Usually the Turkey takes center stage at Thanksgiving, but I’m sure vegetarians would beg to differ. You may have heard the saying, “It’s all about the sides!”. I remember a few years ago the New York Times Food section had a debate on the issue! But let me ask you this. Do you really want to spend 2 days preparing next Thursdays’ dinner? My answer is YES! Of course you do! I love this holiday. Food and Family with no presents or decorations, well maybe just a few sets of lights on the boxwood.
And while you’re at it, try bringing the outside in for an interesting table arrangement with a colorful palette.
But whether you go all out or keep it simple, this celebration is the opening act for the main attraction. America seems to go crazy right about when I’m cleaning up from the turkey sandwiches. The lights from the Outlets are glaring in my windows, and teenage girls everywhere are begging their Mothers to take them shopping. They don’t want to miss the bargains at Fossil, Guess and Michael Kors. The traffic is backed up through the center of town and yet no one is deterred.Even in the icy rain they can’t wait to get in line at Coach in order to get that $300 bag for $150! It’s not just the kids. Friends of mine, sensible adult women I know are working the midnight shift just so they can get a discount at these places. Their husbands have to drop them off at some distant salt mine where they can catch a shuttle to the stores.
This is insane! But getting back to Thanksgiving Dinner, toss the Cream of Mushroom Soup and try this updated version of Green Bean Casserole from the Food Network @ http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-sides/50-classic-thanksgiving-side-dish-recipes.html. Make the traditional classics that your family expects, but change it up a bit with some new ideas. I won’t be entertaining in my own home this year, but I will happily transport as many sides as my trunk will hold.
Broccoli with cheese sauce is an old family favorite. But this year I may also try a mixture of Roasted Butternut Squash with Brussel Sprouts. Recently my Mother has enjoyed making Glazed Carrots. There will be Turkey and Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. A bountiful variety of traditional and trendy, celebrated on beautiful Cape Cod, close to where the very first Thanksgiving took place.
And even better, no where near the Outlets!
illustration by Cindy Hendrick
photos by Chris Primavera