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Thanksgiving: Absolutely Necessary?

Every year we throw a huge Thanksgiving dinner for dozens of our friends. Everyone has a different idea of what must be included; there are usually serious regional variations in food choices, and even variations on a single dish. We generally get around this problem by having everything.

What do you need to see on a dinner table for it to be a "proper" Thanksgiving?

Are you planning to have anything new or weird this year?

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Crash210810 years ago
Pumpkin ice cream. Edy's. Go get it. Now. Other than that, good turkey, good stuffing, good pie, good gravy!
canida (author)  Crash210810 years ago
We had some of that last year, but nobody really touched it. We probably had too many pies, and pumpkin ice cream isn't such a good match with non-pumpkin pie. Besides pumpkin, what qualifies as good pie? We've got coconut cream and key lime on the list for this year.
rachel canida10 years ago
mince pie. this is made with apples & raisins & ... stuff ... the mince is short for mincemeat but there is no actual meat in it. I don't know how to make it, though. I think there are soda crackers in it.
Mincemeat is a very old way to preserve meat. The idea is to cook it to kill any bacteria, and chop or grind it up and then infuse it with enough acidic ingredients to preserve it. There's also sometimes a secondary effort by adding spirits (brandy, etc) My mincemeat has beef in it, and I use butter rather than the optional beef suit. There's tart apples, orange juice, cranberries, several types of raisins, and other high acid stuff. Once I'm done cooking it, however, it goes right in the pie. I don't try to preserve it. The kind my dad likes is out of a jar. We dice up a few tart apples and just dump the gunk into a pie crust. This turns out a pie that is much more sour than I prefer. This type out of the jar is actually vegan. There's something wrong with that. I'm the only one who likes my style, and he's the only one who will eat the prepared store-bought filling baked into a pie, so somethng else always gets made too.
jerbtown canida10 years ago
Pecan, sour cream and raisen, and Chess Pie are some good faves.
canida (author)  jerbtown10 years ago
I haven't had sour cream and raisin- sounds good. Our standards are of course pumpkin, apple, and pecan, but the rest are usually up for grabs. If you put up the sour cream and raisin in time we'll give it a go.
Coldstone has awesome pumpkin ice cream, my sister works there so I get it free.
westfw10 years ago
Sweet potatoes. Candied. With marshmallows. One year we had a tasting. "Sweet potatoes" vs "beauegard yams" vs "jewel yams"; the ones labeled "sweet potatoes" were a rather ugly yellow instead of the bright orange, but they tasted best. Since then I mix them up. Cranberry sauce. The kind that looks like a can, even when served. We've had more authentic cranberry sauces, but they're not as good.
canida (author)  westfw10 years ago
We've ended up with as many as four types of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving: the traditional casserole with and without marshmallows, a casserole with a brown sugar/nut crumble on top, sliced and roasted with onions (coming soon to and Instructable near you). I'm a sucker for sweet potatoes of all sorts. The jellied cranberry sauce is awesome- a friend refers to the intact shape as the cranberry sauce "crystal". I've got a fine recipe for fresh cranberry relish. It's quite good, but clearly in a different category altogether.
jerbtown10 years ago
As long as I have my momma's Cheese-it casserole, I am blissful. I would even pick that over the turkey.
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