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"Re-imagining" Thanksgiving

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my family story is very similar to anzu's.

hvae you seen gurindar chadha (bhaji on the beach)'s

movie on all the different thanskgivings? got great reviews.....

also, my family being veg, and hating bland food, can't

do most of the "traditional" (great point whoever made about

it being so dependent on20th c food industry mass products) stuff.

so we take the ur-american ingredients - beans, corn, squash, pumpkin,

(no tobacco, sorry), tomatoes, peppers, etc. and make whatever

with them.

one year it was veg chili, corn bread, and and the other veg into sides

another time it was sri lankan wattakka curry (pumpkin stew) served

in a hollowed out pumpkin, with the other stuff as different sides,

etc along the same lines.

general curiosity: sweet potatoes are so great made in different

ways, WHY did they ever get turned into that abomination called

candied yams, and WHY (squared) is that so popular?

milagai

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Stuffed pastas like ravioli with pumpkin/ricotta filling is an interesting way to get your squash quotient into the meal.

Aww...that was what I was going to suggest! :smile:

I actually liked the idea about making croutons out of the stuffing. I don't think it would be too difficult--just cube the stuffing and dry them out a bit on a baking sheet. Plus, if it's a sausage stuffing, you're building some much needed (imo, anyway) umami into your plate of greens. And sausage browns up nice and crisp, providing your croutons with a bit of crunch!

I'm sure you could do lots of things with sweet potatoes besides sweet potato pie. How about sweet potato mousse with cinnamon whipped cream, or sweet potato cheesecake with a gingersnap crust? Cranberries would also be simple to incorporate into dessert. A cranberry-gingerbread trifle with a spiced whipped cream sounds pretty good. Or a pumpkin and cranberry swirled cheesecake. Or maybe a riff on those "icebox" cakes (with the layers of chocolate wafers and cream) by using gingersnaps and a pumpkin mousse or a cranberry mousse?


Edited by Ling (log)

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[...]general curiosity:  sweet potatoes are so great made in different

ways, WHY did they ever get turned into that abomination called

candied yams, and WHY (squared) is that so popular?

milagai

Candied yams can be good. Can you imagine them candied with jaggery? How about maple syrup?

Though I have to say that in my family, we've always preferred our sweet potatoes roasted in the oven. I don't add a thing to them; I just eat 'em!


Michael aka "Pan

 

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When I used to live in the States (NY and then Philadelphia), my little family (Mum and stepdad and I) used to drive to Freehold, NJ, and have Thanksgiving dinner (with requisite chill in the air, fallen leaves, and football, and a cast of 15 or more) with a family friend’s extended family. These were great, and introduced me to many staples of the Thanksgiving table (somehow my previous Canadian Thanksgivings hadn’t made much of a dent on my consciousness). Every year, certain items were required to appear: the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing in the bird, green peas with butter and pearl onions, baked candied sweet potatoes (which were really good, with ginger and cinnamon, and actually baked in the oven; my mother makes them in the microwave now and with too many marshmallows), dinner rolls, ambrosia salad, waldorf salad, pumpkin pie, apple pie and pecan pie.

I don’t remember too many non-standard items, or changes in the menu. These dinners are the basis of my family’s tradition now, although the sweet potatoes are different, and my mother has an unfortunate predilection for instant mashed potatoes, which are something I never use :shock: and boxed stuffing, which I admit I do like sometimes.

When I moved back to Canada, I had an orphans’ Thanksgiving (Canadian) with some friends who were away from their families, and altered the menu only by making a different stuffing, with sausage and apples; no salads; and fewer pies, as we were so many fewer to eat them.

My family is back down to three again, so we are blessed (or cursed) with turkey dinner leftovers forever--when my mother cooks, she still likes to prepare enough for at least 8 if not 12 people. “Why do we need a 20 lb turkey, Mummy?” “Oh, we’ll have lots of leftovers!” she says brightly. Our turkey dinners are usually just at Christmas now though, as my parents tend to be travelling at Canadian Thanksgiving.

