November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving dinner, 2010
As a very picky vegetarian, Thanksgiving meals have never been high on my list of greatly anticipated events. Getting invited to a Thanksgiving dinner was more likely to produce anxiety - dear gawd, what on earth can I possibly manage to eat so as not to offend my hosts - than the feelings of warmth and gratitude that are supposed to surround this American holiday. Whoever first introduced perfectly tasty green beans to cream of mushroom soup is a culinary criminal in my book. And why is it so common to add diabetes inducing amounts of brown sugar to sweet potatoes? Hello people, sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, hence the name, lay off the massive sugar addition already.

For several years I managed to elude Thanksgiving altogether. I still prepared a special meal on Thanksgiving day, but the menu was always completely devoid of anything resembling a traditional Thanksgiving dish. The best meal during my Thanksgiving interlude was the Indian dinner my friend Albert and I cooked together. I can't recall the menu, but I distinctly remember making the poori, deep fried bread that magically puffs up like a ballon in the hot oil.

Now, being married to a meat eater, we have cobbled together our own Thanksgiving tradition. Jon cooks a turkey and we put a somewhat non-traditional spin on the side dishes. Here's what we're serving this year:
cheese, crackers & fig spread
Union Square Cafe bar nuts (roasted mixed nuts tossed in butter, rosemary, cayenne & brown sugar)
caramelized onion gravy
orange cranberry relish
wild rice pilaf
lentil dal
Persian style carrots with dried apricots
roasted marinated green beans
arugula salad with roasted butternut squash & apple cider vinaigrette
Buitenverwachting "Beyond" Sauvignon Blanc

What? No dessert! Never fear, one of our regular dinner guests likes to bake. He usually brings along a scrummy French dessert, almost always something I've never heard of before, such as Far Breton, that's utterly delicious (and not too sweet). So, fingers crossed, we're counting on him for dessert.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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