Live Real. Eat Real.

Thanksgiving Menu, 2012 Edition

I was going to do a huge rant today about Mayor Michael Bloomerg’s latest idiocy –  he has now banned donations to NYC homeless shelters because the city can’t monitor the fat, sodium and sugar content of the food being donated – but I just don’t have the energy.  And I’m afraid my head will explode in the process.  (If you’re not worried about your head exploding, click the link; you’ll just be amazed.  And, I hope, appalled.)

So in the interest of keeping my brains intact – my laptop, after all, is practically brand-new and I hear exploded brains are a bitch to clean up – I’ll swagger a little instead and tell you that The Young One, who made the honor roll the first grading period this year, has already been accepted to the university of his choice, Kent State.  (I do my best, every time he mentions it, not to start singing, “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we’re finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming, four dead in O-hi-o…”  Thank you, Neil Young.)  It looks like there might be some sort of a scholarship in all of this, too.

I’m proud of the boy.  Especially because it got him to call his grandmother without being nagged.

At any rate, while I was talking to Darling Daughter last night about her Thanksgiving plans, my own menu finally came together.  And since I post it every year, well…here you are.  I’ve linked to recipes I’ve posted before.

The Turkey From Hell.  Needless to say, our turkeys are now pastured and the wheat flour used for the roasting bag has been replaced with tapioca flour, but other than that, the recipe is essentially the same.  I’ll probably make some giblet gravy to go with it, using tapioca flour, since Beloved loves it so.

Fermented Cranberry-Orange Chutney.  Because I’m absolutely in love with it and have an entire quart in my fridge and isn’t that convenient?

My Grandmother’s Cornbread Dressing.  I found a recipe on the internet that is very close to my own for gluten-free cornbread, using alternative flours rather than wheat flour, which it claims is indistinguishable from the “real thing.”  Since I cannot imagine Thanksgiving dinner without cornbread dressing, I’m making it, enjoying it, and giving the leftovers away.  Well, most of them, anyway.

Bourbon Molasses Sweet Potatoes with Buttered Pecans.  I haven’t made this for two or three years, but it’s just a marvelous dish.  Beloved really likes it, and so do I, so it’s back on the menu.  I’ll either skip the brown sugar or substitute it with evaporated cane juice.

Roasted Garlic White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.  The Young One does not care for cornbread dressing or sweet potatoes – don’t ask me; the kid is just odd – so I will make this as well.  Gladly, actually, since they are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten.  (I will probably buy him some of those brown-and-serve rolls he’s so fond of, too – it is, after all, also his Thanksgiving dinner.)

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta.  This is an absolutely delicious dish guaranteed to convert even the most adamant Brussels sprout hater.  It’s also quite easy, and the pancetta and balsamic give it that “special occasion dish” aura.  My good friend Gretchen makes this every year, too.

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp.  Because, Holy Mother of Pearl, it was good.  VERY, VERY GOOD.

Crustless Lemon Chess Pie.  I can thank Darling Daughter for this one; she is going to bake a pie to take to the Thanksgiving dinner she’s going to, and when I suggested her great-grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie (which is simply the best pumpkin pie recipe in existence).  She said she’d done that last year, and thought she’d bake a lemon chess pie instead.  I gasped – it simply hadn’t occurred to me – and said, “You know…I could make that without a crust.  In individual ramekins, even, like a brulee.”  I glanced over to my left, and saw Beloved vigorously nodding his head YES.  I don’t know if I’ll go ahead and use white sugar in it, or evaporated cane juice just so I can feel a little bit better about all the sugar, carbohydrates and dairy I’ll be consuming that day.  But whatever I do, I’ll post the recipe afterwards, because Lemon Chess Pie, with or without a crust, is a thing of beauty.

So that’s it.  Nothing excessive – trust me, I’ve done excessive in the past, and probably would be again this year if I were going to have a houseful – but fancy, and satisfying, enough for the holiday.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?  If you’re cooking it yourself and follow a certain way of eating, such as paleo, will you try to keep your dinner in line with your diet, or will you throw caution to the wind and make some favorite traditional dishes because it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them?


11 comments

Be says:

I’m so very glad you aren’t planning to be excessive! Good grief woman, when are we supposed to eat all this?

I did notice that you suggested a brulee though you know my rule about arming you with a flame thrower. ;)

Jan says:

I’ll tell you when – for Thanksgiving dinner and the next two days! Look, I’m going to spend at least two days cooking all this damn food; you’d think I’d be able to take a couple of days off afterwards! :P

I’ll address your rule about allowing me a piddly little butane torch when I post the recipe for the lemon chess dessert.

Jan says:

Oh, and “excessive” is adding in some made-from-scratch brown and serve rolls, our old “traditional” cranberry sauce recipe, the made-from-scratch green bean casserole, and another dessert. And everything in much greater quantities than I plan to make.

See? Not excessive at all.

Lori says:

Yes I read that same article and a few choice words came out of my mouth. Rediculous and so wasteful. I’ll stop there and not go into a rant on your blog comments. :)
Congratulations to your son…doesn’t surprise me but what a good feeling huh!
Not sure what we will be making for thanksgiving…in all honesty at this point I would be okay with a frozen pizza and call it a day…we will have thanksgiving as a family on another day as my bigs all have other plans…I love cooking the big thanksgiving meal so am looking forward to when it does happen…regardless we are a thankful household and we will come up with something more than a frozen pizza..especially since we make everything anyways…lol…getting up early the next day to drive way up north for a fishhouse parade which is a high light of our thanksgiving weekend.

Since you did write about thanksgiving I have to include how thankful I am to know you Jan and that you are such a blessing to me and my family. XXOO

Nancy Smyth says:

Well that settles it, I’ve just made up my mind as to what I’m doing for Thanksgiving dinner………. I’m coming to YOUR house LOL! (I promise to leave the finicky 5 here in Vermont) :-)

I haven’t made a lemon chess pie in ages – maybe this weekend.

Just did a 3 layer pumpkin pie (don’t ask for the recipe because you’d have to do some major reworking) – but it was incredible!

Michele says:

I plan to do some sort of fowl for JR but everything else will be vegetarian. I’m a whiz at recreating meat food to vegetarian. I’m down with bourbon glazed sweet potatoes, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and rosemary roasted beets so far. We see what else I come up with. A lemon chess pie would make JR a very happy man.

Congratulations on Kent State! It’s exciting as the letters start arriving!
Your menu sounds great – I haven’t even thought about it yet.
Well, except I did order a turkey …

Alex says:

Wow, that is way more dishes than we usually make but from the sounds of it, none of them should be omitted! Maybe I should start celebrating American thanksgiving as well as Canadian thanksgiving. I need an excuse to eat more turkey. : P

We’re still working things out. I am not the hostess but will be bringing YOUR chutney, apple pie with almond flour crust, some other friendly sort of pie with a coconut flour crust ( for the nutless part of the crew). I am loudly voting for brussels sprouts – gasp, my friends don’t eat pork. sigh. I might just make my own with bacon. We’ll have either turkey or duck. Last year we had both and it was way too much stress. I’ll probably do some sort of yam pattie thing. Those things and a glass or two of wine will make me a very grateful girl.

Steak. Scalloped potatoes. Caesar salad. Tiramisu. Oh – and started with cream-cheese stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapenos.

Lisa says:

Happy Thanksgiving Jan! (In advance:))

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