My favourite thing about the dinner (if I can’t have Mrs. T’s ambrosia salad) is the turkey sandwich the next day: on white bread, with Miracle Whip, cranberries, and salt and pepper. I suppose I'm pretty open to change :biggrin:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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I would love to give it a Southwest slant but would probably be stoned if I tried even though Southwest flavors are popular with the family at any other time.

My friend Dan made his mom's awesome chipotle sweet potatoes at our feast a couple of years ago. You could always, say, cook up a batch of sweet potatoes or some other ingredient relatively plain and flavor it up two different ways.

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I posted this story on the Food vs. Family thread a while back:

"For years now, (I'm 25) my mom and dad (and my brother and I) have had to eat mediocre food at my Grandma's house on Thanksgiving. I like some of her food, but Thanksgiving is particularly awful... dry turkey, doughy stuffing, bland mashed and extra lumpy (not the good lumps!) potatoes, etc. Luckily, my mom has always made the pies! A few years ago my Grandma had had some health problems so we offered to do Thanksgiving at our house and actually, at the time, she was thrilled! We didn't do anything really "weird," but we just kind of flavored it up a bit: we made turkey with an onion and garlic jam, stuffing with dried cranberries, homemade cranberry dressing, roasted brussel sprouts, cream cheese and garlic mashed potatoes, etc. My grandparents and my aunt and uncle barely ate, but afterwards, my immediate family agreed it was the best Thanksgiving meal we'd ever had, if we did say so ourselves! The next year, my Grandma announced that she would be having Thanksgiving again because she just wanted to have "regular" food! How horrible is that?!? So, now we have our own Thanksgiving meal on a different day and just look forward to that! Who says you can't have more than one Thanksgiving meal?!?"

My immediate family is pretty much up for any kind of adventure, with the exception of my little brother. I think he would have a fit if we didn't have pumpkin pie. I was thinking about trying a pumpkin cheesecake this year though...

I wish I could eat at some of your houses for Thanksgiving! We do have our own tradition for Christmas that I like... Christmas Eve and Christmas morning it's pretty traditional stuff, but Christmas night, we order Chinese! I love that! :smile:


"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Actually I'd love to figure out how to make Tater Tots with sweet potatoes. They make awesome french fries as it is.

I just had a brilliant idea....a riff on pommes dauphine with sweet potatoes instead of regular...mmmmm...deep fried crunchy goodness! You could extrude them from a pastry bag, so they would be tater tot shaped...or make them long like a churro! You could sprinkle them with either chili powder or something like that for a savoury, or do them with cinnamon sugar for a sweet.

Must be close to quitting time...starting to obsess about dinner!


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Actually I'd love to figure out how to make Tater Tots with sweet potatoes. They make awesome french fries as it is.

I just had a brilliant idea....a riff on pommes dauphine with sweet potatoes instead of regular...mmmmm...deep fried crunchy goodness! You could extrude them from a pastry bag, so they would be tater tot shaped...or make them long like a churro! You could sprinkle them with either chili powder or something like that for a savoury, or do them with cinnamon sugar for a sweet.

Must be close to quitting time...starting to obsess about dinner!

...smoked paprika or chipotle ? :biggrin:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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You know, you are right about the croutons. they would be easy to make. I'm going to, politely, suggest my editor was a little crazy about that one.

I love the idea of the sweet potato mousse....I don't suppose you have a recipe we can use (and credit)???

Also, I wanted to say how impressed I am with this thread. I'm getting so many ideas!!!! And the stories are great. I'll be pm-ing a number of you soon.

thanks so much,

Bill Daley

Chicago Tribune


Bill Daley

Chicago Tribune

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I'm Canadian, and it seems to me that while Canadians do celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, Thanksgiving seems to be a much bigger deal in the US. 

Our Thanksgiving is more of a harvest festival - and I don't think we have taken to celebrating it with the relish the Americans have. I can count on one hand the number of times my family has had a Thanksgiving dinner - though while I was away at university in Minnesota they had a Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner for us every year.

I have though, taken other holiday meals and completely ignored the traditional foods and tried new things. Last year I had about 30 family members for Passover dinner (2nd night) - and everybody enjoyed the non-traditional meal.

