Side Dishes Stand By You Like Family and Friends

Desserts / November 30, 2013

I embrace Thanksgiving, as you will see from the slide show below. I don’t worry about how much I eat, or what. It’s a holiday for gosh sakes. If you’re taking care of yourself, one day won’t hurt and if you’re not, trying to skimp on America’s favorite holiday will surely make you cranky and won’t make a whiff of different on your waistline. Sure, I’m self defending my own gluttony, but this is a day for FOOD. “Food, glorious food!” as it’s sung. Stand up straight, tuck your napkin under your chin, and start chewing.

I know, I know. I sound un-American. Everywhere you look, the Grand Marshall of the TDay Parade is always that golden bird. He hasn’t had the best day either, ya know. He’s headless, naked, and even though he’s bathed in any number of rubs, brines, herbs, butters and such, he’s not always the most colorful part of your table. And so, I prefer to sing today of SIDE DISHES. They’re like your best friend from grade school. They stuck even after you got all full of yourself during puberty, they were the only ones that told you the guy you were dating was scum and saved you from years of heartache, and they’re the ones that will sit with you at the Dr.’s office and hold your hand even when the news isn’t good. In short, they’re what holds the big stuff together, and that’s exactly what I’m referring to here. THEY STICK WITH YOU.

When I piled everything on my plate yesterday, I had to do it in two layers. We had sweet, creamy butternut squash, fluffy and goldenly-perfect in a way only Rumpelstiltskin could have appreciated. Light, russets whipped into white drifts and parted to encase the thick gravy that laid there like a lazy, muddy river. The candied yams, topped with the crunch of marshmallow and nuts, yielded at just the right moment in your mouth. Dreamy, yeasty rolls. Tangy cranberry relish dotted with gems of pomegranate gems. Then, laying randomly in glistening butter and frangrantly kissed with roasted garlic, the hericot verts melted in your mouth, while the blanched green bean salad with pear, celery, and hazelnuts created a crunchy note of sweetness as it let off it’s mustard maple viniagrette onto the plate. Finally, my famous sausage, apple, french bread stuffing brought ooh’s and aahs, alike.

By the time we took out the Chocolate Pecan Pie, ala David Leibovitz, the traditional pumpkin pie, and a special cake made for us by Amy at the Wow Factor Cakes in Charlotte, NC, we were well on our way to a satisfying food coma. And all YOU want to do is talk TURKEY?

Okay, the turkey was perfect, Margaret. She brined it, first time every for her, and it came out divine…it was the perfect accompaniment to friends, family and home!


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