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Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Nov 7, 2009
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Here's the short version of the Thanksgiving dinner I hope to pull off in a couple of weeks.
I need the turkey. I'm relying on the tryptophan to mellow out my guests, making them feel sleepy and comfortable rather than inspired to talk about politics or why I'm not married yet. I like to roast a turkey. Brine it. Rub it in butter and herbs. Baste it regularly in wine. Done.
I liked the cranberry sauce in a can when I was a kid. It was like Jell-o for grownups. But now I like my friend's cranberry and pear recipe. It also involves apple juice and cinnamon (two more things I liked when I was a kid). Most importantly, cranberry sauce adds a great bright color to the Thanksgiving spread.
The potatoes are a delivery mechanism for butter and salt and gravy. Enough said.
You see the word "butter" there? That's why. And I love carbs. Another important role of the roll is that it's the one thing you can be pretty sure the picky eaters will eat. If you have enough rolls (and butter) no one goes hungry.
green beans
Green beans have two purposes in a Thanksgiving meal. (1) Like the cranberry sauce, they add color. In this case, the color is green in case you thought the name "green beans" was just a cute rhyme. (2) They absolve you of all the unhealthy (read: butter) things you're eating because they're a vegetable. I like to prepare these with shallots and almond slivers. It makes me feel fancy.
Not only can you put butter on these, you can also put mini marshmallows on them. Now THAT'S a vegetable deserving of thanks.
I'm not even a fan of stuffing, but everyone seems to think Thanksgiving is about turkey & stuffing. The two can't be separated -- Bert & Ernie, chocolate and peanut butter, etc.

If I don't have it people will ask "Where's the stuffing?"  I'm afraid that I would tell them exactly where they can go look for the stuffing -- as if they're going to starve without it even with all the other stuff on this list -- so I make the stuffing.
It keeps any fat from going to waste and helps it go to my waist.
Pumpkin pie is unexpected deliciousness. And since people don't generally eat it for Valentine's Day or the 4th of July, I want to have as much as possible at Thanksgiving.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
One of my guests doesn't like pumpkin pie, so there will be chocolate chip cookies. At first I was sort of annoyed by his request, but now I realize, "hey, I get chocolate chip cookies." Win-win.

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November 09, 2009
This list just made me so much more excited for Thanksgiving!! Check the recipe I put up for Pear&Cranberry crostada - it's easy and delicious, AND perfect for Fall!!
November 08, 2009
Basting turkey with wine? Awesome. This list is making me hungry! :)
November 07, 2009
Yummm.....great list! I LOVED your commentary as well. Could you share your friend's cranberry sauce recipe or is it one of those, "if I tell you, I'd have to kill you" recipes?
November 09, 2009
I'll see what I can do. It's pretty fabulous.
November 11, 2009
If you can, that'd be great. I'm looking for a new recipe but, I also have some Real Simple suggestions for a Plan B ;p
November 07, 2009
Wow that throws all the motivation I had from the gym list out the window, I just want to eat and watch a football game. I will settle for the leftovers. Great Sweet Potatoes comments. Fun read.
November 07, 2009
Excellent list - Hilarious commentary... Now I can't wait for Thanksgiving! And a strong finish with the chocolate chip cookies!
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