If your family is anything like mine, nobody wonders what we’re eating for Thanksgiving this year. Our menu, like most, is steeped in tradition, and everybody expects to see their favorites on the table year after year– cornbread dressing, the green bean casserole (soup-free–I make my own bechamel), the sweet potatoes with marshmallows and pecans, and of course, the roast turkey. To mess with the classics would be culinary sacrilege. I wouldn’t dare.
I look forward to those familiar dishes as much as anyone, but I sometimes fantasize about going rogue and getting creative with the traditional elements of a Thanksgiving feast. I keep thinking that one of these Novembers I’ll host an pre-holiday adult dinner with an alternative menu. Of course, the last thing I need on my November to-do list is extra cooking and cleaning, so it remains a fantasy thus far–a table set only in Pinterest.
As I see it, any interpretation of a Thanksgiving menu has to incorporate these minimum essentials:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Pecan or Pumpkin Dessert
Here’s a couple of ways I might deconstruct and reassemble those elements:
New South Style Menu #1
Dressing: Sage and Polenta Madeleines
Green Beans: Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Bacon
New South Style Menu #2
Dressing: Savory Bread Pudding with Cranberries
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet Potatoes Anna with Prunes
Green Beans: Green Bean Bundles with Bacon and Brown Sugar
Dessert: Pecan Pumpkin Butter Trifle
Not a marshmallow or a deviled egg in sight. What do you think? Would Thanksgiving still feel bountiful without your favorite childhood dish? Without leftovers for days? Or do you want to come over and have dinner with me in Pinterest sometime?