Monday, November 25, 2013

Chapter One: Thanksgiving Menu

Several family members may or may not show up for Thanksgiving, and all are welcome, but I hope the ones I am specifically cooking for are really hungry. You see, the key to Thanksgiving in my family is apparently carbohydrates. In this case, starchy side dishes.

Everyone has their own idea of tradition and comfort food. For Thanksgiving, these come together in that everyone wants the comfort food of their childhood. My originating family always ate grandma's turkey dressing recipe of cornbread and onions and a few other simple ingredients that turns out oh so delicious. To make this recipe properly, you have to have the background of eating it every year and helping make it, so you know how much of each ingredient to use. Otherwise, you really don't know how you are doing until it's done. This is what I make every year, and it's comfort food to me.

My husband, however, is from California. He doesn't care for cornbread much at all, unless it's full of sugar, which clashes with my Southern sensibilities. His traditional Thanksgiving comfort food is Stovetop Stuffing. He will have it, which is okay as one of the kids likes it, too.

Lest you think he comes from an instant food tradition, he insists that mashed potatoes be a part of the feast, and they cannot be instant. So we will also have mashed potatoes, which he gets to make. I've got enough to deal with with the 24-pound bird and everything else. I will triple the gravy recipe.

The kids' grandmother, who is my late husband's mother, always made chicken and dumplings as a side dish for Thanksgiving. I never really understood it, as I consider chicken and dumplings to be a main dish. My older daughter feels that dumplings are a tradition, and she particularly likes them. But that grandmother is too old to cook now, and I never cared for dumplings at all. So my mother has volunteered to help Princess make chicken and dumplings for Thanksgiving.

A couple of years ago, Princess asked why we don't serve sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving like everyone else. Goodness, child, how many starchy side dishes will the table hold? At the time, I was trying to get the kids to try new foods, and she liked sweet potatoes, so I made some for Thanksgiving. This year, she's getting her brown sugar fix with glazed carrots instead.

For a few years, I also offered macaroni and cheese for dinner, particularly for picky children who won't find much else to eat among the traditional dishes. That's gone by the wayside, too, and I'm glad. My younger daughter doesn't eat any starchy carbs, so she gets her dose of tradition from deviled eggs.

So that's four current starchy side dishes and two discontinued ones. We won't have any trouble putting on a layer of fat for winter! I'm just glad we never had much of a controversy over crescent rolls vs. brown-and-serve rolls vs. my sister-in-law's homemade challah. The challah wins out, because it's good and anyone who suggests we need more than one kind of bread for Thanksgiving will get what for from me.

Thanks to Brother Bill for the graphic, which is part of a set that is forcing me to actually write more personal content for my personal blog. There's more to come.


Anonymous said...

<< ... the 24-pound bird ... >>

My! That much turkey -- plus ham -- fed my entire office.

Happy post-Thanksgiving meal napping!


Unknown said...

What, no "greens"? Here in the deep south, mustard, turnip, or collard greens are a necessity!

Miss Cellania said...

There will be raw vegetables, and green beans from the garden. If I posted the entire menu, no one would read to the end! Nobody in the family likes cooked greens enough to bother making them for Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

I too could eat an entire dinner of sides, especially mashed potatoes. All the turkey I need is the tail and some skin~~.
Raw vegetables? Yes!

All the best.

Bad Newspaper said...

Nice personal post, Miss C! Love it.

Happy Thanksgiving to YOU and yours!