My family is traditional - nobody at the meal was divorced/remarried/step-children - so I don't think that's a factor. But - I think many families that have gone through divorce and remarriage may have a tendency to have the holiday meal twice. And in that way my meal is similar. Most Jewish holidays are celebrated for 2 nights - so by the time my 30 guests had arrived at my dinner, they had all eaten a traditional meal the night before. How many nights in a row can you eat brisket? (don't answer that).

I love the idea of rethinking traditional foods and often do. Luckily my family likes the idea as well :wink: .

PS: there is nothing wrong with candied yams occasionally. And let me tell you - they really do make a non-traditional Passover side dish.

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[...]PS: there is nothing wrong with candied yams occasionally.  And let me tell you - they really do make a non-traditional Passover side dish.

But I think a really good tzimmes is better. :smile:


Michael aka "Pan

 

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When I was young and living away from home, a single gal in the big city, at Thanksgiving we would usually get together with several other singletons also living away from home. We would all bring something to share. One Thanksgiving in particular, because none of us were particularly traditional cooks (or much good at it either), we decided the theme should be pretty much what you said -- traditional "Thanksgiving ingredients" prepared in untraditional ways.

It's been a very long time ago, so I don't recall much. (Actually, I didn't really recall all that much the next day, either.) I do recall an absolutely fabulous warm cranberry sauce served over vanilla ice cream. I think maybe it was flamed, and seems like there were crepes involved, a riff on Cherries Jubilee. (And I think that's what I brought, but I wouldn't bet on it. For one thing, I'm not sure I knew how to make crepes. Hell, maybe there weren't any crepes.) Also for dessert, there was a pumpkin flan. (Or maybe that's where I got the recipe for the pumpkin ice cream pie made with little flecks of crystallized ginger.) One thing I remember for certain is that the guy in charge of the turkey completely wimped out and just brought turkey legs, one for each of us, which he sprinkled with chili powder and roasted. And we all sat around the fireplace eating and waving our turkey legs like a bunch of Barbarians and throwing the bones into the fire and laughing our asses off. I think the traditional green beans turned into a cold 3-bean salad and the ubiquitous onion rings from a can morphed into real, deep-fried onion rings. We dipped the onion rings into an interesting sauce of some importance and connection to the holiday (and an off-color slam at someone's maiden Aunt Helen), but I cannot remember exactly what it was. The turkey dressing was more like sage dressing croquettes or fried patties of some sort. They were good...fried in butter. Warm and aromatic and flavorful on the inside. And hot and crusty on the out.

Regarding the Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping, I kind of remember the sweet potatoes being whipped into a cold frothy drink made with sugar and heavy cream and laced with cinnamon and nutmeg. And if I were a bettin' woman, I'd bet there was some rum in it, too. Or some sort of alcohol. In homage to the marshmallow topping, we roasted marshmallows in the fireplace and ate those along with our frosty sweet potato shakes.

And instead of real hot apple pie, we had a drink made with hot spiced apple cider and Tuaca, topped with whipped cream, called a "Hot Apple Pie."

Many of the details of this hilarious evening have been lost to memory. But I still make those Hot Apple Pies with the spiced cider and Tuaca. Yum.

Warming and delicious. And you know how good fruit is for you. :wink:


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You know, you are right about the croutons. they would be easy to make. I'm going to, politely, suggest my editor was a little crazy about that one.

I love the idea of the sweet potato mousse....I don't suppose you have a recipe we can use (and credit)???

Also, I wanted to say how impressed I am with this thread. I'm getting so many ideas!!!! And the stories are great. I'll be pm-ing a number of you soon.

thanks so much,

Bill Daley

Chicago Tribune

This is a recipe I've adapted from a pumpkin mousse recipe. (I also adjusted the amount of spices and vanilla from the original recipe by increasing the amounts slightly. Also, the original recipe called for 3/4 cup of white sugar, but I decreased it to account for the natural sweetness in the sweet potatoes, and use brown sugar because I like the flavour. )

Sweet Potato mousse

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups cooked sweet potato, pureed until smooth

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

5 egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. dark rum

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

pinch of salt

1. Whisk 3/4 cups whipping cream, sugar, and yolks in a saucepan until thickened over medium heat.

2. Transfer mixture to a large boil, and mix in the sweet potato, rum, vanilla, salt, and spices. Refrigerate until cold, about an hour.

