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  1. #1
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    Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

    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. #2
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    I'm coming to your house for dinner.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbny View Post
    I know it's early for this,
    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!

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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. #5
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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 I've been charged with keeping my 3 year old nieces out of the way. I job that I absolutely treasure!
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." -- Samuel Beckett

  6. #6
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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!

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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!

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonDudd View Post
    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.
    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

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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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    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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by znachki View Post
    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!
    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.

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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. #18
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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. #19
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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. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by KatieC View Post
    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 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 by Japanfan; 10-08-2010 at 08:21 AM.

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