Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it’s simply a gastronomes nirvana… A bird as the main course, 10 different side dishes and at least 3 desserts… and this is all at home with the comfort of couches and ottomans for letting food settle before going back for leftovers.
I started preparing the menu a couple of weeks ago by digging out my “holiday” binder of favorite recipes and realized the Thanksgiving section was bursting at the seams, yet I hadn’t made a majority of the dishes which are a mix of everything from old family recipes to cutouts from the NY Times and I realized the reason behind this… No matter how much I try to put a twist on the dishes I am serving for Thanksgiving, everyone wants the classics! As a cook desperate to try new dishes for such a big culinary holiday, I find this both frustrating and comforting. Though I want the cornbread stuffing with cranberries, squash and pumpkin seeds, everyone else wants the tried and true bread stuffing with sage and onions.
So this year, I decided to put an end to everyone’s demands for the classics and just give them a bit of both in hopes of selling them on a new take on one of the must-have dishes. Now, I am not going to make all of this on my own… The plan goes something like this…
Guest 1 calls about logistics for Thanksgiving and happens to mention they are really looking forward to pumpkin pie.
I reply, “Oh, I am so sorry… I was planning to making a twist on the classic by preparing a pumpkin cheesecake this year.”
Guest 1 says, “but we can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without pumpkin pie.”
I reply, “You’re absolutely right! Would you mind bringing it as I have already done all the shopping and started preparing the cheesecake”
Guest then is suckered in to actually helping and in turn gets their pumpkin pie…
So, will it work? Will I be able to stand my ground and make poached seckel pears in a cranberry compote instead of the traditional cooked down cranberry sauce with orange zest? At this point, who knows. Stay tuned and I will let you know next Friday.