Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Holidays Go Wrong

Thanksgiving dinner presents a unique challenge for the cooking enthusiast.  Egomaniacs Hostesses like myself jump at the opportunity to amaze our friends and family members with our perfect pie crusts and mad turkey-brining skills.  But expectations run high.  James Beard used to say, "Anyone who doesn't think the best burgers are to be found in his own hometown is a ninny."  So it is with Thanksgiving.  Every guest knows in his heart-of-hearts that his beloved Meemaw made the best Jell-O salad ever.

Knowing that we cannot compete with remembrances of meemaws past, is it any surprise that some years we are tempted to ignore tradition and forge our own way forward?  Bitter experience has taught me to avoid that landmine-fraught path.  In the wake of a family member's health scare in 2001, I insisted on cooking all sides and desserts from my depressingly large collection of heart-friendly cookbooks.  I was especially excited about creamed chard with a twist - soy milk and (because my grocery store didn't stock the usual green) red chard.  It had not occurred to me that the beet color would leach from the stalks, turning the dish a shade of puce that my sister compared unfavorably to McDonaldland's Grimace.

Then there was 2007, the Year of the Tofurkey.  The less said about that year the better.

This year, it's back to the basics.  The Merry Husband and I have been invited to join the celebration at my sister's in-laws' home in Incline Village, Nevada.  These tried-and-true recipes will make an appearance.

Mom Parson's Cranberries

Roasted Parsnip Bread Pudding

Carrots with Ginger and Honey

Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon

The turkey has been ordered from Willie Bird.


  1. Tofurkey? Creamed chard with a twist of soy milk? Just perfect!!
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. :)

      Jennifer, I love your blog. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hi.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!


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