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For those that don't host Thanksgiving, what, if anything, do you contribute?

Megiac Nov 8, 2007 08:15 AM

My parents still host Thanksgiving for our family, and my mom does the cooking. My mom is an OK cook most of the year, but Thanksgiving is her specialty. I have been nominated by my siblings to the be the family Thanksgiving host once our mother gets tired of it, so I know it's just a matter of time before I am brining turkeys and trying to settle on my own signature dressing recipe.

Since the turkey, dressing, potatoes, yams, and pumpkin pies (brought by my cousin, using our grandmother's recipe) are all already accounted for, my contribution is homemade cranberry sauce (an upgrade from years of canned cranberry sauce). To add some interest to it, I usually soak sliced dried apricots in orange juice the night before (instead of brandy, which may bother some of our Mormon relatives), and include them in the sauce along with some powdered ginger (although--bright idea I just had--this year I may bring some candied ginger home with me and try that instead). I've also tried to contribute various green vegetables in the past, but those are woefully neglected by the guests, so I've given up.

So, if you are not the main Turkey Day cook, what do you bring to the party?

  1. chef chicklet Nov 8, 2007 08:21 AM

    Usually the appetizer:
    Crab with sherry puffs
    Hot and Garlicky Artichoke Spread with breads
    Cherry tomatoes with salmon,cream cheese, red onion and capers.
    Clam dip - a favorite

    1 Reply
    1. re: chef chicklet
      foxy fairy Nov 8, 2007 10:49 AM

      I'm sure that your artichoke spread disappears... do you double the recipe for a big holiday? The one you gave me is definitely a big portion, but I always make the whole batch, so sweety and I polish off half of that ourselves on a chilly fall evening (and half a few evenings later):) as we did last night, scooping it up with homemade bread (The BIG Bread, from Silver Palate, Cookbook of the Month...) We like it with thin water crackers, too, which usually aren't my fave but they work will with my mom's hot shrimp spread AND your dip.

      I will probably bring your dip to Thanksgiving this year too... for eight adults I'm thinking I'll double it :)

      Now -- can I ask how you do your clam dip? Would you share the recipe, chicklet?? *please*

    2. d
      dishchrista Nov 8, 2007 08:30 AM

      Garlic green beans. Even people who don't like green beans like 'em.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dishchrista
        j
        jules127 Nov 8, 2007 08:52 AM

        Can you tell me more about these green beans?

        1. re: jules127
          d
          dishchrista Nov 8, 2007 09:29 AM

          Sure! Sear fresh green beans in olive oil with 5 or more cloves of minced garlic. When seared but not burned cover with chicken stock and a splash of white wine and cook til beans are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. I usually finish cooking the beans in a roaster [200 degrees]/ crockpot for about 3-4 hours, but taste as you go so they don't over cook. I imagine one could make these up to a few days before. Very simple and tasty!

      2. j
        jsaimd Nov 8, 2007 08:32 AM

        We usually bring a veggie dish. When we do go to our adopted grandparents house they have the usual and the sole veggie dish - the yams, is super small and barely touched. I am a veggie fiend and can't deal. I don't care whether anyone else touches it, I eat it - lots of it.

        Plus, we have converted a few people...we got yelled at the year we didn't bring brussel sprouts with carmelized onions! And this is a very traditional not at all adventuresome group!

        One year we combined with friends, and we had split up the dishes, but because they wanted the traditional versions (canned yams w/marshmallows, green bean casserole with canned cream of mushroom soup) they brought double of all of our dishes too, so we have two versions of most everything. That was a bit annoying but they are our best friends so we forgave them and had a great time anyway.

        1. w
          WNYamateur Nov 8, 2007 08:39 AM

          I get tasked with the sweet potatoes, because I rebelled against anything with marshmallows on the table before dessert.

          Sometimes I underbake them, peel & slice in thick slices, and finish in a pan with butter, apricot jam, orange marmelade and cognac.

          Last year it was puree with fresh ginger, bourbon and plenty of butter.

          This year, a hash based on Emeril's. I highly recommend this for anyone else tired of the sweet stuff.

          2 Replies
          1. re: WNYamateur
            j
            jules127 Nov 8, 2007 08:50 AM

            I usually make the below pumpkin cheesecake, but this year I'm hosting and I'm really hoping some guests will bring the dessert.

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            1. re: WNYamateur
              Megiac Nov 8, 2007 08:55 AM

              While our family yams do come from a can, they are not with marshmellows (a college friend used to refer to those as "trucker food," no offense to any Chowhound truckers). Rather, the yams are mashed with brandy and cinnamon and then they are topped with walnuts and brown sugar. I HATE the marshmellow yams, but love these.

            2. Deenso Nov 8, 2007 08:53 AM

              If I'm not hosting, I'm usually asked to bring my cranberry and coffee-poached pear relish and the dessert, which is an apple pie that has chopped walnuts and dried sour cherries in it. I decorate the top with maple leaves that I cut from pie dough and draw on the veins with a toothpick. For really special occasions, I dust a tiny bit of edible gold dust on some of the edges.

              1. s
                SonyBob Nov 8, 2007 09:55 AM

                We like to make gravy out of turkey wings. It's a pain to have to make gravy when you're trying to get everything ready for the table. Having it prepaired ahead of time is a real stress buster.
                Bob

                1. a
                  abud Nov 8, 2007 11:05 AM

                  how about homemade cognac-spiked truffles?

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