3. Beat the remaining whipping cream until stiff peaks, and fold into the sweet potato mixture.

4. Refrigerate the mousse for at least 4 hours, and up to a day before serving.


Edited by Ling (log)

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Our Thanksgiving has always been staunchly traditional though we have branched out meekly into the world of deep fried turkies (spice-rubbed and with marinade injected the night before).

My oldest brother has tried to break us out of the box. He usually brings a "cajun" stuffing and gravy (too spicy for my mom) and, instead of yams, he makes twice baked sweet potatoes (not the orange fleshed yams but the yellowish-fleshed sweet potatoes...baked, then scooped out and mixed with roasted garlic, butter, sour cream and a touch of horse radish then spooned back into the potato skins then baked again until a little golden brown on top).

It's great to have the traditional dishes but I'm enjoying the "tweaked" dishes as well.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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(Or maybe that's where I got the recipe for the pumpkin ice cream pie made with little flecks of crystallized ginger.)

Do you have this recipe still? It sounds extremely yummy and I would greatly appreciate it!


"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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(Or maybe that's where I got the recipe for the pumpkin ice cream pie made with little flecks of crystallized ginger.)

Do you have this recipe still? It sounds extremely yummy and I would greatly appreciate it!

It IS extremely yummy. And I think I still have it, as I made it for several years afterward. I'll dig around and see if I can recover it. I'm hoping so, as I'd kind of 'forgotten' about it until I was writing that. And if I can find it, not only will I post it here, I'm making it this holiday season, too. :rolleyes:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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(Or maybe that's where I got the recipe for the pumpkin ice cream pie made with little flecks of crystallized ginger.)
Do you have this recipe still? It sounds extremely yummy and I would greatly appreciate it!

Found it.

And actually, the more I think about it, I'm pretty certain that that silly Thanksgiving was where I got this delicious recipe. In order for any of us to have made Pumpkin Flan, we would have needed 'more' -- more time, effort, skill and knowledge of world cuisine -- than any of us possessed. This recipe, on the other hand, is easily put together. Although I should add that while it is simple, I dazzled friends and family with it for the next couple of decades:

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Crust: 1 Pkg cinnamon crisp graham crackers

1/3 C melted butter

Grind crackers into crumbs. Mix with butter and press into a deep pie dish.

Soften 1 qt best-quality vanilla ice cream. Snip ½ jar (and we all bought McCormick) candied, crystallized ginger into small pieces. Combine ginger and vanilla ice cream and pour into crust and freeze.

Combine 1 C canned pumpkin, 1 C sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, ¼ t powdered ginger, 1 t ground cinnamon. Mix well. Whip 1 C cream to soft peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mix. Pour over frozen ice cream. Dust top with pumpkin pie spice. Freeze until firm.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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wow - i hink we had a thread on this at one time - at least i know i had one last year that touched on this topic - but i envy you the luxury of getting adventurous with the Turkey Dinner.

it's been my experience that most people (or at least the people i know) have a very "fixed" idea of Thanksgiving Dinner.

any movement away from the norm really stresses them the heck out. it's very strange - that panic.

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We were a small family, just the four of us, but we often had friends in that were like family. My sister and I still do that. For a while it was strictly traditional, all of the usual suspects mentioned so far. Then, when I was in my early teens, mom & dad's interest in cooking really took off. It was a wild ride ever since. Sometimes we still had to have mom's traditional cornbread dressing or her potato salad but everything else was fair game. We continue that tradition to this day.

Probably the most fun was the year we did a Jean Andrews' Thanksgiving menu. It was in some magazine and we did the whole thing. The turkey was stuffed with tamales and the pan was lined with them to soak up the juices. I think I remember corn fritters and sweet potatoes with ancho paste. The recipe for the turkey is in The Pepper Trail. I think the whole dinner was in Southern Living and titled "A South Texas Christmas" or something like that and it was at least 15 years ago.

We have been known to fry about a dozen turkeys at a time. Since we have the pot of oil heated up, folks bring their "free turkeys" for processing into something edible. For that, we might make a Cajun version of the cornbread dressing, lots of trinity, andouille sausage and like seasonings. And, with that pot of now seasoned oil going, the crudite tray, that someone always has to bring, gets dumped in so that it will get eaten.

