Sunday, November 18, 2012

Set In Stone

And that would be the Thanksgiving Day menu.  A lot of our nationally-celebrated holidays have set menus - a ham or side of beef at Christmas and ham agan at Easter. 

The only variations are the side dishes which vary from family to family.  I've been cooking these for as long as I can remember -- green beans and mushroom soup casserole, candied yams with baking spices -- allspice, mace, cinnamon, ginger - whatever's around. 

Years ago I used to make Lime Green Jell-0 with Cottage Cheese.  Finally one T-Day I realized  that no one had eaten any of it but me so I took it off the line-up.  But I still like cottage cheese and canned peaches in the summer - so there!  It's something we do in the Midwest to explain our love for this old-fashioned dish. 

This year I'm upgrading the green bean casserole by using Trader Joe's fresh, frozen French green beans, Portobello Mushroom Soup and their house-brand fried onions for the topping.

Another change - instead of crescent rolls, I'm going to make a pan of jalapeno and corn kernels cornbread with honey butter.  I've always enjoyed making the rolls - Pla-Doh! but only half get eaten and they don't make very good leftovers. 

Richie and I have settled the annual war about the turkey amiably this year.  Since no one will eat the dark meat, I want to do just a breast.  But Richie howls like a wounded hyena, "I want a REAL turkey!"  By this he means the whole bird, wings, legs and all.  But the other week, my friend Marcelle mentioned in passing that she likes the dark meat.  "It has more flavor," she said.  She just won the Legs Lottery!

I like to think of all of the happy people across our nation, happily speculating on what will be served to them when they are hosted at someone else's table.  The residents, of course, already know.  Same as last year.

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