More Turkey Day Ideas
I thought I’d share the dishes that will be on our menu this Thanksgiving, along with some other ideas if you’re in need of some last-minute inspiration! As I mentioned yesterday, this year B and I are hosting my parents, my brother and his wife for Thanksgiving dinner. The menu I came up with has some of our traditional favorites along with a few newcomers; I tried to plan dishes that would lend themselves well to advance preparation and not too much on-my-feet time on the actual holiday. And fortunately, if my third trimester feet get too tired, I know I’ll have lots of able and willing sous chefs to lean on!
My focus this year, since I was hosting, was to take advantage of the amazing local food producers we have in the Finger Lakes area. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, we’re so spoiled!
- Appetizers — assorted Finger Lakes wine (sparkling cider for me), local cider, assorted cheeses (some local, some not) and crackers, summer sausage from Kingbird Farm, NY Bartlett pears, assorted nuts (mmm…I could eat just a big plate of these things for my whole meal)
- Turkey — we’re getting a heritage turkey from McDonald Farm. I’m planning to roast it simply slathered with lots of butter and herbs from Kingbird Farm (thyme, sage, rosemary and a little savory), both under and over the skin. I’ll put a halved onion and more herbs in the cavity, and make a gravy using the pan drippings and homemade chicken stock.
- Stuffing — I’m making a simple bread stuffing w/a mix of Ithaca Bakery sourdough and homemade buttermilk cornbread, herbs from Kingbird Farm, celery, homemade stock, onions, and apples from West Haven Farm
- Marbelized Root Vegetable Puree – using all veg from our CSA share
- Squash and Apple Bake - something we’ve been having for as long as I can remember, and one of my favorite side dishes!
- Braised Greens with Cranberries, Pine Nuts & Feta – using chard from West Haven Farm and Lively Run goat feta
- Green Beans, Roasted Fennel & Shallots – using shallots from Kingbird Farm
- Cranberry Sauce — my mom’s making this (Mom, looking forward to it!)
- Dessert – one of our guests is bringing this, and I’m excited — she’s bringing carrot cake! Now I love a pie any time of year, but quite honestly, pumpkin pie is not one of my favorites. I do, however, love carrot cake and I think it’s going to be a really nice addition to the meal!
Still looking for some ideas? Here’s a roundup of other dishes I’ve made on the blog that would lend themselves beautifully to the Thanksgiving table.
Goat Cheese & Herb Gougeres are a great appetizer and can easily be made ahead and heated just before serving.
Celery Root & Apple Puree is one of my favorite fall/winter side dishes. It pairs wonderfully with poultry, pork, and even beef — I made it the other week alongside braised beef short ribs. It would be delicious alongside your Thanksgiving turkey!
Roasted Carrots & Thyme are a simple and easy side dish, and gorgeous if you can find various colors of carrots (purple are my favorite!)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta is one of my favorite ways to eat brussels sprouts.
Breakfast on Thanksgiving morning or the morning after:
How about a strata? You can make it the night before, chill it in the fridge (if you still have room!) and bake it off in the morning. Or, there’s always a quiche, or (our favorite) scones!
Apple Cup Pies, cute and a nice twist on the traditional apple pie
Apple Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, homey and a real crowd-pleaser
Pumpkin and Brown Sugar Creme Brulees, decadent and rich
Maple Pots de Creme, smooth and silky.
Maple Souffles, light and elegant.
Whatever your menu includes this Thanksgiving, may it be a happy and healthy one for you and your loved ones!