The Thanksgiving Dilemma: New vs Classic

Monday, November 19, 2007

With the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, I’m better recognizing the form of my recipe addiction. The thrill of the undiscovered is what draws me in, the more technique laden the better. Sticking to a repertoire of classics and not trying a new recipe seems unfathomable!

Though I’ve had perfectly delicious mashed sweet potatoes, I sit here contemplating what new bright orange concoctions to toss into the Thanksgiving fray this year. I’m keen on bringing in newness in the form of swiss chard gratin, a dish I’ve never made without a base of potatoes or zucchini. And yet I feel like messing around with the sweet tots as well. Mashed? Spicy? A sweet dessert like casserole? I’m still not sure.

My family, like many (maybe most?) these days is a holiday estuary of new family members mixing with known relatives, a potential collision of multiple traditions butting heads. We each have certain demands, those dishes that are sacred, that must show up each year. Our family mixings have been fortunate- we all seem to hold good food tantamount in these celebrations. The thrill to our tastebuds trumps tradition laden regularity.

This year will continue our tradition of bucking tradition. A melange of smoked birds, and maybe some brisket or ribs too, if we’re lucky, will grace our plates. I’ll also be offering the new swiss chard gratin, and planning on mom’s pumpkin mousse. Oh pity the person who was dead set on just pumpkin pie.

And yet, amidst all this newness… if the infamous hazelnut, cranberry, sausage stuffing doesn’t make an appearance, there may be a riot after all.

2 Comments

posted November 19th, 2007 at 5:51 pm

I note the absence of turkey!

Yeah, but I have a feeling Steve will sneak in a smoked turkey breast.
Hmmmm. I like it when my meat smokes.

–McAuliflower

posted November 19th, 2007 at 6:49 pm

I have the same new recipe addiction/dilemma. This year we’re bravely trying a completely new menu – we’ve never made a single recipe before! And while we’re having turkey we are not having mashed potatoes – we’re having smashed rutabagas with caramelized pears instead. Hopefully a riot will not occur!

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