Category Archives: holiday

Thanksgiving menu 2008

Gracing our table this year will be:
• turkey
• ham
• mashed potatoes
• gravy
• green beans almandine (similar to this recipe, but I’m just going to do what I’ve done in the past — no measuring, exactly)
• sweet potatoes
• cranberry salad
• crudites tray, including dill pickles and olives
• sunshine panna cotta (from the November Bon Appetit recipe, crossed with our standard panna cotta recipe), adapted to make sure it’ll work and taste good sugar free
• iced tea and water to drink, plus coffee (decaf) to accompany dessert

All in all, I expect this to be a tasty, gluten free, sugar free Thanksgiving meal.

I’ve been notified of what a guest is bringing. We’ll also have:
• stuffing (I was taught it’s called dressing, though, when it’s not stuffed into the bird …)
• rolls
• pumpkin pie and the requisite cool whip, and maybe
• fudge


Deli rolls and appetizer philosophy

Deli rolls

These deli rolls — spread a thin layer of cream cheese on a slice of deli meat and then roll dill pickles in it — are a reliable hit at parties. People are consistently surprised by the combination. I really enjoy them, and the presentation is somewhat festive, too.

This time I made them with ham and turkey. They’re also tasty made with roast beef. For ease of creation, work with whipped cream cheese (it spreads much better). For presentation, slice rolls in even sizes — I usually cut each small pickle in half; if there’s a larger one, maybe it’ll get cut in thirds.

I landed on this to take to a recent gathering after a bit of a struggle. It seems finger foods are always difficult for me to come up with. I want them to be:
• simple and relatively fuss-free in preparation,
• use normal, high-quality ingredients, and
• still be at least somewhat healthy.

This is a difficult set of criteria in appetizer land, it seems. I lean toward the safe and easy cheese & crackers or the straightforward chips & salsa. The appetizers I like, I don’t have recipes for because they’re generally so simple. But then when I need an appetizer for something, I have no way to look through the cards in my recipe box, since most likely there isn’t a recipe recorded for what I most like.

Almond Hershey Pie

This is a family recipe from my husband’s side, handed down to us by his paternal grandmother. My husband’s usually the one who makes it. It’s on the menu for Thanksgiving.

Almond Hershey Pie
30 large marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1 7-ounce Hershey bar with almonds
2 tablespoons freeze-dried coffee
8 ounces Cool Whip
graham cracker, chocolate cookie, or regular pie crust

Melt marshmallows, milk and coffee over low heat, stirring. Cool. Add Cool Whip and chopped Hershey bar. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Refrigerate.

Thanksgiving menu

So the menu is finalized for Thanksgiving Day. We’ll plan to eat at 1 p.m., and 10 adults and 1 child will be seated at the table.

The menu:
• turkey
• mashed potatoes
• gravy
• cranberry salad
• green bean casserole
• sweet potatoes
• broccoli and/or cauliflower with cheese sauce
• rolls
• relish tray

We’ll have a variety of sodas to drink.

For dessert, will have a plethora of pies: pumpkin, berry, Dutch apple, chocolate. Dessert will be served with coffee, of course.

I’m in charge of the turkey, gravy, chocolate pie, coffee, and sweet potatoes, sort of.