Breaking from Tradition: Alternative Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Every year for Thanksgiving my family eats turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts with cranberry sauce and gravy on the side. Then apple pie and pumpkin pie for dessert, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if anyone remembered to buy it. Every year!
I've come across some tantalizing recipes on The Food Network, recipe.com, Paula Deen, and other sites that could spice up our family dinner a notch as I think it's high time to revitalize the family menu. I love my grandmother's moist bread stuffing from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook, but here are some new recipes that look tasty and easy to make:
- green bean casserole
- broccoli casserole
- corn casserole
- apple stuffing
- pecan pie
- sweet potato pie
- cranberry salad
I think I could easily introduce some of these new dishes to my family...although some other recipes I've seen look a little questionable:
My brothers are so picky that if anyone other than myself or my mother makes the stuffing, they're skeptical and will taste the food with pinched noses. I once added a can of broth to the mashed potatoes and had two brothers screaming, "What are you doing??!" They fear change, and despite being grown men they're cheeky, too. I doubt oyster stuffing would go over too well in our home!
I think the trick to keeping them happy is to introduce a new dish or two to the roster without taking any of the old, traditional ones away. That, and ensuring they're nowhere near the kitchen while we're cooking so we can avoid their confused criticisms altogether. They can have their kitchen privileges back after dinner, when it's time for them to do the dishes.
Because I'm Canadian but have an American sister-in-law, I actually get to enjoy two Thanksgiving meals each year - and we eat the same thing every time. When you count Christmas, that's three identical feasts over the holiday season from October-December. It's time to re-invigorate our family meals, and I'm confident that trying out some new side dishes is a great way to start. Besides, that sweet potato pie sounds especially delightful.
Another tip I've picked up is how to brine a turkey - apparently this will result in a much tastier bird, no matter how you cook it.
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Westbrook, Maine, United States