Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu - What's Yours?

Lets face it, we all eat the same thing every Thanksgiving, right?  I don't mean 3 million people have turkey on a given Thursday, whether they like it or not.  I mean, if you are at all like me, you have the exact same menu every year.  You use the same recipes and make the same things and have the same Thanksgiving.

No matter how many cooking mags I flip through (and I get all of them) or how many pages I dog-ear, I always go back to the standbys, too.  When I tried to change the main course one year for Christmas Eve dinner from prime rib to something like a crown pork roast, I got several protests, so now all I change up is the appetizers and sides.  

Thanksgiving is harder.  There are set things you are supposed to have, otherwise someone says, "No mashed potatoes?" when you have served sweet potatoes in their place.  Its not Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce and gravy, so there are two musts that have to be made and kept in the fridge.  There must be at least two pies, because one pumpkin seems too boring (btw family, we're only have one pumpkin pie this year.  Deal with it).   Maybe its because the pilgrims were starving or the Indians hadn't yet met Mr. Trader Joe, but Thanksgiving has the tendency to be the starchiest meal ever served to man.  To try to balance it, I always want to serve a salad, which means we now have a 16-course meal for 8 people.  Its not the tryptophan that makes you sleepy but the 4 pounds of corn, stuffing, potatoes, yams and pie you have eaten.

In my house, Thanksgiving is always a deep-fried turkey.  My husband won't have it any other way, which I think belies the underlying sentiment that I have long suspected is lurking underneath the Thanksgiving traditions... I'm not sure we all really like turkey.  But this is the first Thanksgiving with the Bug, so we'll hold to traditions a little while longer, even though I think someday, a juicy pork loin might be nice.

Here's our traditional Thanksgiving Menu.  Feel free to email me for recipes, if you want, and let me know - what are your traditions?

The Chang-Ambrose Thanksgiving includes...

Crudite Plate or Roasted Eggplant Dip (btw, you want this Eggplant Dip, seriously)
Deep Fried Turkey with Gravy (purchased from Williams Sonoma, hey, deep-fried = no drippings)
Orange Cranberry Sauce
Chestnut Stuffing  
Green Bean Casserole (a GOOD recipe with fresh beans and mushrooms, not from the back of a can, with canned goods)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/Brown Sugar & Pecans
Green Salad (sometimes with blue cheese and pears, sometimes with pomegranates and persimmons)
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Tart (I always wind up feeling bad that there is only one dessert.  Then the puff pastry and apples get whipped out)

What do you eat for the national day of food coma?

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