Monday, November 23, 2009

Something new to your table this year

Every year for zillions of Americans (I researched this) families join together to eat the same food on Thanksgiving day. Turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and some sort of roll, bun, bread option.
Not this year! We have spent several days hearing opinions as to what we should eat this year on turkey day. I have heard brisket, ribs, cereal, corn on the cob, crab legs, ice cream, you get the idea. I think that I will have to keep corn casserole on the menu, but we are still up in the air as to what else we would like. We can have turkey any day (read-when on sale), so pork seems to be a popular choice for a main dish. I would like to avoid green bean casserole as I am about the only one who really likes it.
So, this year we will be trying new dishes! I am going to challenge myself to look for new hot sides to serve, using produce that is local and seasonal. This means I am looking in the squash, apple direction, and not the peach, shrimp direction. Local produce is fresh, and because of that, nutritionally better for you as a general rule. We could eat a local turkey, but since we are trying to avoid turkey all together....
So here is the challenge. Take a poll with your family and those who will be spending the holiday with you. Is there a dish that no one would really miss if you, say, "forgot" to put it on the buffet. Next, look for something in the same category of your old dish (salad, hot side, main meat) and replace it with a new, exciting dish of something that is grown or raised within a 100 miles of your house. Really brave people can post their link early and inspire the rest of us. What will you challenge your family with this year?

I will go first. No mashed potatoes and gravy this year, we are going to give Tyler Florence's Ultimate Potato Gratin a try. It is getting rave reviews and with the exception of the parmesan, can be made with all local ingredients.

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