Thanksgiving Gameplan 2012

Yes, I know, I’m pushing this one a bit close, but it is better than last year.  Planning for Thanksgiving this year has been trying, and I’ve hardly started cooking, yet!  But I think all is –finally–as settled as it can be.  From here on out, I’ll have to cross my fingers and hope that my general time schedule for shuffling dishes in the oven actually works out.  Here is this year’s line up:

Appetizers

  • Brie with Cranberry Chutney– My mother’s infamous chutney, found years ago in one magazine or another.  A delicious compote of cranberries, cider vinegar, and spices, served over warm, melty brie with crackers.  The number one “holiday smell” for me, my friends have proclaimed that it “tastes like Christmas” and it earned the coveted space on one friend’s father’s annual cheese-plate with one bite.  I will add the recipe after Thanksgiving (because it is perfect for Christmas, I’m just greedy enough to find room for it on Thanksgiving).  I’m just waiting for photos!
  • Crabdip with Gluten Free French Bread— M’s mum is making their family recipe and I’ll be providing the baguette.  Seems like the typical recipe (crab, cream cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, etc) as far as I can tell.  I’ll get the recipe from her someday
  • Pickles and olives, as mentioned last year, are an annual tradition in my family.  Not sure how it started, but it stayed.  It is so engrained that it was the first thing my sister asked when Thanksgiving discussion began.

Meal

  • Turkey–is under M’s direction (I think).  There was some discussion of cooking it on the grill to free up the oven, but with all of us so unfamiliar with that process, I believe we’re just going to make the oven ‘work’ and do the side dishes around that.  Aside from a rub of butter, I don’t think we’re planning to do much else with it.  M’s mum will make the gravy with the drippings.
  • Cornbread Stuffing–my tried-and-true Knockoff Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing, Gluten Free.  I’ll be making it the crockpot again, and am toying with the idea of adding some other tasty additions.  Maybe pine nuts or some apples or cranberries.
  • Potatoes–two kinds: mashed, from my mother (mixed with cream, butter, and chive & onion cream cheese) and slow roasted, from M’s mum.
  • Green Bean Casserole–by M.  We managed to find fried shallots at the asian market that do not contain gluten ingredients, so we’ll have the traditional crispy topping as well.
  • Ratatouille–my sister will be bringing that.  Don’t know much more about it…
  • Cranberry Relish–another recipe of M’s mum, cranberries and oranges and spices whirled in a food processor without any cooking required.  I’m a lover of all cranberry sauces (including the can-shaped jelly), but this sounds especially refreshing against the richer flavors of the other dishes.
  • Sweet Potato Souffle— I’ve been trying to track down the recipe for the dish I sampled at M’s mum’s friend’s last year, but I’m afraid it might be too late.  Emeril’s recipe seems promising.  It’ll be my first try at a soufflé, which does make me nervous.  Maybe I’ll have Pioneer Woman’s Sweet Soul ‘Taters on standby.  They’ll make a delicious breakfast the next day, if we don’t need them.
  • Popovers–my go-to, favorite buttery puffs of bread.

Desserts

  • Pecan Pie–M’s mum’s task again.  
  • I was left to come up with the second dessert.  My family is a big fan of pumpkin pie.  M’s family is not.  I’m hoping that this Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake might just be the bridge in between.  I might even sub in part goat-cheese…I’ll let you know!

So.  The plan is set.  But between now and then, I have a pile of work that should get started.  Most of my recipes are gathered on my planning board.  Best of luck as we enter the food Olympics!  What are you making for Thankgiving?

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