Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The ultimate Thanksgiving food guide

The best ideas are stolen but if you combine a whole bunch of ideas you are aggregating them and that's totally cool. SO without further ado it's time for the ultimate Thanksgiving food guide.

Pumpkin pie:
the canned pumpkin was more charismatic in flavor and hue
I can attest to this. I grew up in a frugal (cheap) home and my mom grew one of everything in her expansive garden on the farm. The most intriguing (to her, anyway) was her bumper crop one year of pie pumpkins. They're relatively dainty next to their Jack-o-Lantern counterparts and are bred for baking. (Trust me, the pumpkin from your typical Jack-o-Lantern tastes as close to shit as I are to venture). My bakin'-fool mom cooked up a few of the round pumpkins and scooped out the good stuff and made a couple pies. Now if you've read my Twitter bio you know I claim to be a lover of pies. Well these home-brewed creations nearly ruined me. They were simply disappointing and at the ripe old age of eight I swore off home-grown pie pumpkins as did my mom. Really, what's easier - baking up a pumpkin which you've scooped free of seeds or opening a can? Winner: can.

the green bean casserole was a mushy, revolting mess
As far as Thanksgiving vegetables go, they tend to get the short end of the stick. When was the last time somebody jumped out of their chair and shouted "Damn, that sweet corn was so good I almost pissed myself"? It's because vegetables, while tasty, are largely just a side dish. They don't get the pre- or post-preparation attention that the turkey gets. And some people do horrible things to their vegetables. They scallop the corn, they casserole the green beans and they put - gasp - marshmallows on the candied sweet potatoes. Now as far as vegetables go I am a huge fan of candied sweet potatoes. We have them probably once a month and they're so good that you'd mess yourself but sorry, you can't have my recipe. Stick with the tried and true veggies: sweet corn and sweet potatoes.

don't put it on everything, it smells like it's burned
That was the warning uttered plenty loud for everyone in the room to hear a couple years ago at my in-laws' Thanksgiving dinner but my brother-in-law still went ahead with covering every inch of his plate with the obviously burnt gravy. The problem was that it was homemade and in the rush to prepare everything else the gravy got neglected. It happens but it doens't need to. The simpler options include powder puuch mixes, canned gravy and jarred gravy. Sure, it doesn't always taste like homemade but when homemade tastes like a tire fire homemade may not be the best standard by which to judge.

I won't venture in to turkey territory because I have yet to perfect the poultry side of the meal. My turkey typically turns out a bit on the dry side even with stuffing half of a stick of margarine under the breast skin of the bird and basting the Jennie-O every thirty minutes. It also needs more salt than I typically shake on. But in the end it's still more than edible. Now if anyone has a killer pie crust recipe and secrets for rolling it out to perfection, drop it in the comments.

I know that basically nobody besides myself will be near a computer for the next few days but that doesn't mean you can't take a break and check out MinnPics. This long weekend should be interesting.


snowelf said...

Happy Thanksgiving Sornie. Lots of love to you, the Mrs. and your adorable daughter.


Jacki said...

One way to avoid dry turkey is to brine it overnight in a lot of salt water before roasting. Then, after roasting, let it sit covered in foil for about 30-45 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the bird.