My vegetarian friends and family have inspired me over the years to come up with tasty, satisfying alternatives to meat-centric dishes….
I’m at the stage in my life when the holiday traditions of my childhood are shifting. With three extended families and just a handful of holidays per year, it’s impossible to eat all of my favorite dishes with the people who make them best….
Feeding a crowd is as much about planning as it is about making delicious food. There’s fridge space, oven space and counter space to prioritize—along with food to keep warm, drinks to keep cold, and guests to keep happy.
In just a couple of weeks, many of you will be opening your homes to family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner. Even though I can’t help you keep your guests happy, I would love to lend a hand in getting organized for the big day.
[my Downloadable Thanksgiving Checklist enters the stage]
My stomach and I have come to an understanding. We agree that Thanksgiving is for gravy, cranberries, and an overload of sage, cinnamon and thyme. We’ll eat and eat, and we won’t care that our food piles are touching and mixing. When else would cranberries and green beans get together?
But by the morning after, my stomach and I need a break from those savory Thanksgivingy flavors. Instead we’re craving crunch, spice and zippiness—and maybe a slice of cold pumpkin pie.
The Vietnamese bánh mì—with its fresh and pickled vegetables, herbs, condiments and meats (or tofu)—has been my inspiration for pulling my stomach and me right out of that post-Thanksgiving sage-and-cinnamon-and-thyme rut. With leftover turkey and turkey liver pâté as its foundation, my own bánh mì is certainly more American than Vietnamese. That said, I encourage you to turn to the experts for the history and evolution of this beautiful sandwich.
Thanksgiving is a combination of magic and madness. It’s a day when many of us pour our love into one of the most elaborate meals we are likely to make all year. The reward is a beautiful spread of brown, orange and yellow foods that are best eaten in piles. The risk is preparing that spread against the pressures of time, hungry guests and multitasking.
Since I want you to enjoy your meal as much as possible, I’ve put together a little guide on how to make Thanksgiving planning as easy as (pumpkin) pie.
Study your Recipes
Once you’ve figured out which dishes you’re responsible for, make sure to read up on them. The last thing you want is to realize midway through a recipe, that your butter was supposed to have been at room temperature. Or that you actually should have baked that pumpkin pie yesterday because it needs to chill overnight, and it’s 10 am on Thanksgiving morning. Though it can’t prevent mishaps altogether, having knowledge of your recipes makes things a lot easier, especially when recreational eating is involved….