This year things are going to be a bit different for me for Thanksgiving. As I'm no longer working in an office, the annual ritual of folks passing by my cube, looking for those last-minute recipe hints or swapping holiday cooking disaster stories (for the record, I don't have any of those) is not going to be taking place. This also means that I don't have to confess to anyone that I've never actually made the centerpiece of the meal: the turkey.
My mother always made the turkey and gravy. I wasn't even allowed near it, except when it came to pulling out the innards (which, thankfully came stored in a plastic bag shoved down its inside). At every other meal to which I've been invited, it is usually the host who takes care of this. Even when my roommates and I had folks over to eat many years ago, I was able to get out of poultry duty.
I'm the first one to volunteer to bring dessert or a side dish to the meal, if it is a potluck, and will almost-willingly peel the mounds of potatoes it takes to feed my large and carb-friendly family (although I'm really looking for someone in the next generation who can take over from me on that), but I've never tackled cooking the big bird. This year will be no different, as far as I know.
So, what I've been promising everyone is that I'll pull together some of the side dishes that I've posted previously that might be suitable for the occasion. I've also linked to two other new dishes that I created recently using products that I recently discovered via Schoolhouse Kitchen. These might not all be the same things that were served at the first harvest celebration held by the Puritans in Plymouth, but they should be very tasty and might give you some new ideas to carry over to your own family's annual table. I hope that you enjoy them.
Spiced Pumpkin-Pecan Muffins with Maple Butter
(I'm partial to the ones with Cheddar and Chives)
Pears and Cheese
(without the salad, this could also be a dessert course)
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons
Spiced Pecan and Pear Salad
Baked Couscous with Spinach and Pine Nuts
(a potluck standby, this can also be made vegan by omitting the cheese)
Farro Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Thyme-Roasted Mushrooms
(this can also be made vegan by omitting the butter and cheese)
Roasted Parsnips with Schoolhouse Kitchen's Bardshar Chutney
Sweet Potato Mash with Schoolhouse Kitchen's Squadrilla Chutney
This entry will also be cross-posted at Blogher.