu is, I wouldn't mind trying that some time.
     
  20. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I make the cornbread first - my favourite is a buttermilk cornbread, you can easily get a recipe for that by googling.

    I use about one half a cornbread made in a standard loaf pan. First fry as much garlic as you like (I use about six or seven big cloves as I love garlic) and one chopped leek (or four/five shallots) in olive oil and add a bit of wine (any kind will do) if you have some on hand. Then add two European or spicy sausages and crumble the cornbread before adding it to the pan. Add one chopped tart green apple next - it needn't cook too much as it will soften as you cook the stuffing.

    I've found that adding a chopped fig to also enhances the flavour and spice it with some savory and oregano.

    Of course you can double the recipe and cook what doesn't fit into the turkey in a separate casserole dish and add some of the turkey juices it. . .which gives you more stuffing for those stuffing lovers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  21. duane

    duane New Member

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    I usually travel to my dad and step-mom's place, but because of various reasons, I had Thanksgiving alone last year--a first for me. But I ended up having so much fun! I cooked roasted turkey legs and wings, dressing (made with oysters), sweet potatoes with pineapple, fried corn with onion and green pepper, black-eyed peas with neckbones and rice, corn bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a lemon pound cake. Everything was made from scratch...nothing canned (except the oysters used in the dressing ;) ). I had football blasting, the blinds all open so I could see the snow, and my apartment smelled SOOO good! I've never cooked such a big meal before, and actually liked it!
     
  22. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Oops! I knew that too, and I'm thinking of applying for Canadian citizenship, as my mom was Canadian.

    Hi Nora! I'm doing great. All done with treatment and on the road to recovery. I read somewhere that Thanksgiving is the most traditional holiday in the US. We all want what we grew up with.

    (((((Sharon))))) canned veggies :eek:. My mom grew up on a farm, so we always had fresh veggies or frozen, if fresh were not available. Congrats to your daughter and SIL on hosting their first Thanksgiving, and Happy Birthday to your DD.

    I think the stuffing is the biggest deal in our family too. Only since I've been buying heritage turkeys has the turkey been of much interest, though I always look forward to munching on the wings.

    That was mostly the way my mom cooked too. I recently found her "recipe" for fudge, and when I tried it the first time, discovered that there are no amounts for the nuts, butter, and vanilla, nor is there a size for the pan. It was an adventure because she didn't use a candy thermometer and just wrote things like "cool, then add..." I bet it's fun searching for the right recipes, though.

    I grew up with no nearby family at all, and it took me a long, long time to learn that having family around is not always a good thing. Bravo to you for doing what's best for yourselves!

    I'll put up my cornbread with oysters recipe, and would love to have your carrots & parsnips in bacon fat. I bet I can get DD to make that for us. I'm starting a new thread for Thanksgiving recipes.

    What a wonderful meal! I admire your ability to do all that for yourself only. I definitely would have stayed home and moped over a pint of chocolate Hagen-Dasz.

    OK, I forgot the dessert! One of my DD's will probably bring a homemade apple pie. I always make pumpkin pies from scratch. My favorite source is red hubbard squash, but that can be hard to find in the city, so I've taken to using kabocha squash. Last year I was using a new blender and accidentally unscrewed the top from the base, spilling an entire pie filling. I had almost enough left for another pie, and rounded it out with sweet potato. It was the best pie of the three I made. I really want to make a mince meat pie, because my mom always did, and I like it, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but I don't trust the ground beef in the commercial mince meats and I don't think I'm ready to do it from scratch yet. Maybe next year.
     
  23. Nora_Charles

    Nora_Charles New Member

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    mmmkay. *No* idea what I thought mince meat actually was, but I certainly didn't think it involved actual meat. Yikes!! :lol:

    I'm so happy to hear that you're doing well!! :)

    Count me in as another one for whom Thanksgiving is a small gathering (just me & my mom). It took me a long time to learn that there really is no law on the books that says you must subject yourself to a day spent with awful people just so you can tell others "I spent the holidays with family". I do get some strange looks when I tell people that our family doesn't get together (for as much dysfunction as there is in families these days, it's still really taboo to talk about!), but I'd much rather spend what's supposed to be a happy occasion being, well, *happy*.

    I'm kind of curious to know what everyone does before/after the big meal (ie shopping, napping, watching football...)? We get the turkey in the oven, watch the Macy's parade, and deliver turkey dinners (from a community Thanksgiving event) to shut-ins. After dinner, we either watch movies (Miracle on 34th Street - the black & white version - is tradition!) or play cards/board games, and graze on leftovers if we get hungry. Usually, though, supper ends up being a slice of pumpkin pie!
     
  24. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    I am thinking of doing that myself this year. My aunt and uncle will probably invite me, but some of her siblings are beyond annoying and some solitude might be nice.
     
  25. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

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    Come on!
     
  26. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Last year and the year before I cooked for one or two others; this year I am not inviting anyone, I'm just cooking for myself. However, I'm from New England and Thanksgiving is my religion; there is no such thing as no Thanksgiving dinner, even if it is only for one. (For anyone in my family who buys a new house or rents a new apartment, the first thing he or she does is open the oven door to see of the oven is big enough for a turkey. If the oven doesn't pass the turkey test, it's on to the next house or apartment; this is much more important than # of bathrooms, bedrooms, whether there is a view, etc.)

    I will have turkey with stuffing, oven roasted potatoes (for some reason my family never went in for traditional mashed potatoes) or potatoes mashed half and half with yellow turnips, beets with orange sauce and Brussels sprouts with toasted hazelnuts and thyme. Dessert is a graham cracker crust /chocolate pudding pie topped with clouds whipped cream.
     
  27. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Is it that time of the year again?? Feels like I just finished making my last year's Thanksgiving dinner.

    I feel uber-uncreative plus last year's dishes were a hit so I am doing EXACTLY the same thing. Whatever it was.
     
  28. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    Originally mincemeat was a way to use up bits and pieces,and mixing it with spices, fruit, liquor and such helped hide the flavor of the bad meat.

    As it's developed it's become fruitier and sweeter, with hardly any meat at all. I'm not even sure that the most popular of the commercial varieties (usually jarred) even have meat in them any more - but they do usually still have suet.

    Of course, if you have a homemade version, you may still have meat in it. I think my Great-grandmother's version had some, but I can hardly remember anyone in our family ever making it.

    btw - in the movie State Fair, there is an hilarious scene of mincemeat judging - cause the more brandy, the better!
     
  29. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    The 1945 version is one of my favourite movies ever! "Our State Fair is a great state fair; don't miss it, don't even be late ..."
     
  30. nerdycool

    nerdycool Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea where we're having it, but I imagine it'll be your traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy made from drippings, Rhodes buns, corn, peas (or green beans), canned cranberry sauce and maybe a ham. We don't get too fancy because we know what we like! But sometimes I get the urge to experiment... using this site as inspiration. In the end, I don't because holidays are the one time I don't end up cooking at all! DH and his dad usually take over. So I'm more than okay with traditional!

    Cupid, the link I gave above has recipes (and menus!) from both Gourmet and Bon Appetit... so I assume Gourmet is still going strong.