Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving dinner is at my house this year. Eleven people will cram themselves into my hot little kitchen, and I am so pleased. The crowd will include meat eaters, vegetarians, adults who don't like adventurous food, adults who love adventurous food, and fussy children.

Much as I enjoy making desserts, I decided to assign that job to my guests. Pies and cookies are easy to transport but take a lot of extra planning in a kitchen with only one oven. So I am focusing only on the savory part of the holiday.

Yesterday I made two kinds of small dinner rolls: one plain wheat-rye sourdough, the other a sourdough base mixed with pecans, currants, and dried cranberries. They went into the freezer, and I'll thaw them before dinner on Thursday.

Next on the make-ahead list is a good strong vegetable stock. The turkey will be the only meat item. I want the vegetarians to be able to enjoy everything else, including the gravy.

You'll notice I mentioned turkey: Tom and I wanted to have Cornish hens but couldn't find them in the local stores. So turkey it is--a smallish bird, roasted with lots of garlic and rosemary.

Cornbread is another make-ahead item: I've always wanted to make cornbread stuffing, and I found a lovely recipe that includes chopped prunes and apricots flavored with fennel seeds.

The vegetarian main dish will be whole-wheat lasagna with goat cheese, zucchini, and fresh tomatoes.

As side dishes, I've settled on beets in pistachio butter; twice-baked potatoes with scallions and parmesan; cranberry relish with apples, oranges, and ginger; and an as-yet-to-be named green vegetable . . . possibly Brussels sprouts, possibly a spinach salad.

Meanwhile, Tom is making a table big enough to seat everyone. Whether or not it will fit into the tiny room is another question.


Carlene said...

I love your menu; do you/would you share the fruited roll recipe? =)

And he's making a that is dedication.

Have a super holiday...

Dawn Potter said...

I mixed up a plain sourdough bread recipe and kneaded it in the electric mixer. Toward the end of the kneading I added a half cup of currants and a half cup of cranberries (previously soaked in hot water and then dried in towels) and a half cup of chopped pecans (previously dry-roasted in a skillet and then cooled). Then I let the dough rise as usual. When the time came, I shaped the dough into small balls and set them on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. They rose again for half an hour. I preheated the oven to 425, cut a slit in the top of each roll, and baked them for 20 minutes, then reduced the heat to 375 and baked them for another 5-10 (depending on the size of your rolls). They aren't sweet, like a breakfast roll, but are really nice for a holiday dinner.

Ruth said...

What a lovely menu. As a vegetarian going to a holiday meal or any for that matter any meal, I always ask if I can bring a veggie dish or two.
This year it is kale/quinoa/feta with lots of garlic and a hint of nutmeg, along with broccoli salad; broccoli slaw and chopped steamed broccoli with dried cranberries, pecans and a bit of queso fresco and perhaps I shall make roasted brussel sprouts!! I always find more than enough to eat.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Carlene said...

They sound ideal...