'Kayso, I got a little snarky yesterday with my 5 Dishes I Wouldn't Feed a Dog (but Do Eat to Be Polite on Thanksgiving). Today, the flip side: Thanksgiving foods I dream about as soon as the air turns crisp ...
Thanksgiving food's all about what the pilgrims could scrounge -- and oysters were the cheapest, most abundant food of all back then. Oyster stew's traditional, but I like starting off on the half shell with mignonette granita as a refreshing counterpart to all the richness to follow, and it makes a grand excuse for popping some bubbly. (What? It's a holiday.)
4. Mashed Potatoes.
My mom makes something she calls "triple dairy" and I call "triple bypass" mashed potatoes: Butter, sour cream or crème fraiche and a dollop of soft cream cheese. They're definitely not the kind of boring spuds that recede into the distance on Thanksgiving table (though they may shorten my life span some; I'm OK with that). Jack them up with some horseradish and you've got the perfect match for the rich stuff and the sweet stuff.
3. Brussels Sprouts.
They're one of those foods you just either love or hate. Me, I love. Especially Brussels sprouts with pecans and gorgonzola, Brussels sprouts with bacon and pine nuts, or Brussels sprouts hashed with lemon.
As a child, I didn't really care that Gravy Train was a brand of dog food -- it still sounded sort of good to me. I think it was being exposed to my Texas Granny's cream gravy over biscuits at an early age (yeah, I'm lucky -- you should taste her fried okra). But I'm pretty happy with any homemade gravy whether brown, giblet, ham, redeye, or onion. Alas, copious ladlefuls of gravy doesn't make turkey any more tasty for me. Boo.
Stuffing or dressing; cornbread or white bread; oysters or chestnuts: I love them all. I know it's just old bread, heavy seasoning and some fat but by the same curious magic that turns old bread into French toast, stuffing is enchanted.
True story: I once stuffed stuffing with stuffing. I was trying out a few pre-Thanksgiving recipes and had more also-rans than I knew what to do with. So I lined ramekins with stuffing, baked it off to make a crisp "pie shell," then added a layer of cooked greens and another layer of stuffing. Because that's how I roll. I might crave stuffing even more than these guys:
What are your absolute faves? Share!
More from food