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Before the Feast


Bella S.F.
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Perhaps this is somewhere hiding in one of the other threads but I couldn't find what I am really after.

I am thinking that there should be something to nibble on while doing all of the finishing touches you need to do with a meal as big as Thanksgiving's. I am trying to come up with some appies that people will enjoy but will not compete with a huge meal. A leek and goat cheese tart was the first thing that I thought of and quickly dismissed it as overkill. I already do a ton of stuffing. (Just love the stuff.) (Grin) I also am doing two different pies for dessert. Another crust dish just doesn't seem to fit. The meal is starting with some sort of butternut squash soup and ending with dessert. I don't want to make something too heavy for an appie because I want everyone to make it through the meal.

What can people nibble on while waiting for the bird? What is light, yummy, and pretty easy to make?

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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I am thinking that there should be something to nibble on while doing all of the finishing touches you need to do with a meal as big as Thanksgiving's.

Keep it very, very simple. Perhaps cheese and crackers. Please serve the cheese at room temperature. Shrimp and dip will work, but please avoid those horrid supermarket shrimp platters. You can cook the shrimp a day in advance.

Whatever you serve, keep the per-person portions small.

Jim

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That's all cool, but Bella..how long do they have to wait for the bird?

I mean, at my mom's holiday dinners didn't happen until 5 or so, so, if there's drinking etc, you must have more substantial nibbles and a nap perhaps before the big dinner. This is a must for guest from out of town.

I kind of treat the day as one big party with a ton of little things, nuts to fruits to baked brie and small tarts. Take it away a couple of hours before the bird is due out and within a few hours everyone is hungry again. Here, I limit the drinking to vino/champ. only. then coffee. Most everyone wanders into dessert later into the night..sleepy and wanting sweets and milk.

If everyone in your crowd is just there right before you serve the meal, then by all means keep it to crackers and cheese. Just don't do that for too long.

mho.

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Our family's pre-meal snacks aren't terribly elegant or inventive, but are well-loved and pretty much set in stone... but we've been doing them the same way since my kids were tiny, and they are (like me, I guess) sticklers for family rituals & traditions. A few are, obviously, sweet bites and not classic hors d'oeuvre. :) It looks like a lot, but we have a HUGE clan (four generations, now... and I contributed five children to the bunch) and even though we have a big breakfast of eggs benedict every year, we never have a whole lot of this stuff leftover. We have:

* Stuffed eggs (kinda like deviled eggs)

* Caviar pie (caviar spread over a mixture of cream cheese w/seasonings with chopped parsley, red onions, capers, and chopped hard-boiled eggs)

* Spinach-Artichoke-Cheese dip w/crackers (a very rich recipe; we don't make too terribly much because you can make a meal of this in itself)

* Crab Dip (also a very small batch of a very rich dip)

* Parmesan-Mushroom Poofs (Mousse-like filling in those tiny phyllo shells)

* Cold Plate - crackers, homemade bread rounds, etc.; with assorted cheeses, always to include baked Brie, a good blue, homemade boursin, and a few others; homemade bread & butter and half-sour pickles; various sliced sausages; smoked salmon; pickled vegetables (okra is always there); and the like.

* Homemade chocolate truffles

* DIL Ashley's pumpkin squares

* Assorted cookies (Dorie's World Peace Cookies are going to debut this year!)

PS: My mind blanked trying to remember all of these... my husband & 17 year old had no trouble filling in the blanks. Nobody ever lets us forget any of these!

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Since there is typically not a lot of "crunch" in a Thanksgiving meal, light crunchy appetizers are great. Spiced nuts, vegetables and hummus, or hummus and pita chips are all good.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I've always liked hollowing out cherry tomatos, stuffing them with either blue cheese or feta, and then dribbling some balsamic vin on them. Or, perhaps a good cured meat and cheese plate. quick, easy, and delicious.

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I like big juicy radishes topped, quartered and sprinkled with crunchy salt.

Lately I have used my apple-corer and taken cylindrical plugs out of a melon, then wrapped them with a thin salty ham like Westphalia or prosciutto.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I recently saw a recipe on Kevin Weeks' blog "Seriously Good" that intrigues me and might fit the bill here. I haven't tried them yet, but plan to soon.

They're called "Cece Fritos" - Fried Chickpeas. Simply fry the chickpeas in olive oil and add spices - seems similar to spiced nuts -

Has anyone made these before?

http://seriouslygood.kdweeks.com/2007/08/cece-fritos.html

Edited by NealH (log)
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We set out some nibbles so that when people arrive they have something to peck at pre-dinner.

It's usually crudite (fennel, celery, carrots), a pickle tray (olives & pickled vegetables) and blue cheese dip. When certain guests are in town, they bring chopped liver too.

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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We usually start gathering around 1:00 with plans to have the big meal around 3:00. I offer bloody mary's, sparkling Shiraz, other wine and beer, and usually put out nuts (Marcona almonds preferably), crudites and a smoked trout spread with crostini---all served with football in the background, of course. But, I hasten to add, the tv goes off when the bird goes on the table! :wink:

I may be in Nashville but my heart's in Cornwall

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