Eating Out: Embrace the Change: Thanksgiving (With Recipe Links)
There’s an easy way to get a room riled up around this time of year. Opinions clash when folks hash out the “right” way to do Thanksgiving. These conversations guarantee a friendly argument stemming from deep-rooted heritage that just cannot be broken.
I’m guilty of this.
Thanksgiving for my family always started early – my grandmother rose at dawn to prep a fresh pot of Folgers and make sure there was enough V8 juice for her family that still lay sound asleep. By 11, women would buzz around the kitchen taking quality time to craft every dish with love. The grandchildren would run about and the men would shuffle in and out of the house to putz around in my grandfather’s sawdust-drenched workshop.
Very Norman Rockwell. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
After laboring in the warm kitchen for hours, our large oak table was filled with a colorful spread of Butterball turkey, candied yams, soft white rolls, French’s green bean casserole, canned cranberry sauce, and the most savory dressing (we call it dressing, not stuffing) ever. Pumpkin and pecan pie waited in the wings along with fresh whip cream, hot coffee, and homemade pralines.
When comparing my own turkey day meal, people are shocked (sometimes confused) to find mashed potatoes, homemade citrus cranberry sauce, and mac-n-cheese missing from the menu.
In a world of embracing new experiences, food, and trends, we are insanely devoted to our Holiday rituals. In the spirit of branching out (and the fact that I’ll be on my own this Thanksgiving), I’ve come across several recipes and tips on how to put a fabulous spin on all the classics.
Take a deep breath, try one or two of these suggestions. It will all be ok, you rule breaker.
Cranberry sauce rut? Try Bon Appetit’s Pomegranate Mint Relish
You can’t go wrong with mashed taters but adding smoked gouda and applewood bacon with this recipe will make you a star
Changing up the turkey might have everyone in a tizzy unless you try this game changer: Bacon wrapped turkey with pear cider gravy
Pimento cheese, bacon, and panko gives your ho hum green bean casserole a much deserved transformation. Find it here
Add another sweet treat to the dessert smorgasbord with this maple cheesecake with roasted pears
Since my grandmother’s passing and the fact that my family has expanded across 3 states, our tradition has paused. Yet, the memory of how the day unfolds, its smells, and the food is clear as ever. I don’t stand alone. Most of us can recall, predict, and narrate our own Thanksgiving day customs.
Blaze your own trail this year or spruce up the ones you have – maybe start slow with a little fresh ginger with those sweet potatoes.
This year, I’m embracing change and making this glutton-filled day one with a little pizzazz, but still upholding my turkey day roots.
I adore good food; the restaurants that serve it, the energy around it (even the hoopla), and telling others about it. When I'm not grubbing down on a great meal or writing, I'm mixing aromatherapy oils, letting Jillian Michaels kick my ass, and discovering new indie music that eventually goes mainstream (sigh).
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