Then there was the goose disaster that I did one year. I had never cooked a goose and was anxious to try it. I got the recipe from a Cajun friend. You stuff the well seasoned goose with potatoes, wrap it in bacon and put more potatoes in the bottom of the pan. The bacon was artfully arranged and it looked lovely coming out of the oven. It was at that point that I realized that I had a vat of fat. Then it dawned on me that the recipe was intended for wild geese that don't have all that much fat by the time they get this far south.

About 30 years ago, Mother was on a Weight Watchers kick and did a whole traditional dinner according to the WW rules of the time. We drove all the way in from New Orleans for that disaster. The dinner was eaten in relative silence. At the end of the meal, someone let out the first giggle. Soon, we were all collapsing on the floor laughing hysterically. We made a "real" dinner the next day.

I guess you could say that our tradition is to see what we can come up with for this year. But there is always some form of the traditional dishes done with a twist.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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...and the ubiquitous onion rings from a can morphed into real, deep-fried onion rings.  We dipped the onion rings into an interesting sauce of some importance and connection to the holiday (and an off-color slam at someone's maiden Aunt Helen), but I cannot remember exactly what  it was.

It's all coming back... the "dip" began life as somebody's maiden Aunt Helen's "Fluffy Cloud Potato Casserole." It was mashed Irish potatoes, with melted butter, sour cream, chives, and a few other things I can't remember. It was poured into a casserole, covered with grated cheddar cheese and baked.

Only it didn't turn out so much like "Fluffy Clouds" as it did the rain that falls from them. It was runny as gravy and when you dished yourself up a serving, it immediately created a pool that spread quickly across your plate. I think that's when the off-color jokes about Aunt Helen started.

You've heard of folks referring to their "Salad Days of Youth." In our case, I don't recall a lot of salad. They were more like "Daquiri Days." We all had at least two (usually more) blenders lined up on our kitchen counters standing at attention like sturdy soldiers waiting to be called to duty. So we poured Aunt Helen's Soggy Clouds into one of the blenders, added more cheese to firm things up a little, and hit "frappe."

Voila. Dip.

:rolleyes:


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Growing up, I had fairly "traditional" Thanksgiving meals with my family--but they were *good* meals. I think I've waxed rhapsodic in other threads about my mother's culinary skills really shining on T-day, and how much I learned about cooking just from helping her. But looking back, the "traditionality" of our Thanksgiving meals was a bit questionable--after all, my mom was first-generation American and one generation away from living on relief in the Lower East Side, so I suspect she taught herself the traditional meal from Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens (no small feat, to be sure, but still...)

Regardless, I did get imprinted on the whole shebang, so that when I left the family nest and started hooking up with other families or singletons, I became appalled at what others found acceptable as a traditional T-day feast, including tolerance of mediocre food. To this day I still don't understand why so many people seem to find roasting a turkey so challenging. Geez, roasting a bird is *not* rocket science! I'd make my mom's cranberry/orange relish to bring to these meals (the recipe, I think, came to her right off a bag of cranberries), and it would go virtually untouched, while everyone inhaled that icky canned jellied cranberry sauce because that's what they grew up with. I've even seen people massively screw up that damned stringbean casserole--how in the world can you mess that one up?!?

So in other words, sometimes I have found myself in the ironical position of trying to cleave to my family's "tradition" of well-prepared but otherwise non-innovative food, and finding myself being thought of as "non-traditional" by others whose T-day traditions insist on what I think of as crappy, and even less innovative food. :laugh:

Nonetheless, I have occasionally hooked up with some fellow fearless cooks to try more innovative stuff. I remember one Thanksgiving back in Boston, my housemate of the time, Harry, and I tried out one of those super-slow-cook overnight-in-the-oven roast turkeys. This recipe, as I recall, also involved a huge amount of wine--which may have something to do with my inability to remember much about how it turned out. :biggrin:

And somewhere along the line I picked up a lovely recipe for brussels sprouts in a vinaigrette flavored with maple syrup and lots of whole-grain mustard. Alas, this one runs headlong into many people's aversion to brussels sprouts, but I love 'em so I keep sneaking this dish in every now and again.

