, , , , , , , , , ,

As a kid, I always thought the Peanuts gang had a pretty awesome Thanksgiving menu:  Popcorn, buttered toast, pretzels and jelly beans!  A dream come true for any 7 year-old…just ask.  And the takeaway message was that the food doesn’t really matter, it’s the gathering of family and friends. 

True.  Very true. 

But let’s be honest.  For most of us, the food does matter.  It matters A LOT!  The  Peanuts gang are great philosophers but they are also cartoon characters that don’t actually need to eat.  And so, if you are still wondering what the heck to put on your Thanksgiving table for your real-life family this year, here’s what I’ll be serving up:

  • Veggie & dip tray (Appetizer)
  • Strawberry/Jalapeno relish over cream cheese (Appetizer).  Sounds nasty, right?  My mom made this for many gatherings and I avoided it for years.  Not sure if I lost a bet or what, but once I finally tried it, it was love at first bite.  You can make your own relish by simply blending a jar of strawberry preserves with about 3/4 jar of drained pickled jalapenos.  Serve over a brick of cream cheese and crackers.  Seriously, your guests will hover over this stuff and beg you to tell them what’s in it.
  • Turkey (duh).  The hubs will be masterfully preparing the bird on our Big Green Egg.  Let’s hope it turns out better than the infamous 14-hour turkey my dad made on his smoker a few years ago…I think my mom is still mad about that one.
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oyster dressing.  My father made this request so my mom will be making it.  I don’t know if she has a special recipe she’s using, but I figured if you’re inspired to try it out yourself, you can’t go wrong with The Pioneer Woman’s recipe!
  • Green bean casserole.  I saw this recipe in the November issue of Southern Living.  While I happen to like the ol’ standby with cans of cream of whatever soup, my husband does not.  So, I’m going to give this one a try that uses a packet of Ranch dressing, Panko breadcrumbs, tomatoes, mushrooms and the ubiquitous fried onions.
  • Corn souffle.  A simple and classic holiday staple in our household.  The eggs are what make it light and fluffy.  You can top it with cheese if you like.  But since my husband is allergic to casseroles (he says it’s an actual medical condition), I’ll refrain from putting cheese on top and instead of calling it a casserole, it’s a souffle.  Now, don’t I sound fancy?
  • Cranberry chutney.  My sister in law will be making her  cranberry chutney.  Not sure what her recipe is but this one sounds pretty close. 
  • Parker House rolls.  While I love to bake, I’m scared of working with yeast.  There.  I said it.  Bread baking is not something I have mastered and so I will be serving Sister Schubert’s rolls from my grocer’s freezer section.  Why try to improve on perfection?
  •  Pumpkin Pie and Frankenpie.  True confession.  I ordered my pies this year from The Pie Hole.  WHAT?  But this is a baking blog and you’re not going to bake your own pies?  Nope.  People rave about the pies from this place and what better occasion to give them a try than Thanksgiving?  I’m making most of the meal and have two batches of cookies to put on the dessert table so I feel like I’m living up to my end of the baking bargain here.  Oh, and if you’re wondering what Frankenpie is…it’s pears, apples, cranberries, raisins and walnuts.  I’ll be serving the pie with vanilla ice cream and Cool Whip.
  • Pistachio chocolate chip cookies
  • Peanut butter cup cookies

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  After I’ve stuffed myself silly, I’m hoping to have time to watch one of my favorite holiday classics:  Planes, Trains and Automobiles.  Gobble, Gobble!