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Monday, November 15, 2010

Meal Planning...What to Serve? What to Serve?

Does anyone's turkey ever really look like this?
I am regularly the one who arrives at Thanksgiving dinner with a non-traditional dish like Pumpkin with Shiitake Mushrooms and Candied Pecans or Spinach Salad with a Hot Bacon Vinaigrette.  But as I sat down to consider the palettes of multiple people, many of whom I don't see more than a couple of times of year (if that), I decided to follow the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Sister!  I am sticking with the traditional dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes.  I have asked my contributing cooks to make double and triple batches of these dishes as opposed to many different dishes.  I figured this would A) save on ingredients because they use most of the ingredients they purchased for the dish they were preparing, B) save space on the buffet table because there wouldn't be 16 different casserole dishes, and C) allow everyone enjoying the dinner to sample a bit of each one rather than the last ones through the buffet line getting stuck with my Pumpkin and Shiitake Mushroom dish.  In addition to their side dishes, I have asked that each contributing cook bring some sort of dessert.  For the non-cooks or those coming in from out of town without access to a cooking space, I am suggesting a contribution of a bottle of wine or some other beverage to share.  And who knows, maybe what I think of as traditional may turn out to be exotic and new to one of my guests.  Next up:  Much Ado About To-Do.

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