Thanksgiving Planning: First-Timer

This year, for the first time, I am taking on a big role in Thanksgiving dinner. Last year I dipped my toes in the water that is Thanksgiving with Pioneer Woman’s green bean casserole from scratch (no cans of soup here!) and some roasted butternut squash and arugula salad, both of which were met with collective “meh”s from my tradition-loving family.

Undaunted, this year I am taking over almost All the Sides from my mom, who’s had quite a year and could use a break. She’s still insisting on taking care of the turkey and gravy, so I don’t need to worry about that aside from the lack of room in the oven. She’s also worried that my 81-year old grandfather will not take kindly to some of my new-fangled ideas about cooking, so she is buying a box of frozen corn in butter sauce, a can of cranberry jelly, and a can of biscuits.

To which I say, yuck. There is no food in that food! Why would anyone want THIS on their Thanksgiving dinner table?:

So I am attempting to add some nutritious whole foods to our menu this year. Though, I admit, these are not low-fat entries by any stretch. I will be responsible for: sweet potatoes, stuffing (outside the bird),  mashed potatoes, green vegetable, cranberry sauce/jelly/chutney.

  • I’m trying not to go too crazy with too-bold flavors. Have already had a request from my vegetarian sister for a sweet potato gratin that I made for her a while ago and which I found on the kitchn. This is not your mom’s sweet-potatoes-with-marshmallow-topping, folks. It is earthy and creamy and has a kick. Yum.
  • Because of aforementioned vegetarian sister, I am thinking of adapting this recipe from the Pioneer Woman leaving out the sausage, and subbing in vegetable broth for chicken. I think the use of mushrooms and apple sounds divine, and am excited to try a combo of cornbread and sourdough for the base.
  • Mashed potatoes: Yukon Golds, boiled and stuck through the ricer, with butter cream and an unholy amount of roasted garlic. Reserving, of course, a serving of potatoes sans garlic for Gramps.
  • For the green veggie I am doing seared Brussels Sprouts with bacon, and am throwing together a quick cranberry jelly with whole fresh cranberries, sugar and water. Still on the fence about whether to add some citrus or cinnamon or ginger.

Shopping and prepping start this weekend! Am excited to jump in, and of course will take lots of pics to use for a post next week.

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One response to “Thanksgiving Planning: First-Timer

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Planning- Nerd Edition | Grape Soda

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