Sunday, November 23, 2008

What the guys need for Thanksgiving dinner

So it's just going to be the three of us for Thanksgiving, which essentially means we can have whatever we want. Not like we don't usually have whatever we want, but somehow, not having guests feels wild and crazy, like we could order pizza or make tacos. Well, that's not happening. I need the stuffing and mashed potatoes (turkey is somewhat optional), but truly, it's about the leftovers. There is nothing on earth like Thanksgiving leftovers all weekend... you have the freedom to pile your plate with whatever strikes your fancy, and who has room for salad?

So in the planning, silly me, I thought I'd open it up for discussion. All went well until we started talking dessert...

Here are the current requests from the men:


Stuffing (no fruit and barely any nuts, please, say the boys: see below)

Mashed potatoes

Peas for Alan, green beans for Seth, butternut squash for me


Cranberry sauce for me, and me alone.

Rolls with butter

Some sparkly fizzy thing to drink

Dessert... Lemon meringue pie. What? Can you hear that sound of a record player's needle being ripped off a record mid-song? Does that seem even remotely right? This is going to need some serious discussion between now and next Thursday. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm angling for apple pie. I could even be persuaded toward pumpkin, but I'm really not in the mood. Or, maybe, like the vegetable, there will be a different dessert for each of us. That's happened before... (hee hee, I'll make mine, and buy theirs. They'll never know. Oh stop that with the horrified gasps.)

This whole discussion reminds me of a negotiation that took place recently in San Luis Obispo, Calif. A couple, who shall remain nameless, was discussing the upcoming holiday and their menu options. The lovely husband put in a request for fruit-less stuffing. Lovely wife, stunned yet confused, agreed.

What is it about guys and fruit? I've already referenced this dilemma in regards to salads... but apparently it crosses course-boundaries and now applies to stuffing as well. My advice, which the aforementioned wife already had well in hand, was to make the plain, boring stuffing, and separate the batch, jazzing up the concoction with her fruits and nuts, and thus, pleasing all. Or, like me, she could make hers and buy his! Ha. She's probably a much better wife than that (ie me)!

All this menu planning reminds me of a particular Thanksgiving celebrated at my brother and sister-in-law's, a gathering of friends with family too far-flung to make a turkey trek. Anyway, we all contributed various aspects to the meal and one dish from a friend-co-worker of my brother's was a quite-horrifying dressing/stuffing. It was a family recipe, we were told, of an all-meat "stuffing." I had never heard of anything like this. Growing up in a very bread-oriented household, it was quite unthinkable that the stuffing not consist mostly of bread (we don't really quibble over whether it's sourdough, cornbread or someother bready substance). A little internet sleuthing later, and apparently it's not that uncommon; I think the origins are originally French and trickled down to New England via the French Canadians. Just one more thing to thank them for: cretons! Luckily, neither of my men a) like meat THAT much and b) even know that the possibility of an all-meat stuffing exists. We'll keep it that way.

I'll keep you posted on dessert. And I'm open to ideas... anyone got anything for me?


  1. oh you have my mouth watering....happy t-day

  2. Rob do fruit, either. And I make a great curry with grapes, too. Too bad, so sad! Arg.


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