These days, however, I'm most likely to celebrate big food-oriented holidays over at my church, where the potlucks draw out all sorts of interesting dishes. Usually the folks running the potluck will make a couple of big roast turkeys, but then with the sides everyone brings it's pretty much anything goes--and does. Quite refreshing, actually.

P.S. I think another reason why Thanksgiving has become so big in the US is that *every* college and boarding school lets its charges loose for the holiday at pretty much the exact same time. That makes for a huge number of people flocking home, with high expectations for home cooking after a semester of dismal dining-hall food. :laugh:

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I'm really intrigued by this topic. We do Thanksgiving with my husband's family and until a few years ago the only things people were allowed to bring to share was dessert because my mother-in-law wanted to cook it all. Gradually, I have started to take over more dishes as we are a big group now (30) and she isn't a very good cook. I do a traditional turkey (because that is my favorite) but we also do prime rib because we have several non-turkey eaters. Last year I took over the stuffing and did a chestnut stuffing but also did the bagged to be on the safe side. Only the littlest kids (and most definately not mine) ate the bagged stuff. I always make fresh cranberry sauce and put out the canned. Basically that is how we introduce new stuff to our family table- some of the old, some of the new. In terms of family dynamics, though, let one person do both so that no one's feelings are hurt when the old stuff is left in the dust.

A few menu suggestion for your reimaged dinner: instead of candied sweet potatoes do candied brussel sprouts with pecans, brown sugar, and bacon (and sweet but with some savory); instead of stuffing do mushroom bread puddings in muffin tins; my mom did cranberry ices one year for dessert which were great and very refreshing; mini potato latkes with creme fraiche and caviar is a cool starter; I make a big pot of really spicy greens (sometimes collards, sometimes kale with fat back, pepper vinegar, and my own cajun seasoning) which gets gobbled because it breaks up the richness of the meal but you never see greens on a New England table; this year I'm going to fool around with marrones glaces and sweet potatoes, maybe a sort of sweet potato custard layered like a parfait with the chestnuts and a thin layer of marscapone; and of course there are the many variations of cranberry based cocktails.

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(Or maybe that's where I got the recipe for the pumpkin ice cream pie made with little flecks of crystallized ginger.)
Do you have this recipe still? It sounds extremely yummy and I would greatly appreciate it!

Found it.

And actually, the more I think about it, I'm pretty certain that that silly Thanksgiving was where I got this delicious recipe. In order for any of us to have made Pumpkin Flan, we would have needed 'more' -- more time, effort, skill and knowledge of world cuisine -- than any of us possessed. This recipe, on the other hand, is easily put together. Although I should add that while it is simple, I dazzled friends and family with it for the next couple of decades:

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Crust: 1 Pkg cinnamon crisp graham crackers

1/3 C melted butter

Grind crackers into crumbs. Mix with butter and press into a deep pie dish.

Soften 1 qt best-quality vanilla ice cream. Snip ½ jar (and we all bought McCormick) candied, crystallized ginger into small pieces. Combine ginger and vanilla ice cream and pour into crust and freeze.

Combine 1 C canned pumpkin, 1 C sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, ¼ t powdered ginger, 1 t ground cinnamon. Mix well. Whip 1 C cream to soft peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mix. Pour over frozen ice cream. Dust top with pumpkin pie spice. Freeze until firm.

Wow! That is easy! I have some Penzey's crystallized ginger that needs to be used....


"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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I have managed to get a couple of new things into the traditional rotation without too much hassle. One is a ginger and bay infused pumpkin pie from the Herbfarm cookbook that has replaced the mandatory 'regular' pumpkin pie, even with my MIL who says it's not Thanksgiving Day without pumpkin pie. Fresh cranberry-orange relish (bad of berries, an orange or two, a smidge of sugar) has also made it as an addition--can't get everyone to give up the canned stuff.

I am thinking about adding a squash bisque with shrimp this year. It's another Herbfarm recipe and everytime I serve it it sounds like a porn movie around the table. :shock::wub::wink:

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