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What is Your Thanksgiving First Course?

Just wondering what everyone is serving. I'm thinking about a seafood platter.

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  1. Mine is always butternut squash soup. The quintessential Thanksgiving first course in my view. I also think anything with butternut squash or pumpkin could work. Pumpkin soup can be good too. Or a nice mixed greens/field greens salad with roasted butternut squash. I think you could have seafood any day of the year and I love seafood. I like to keep things unique so the pumpkin or butternut works well- what other day of the year would you have these things. And I find the soup super easy to make.

    1 Reply
    1. Pear and butternut squash bisque, with candied pecans for garnish

      4 Replies
      1. re: gingershelley

        A not-too-stodgy lobster bisque, brightened with tomato and lemon and moderate with the heavy cream.

        1. re: gingershelley

          I do love to serve a soup as the first course, as often I am hosting a dozen or so 'orphans', who can't get home to family for whatever reason.
          I have alot of friends who don't cook much ( I am the go-to cook in many of my friends lives), and with all the aptz and bev's had while everyone visits before coming to the table. I like the 'wake up', and sit down aspect of gathering everyone around the table, bringing out the tureen, and serving each person the soup.
          Then, we go around the table and everyone is asked to share something they are thankful for, then we eat the soup. It is a lovely, gracious reminder that we are all around the table now, together, and are sharing a real meal. It turns the 'party' into a celebration of the table and sharing, and friends

          1. re: gingershelley

            That sounds so nice and you sound late a great hostess and friend.

            1. re: DaisyM

              Thank you DaisyM,

              It is funny, so many of my friends are artists or actors, everyone is SO excited to share and talk and emote(!) and reconnect before we ever sit down, that the invite to the table, and the tureen of soup is a real moment where everyone kind of quiets down, and realizes that it is not their 'last show', but us being together. I especially like going around the table to say what we are thankful for.

              A grace, if ever there was one - with yummy soup!

              I also love the chance to serve the soup to each guest from the tureen, it feels like I am offering them my ' thanks' for being there, and being my friend, and we are at the table together. Blessings, yumms, and a great two hour feast usually rolls from this moment:)

        2. Last year I did crab cakes and they were too rich as a starter. This year I'm considering a salad since there are sure to be some rich hors d'oeuvres. Pomegranate, avocado, persimmon would all be nice, maybe with a citrus dressing so the meal starts out light.

          7 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            i'd lean toward a champagne or sherry vinaigrette for that salad (maybe fortified with a splash of pomegranate juice). and i'm thinking toasted walnuts or pistachios would be lovely sprinkled over the top for a bit of crunch ( or hazelnuts, but i know a lot of people don't like them).

            just my two cents.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Pistachios have become my standard nut and the shelled and salted ones from TJs are great. The sherry might be too much for a couple of the diners and I don't keep champagne vinegar but maybe a hit of walnut oil would be good.

              1. re: escondido123

                i meant sherry vinegar, not actual sherry ;) but the walnut oil would definitely work.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I know you meant sherry vinegar, but it is a slightly unusual flavor that some picky eaters at my table might not like.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Sparrow Lane in CA makes an amazing Champagne Walnut vinegar. The walnut comes through loud and clear. I pair it with Castellas Olive Oil from Provence. It is the only olive oil made from black, ripe fermented olives. The combo is outstanding.

                1. re: Candy

                  it sounds fabulous...but their website is stressing me out. apparently i have to create an account just to see their shipping options...?

            2. We do a simple fall salad. Pears, walnuts or pecans, and goat cheese over mixed green with a simple vinaigrette.

              2 Replies
              1. re: luciaannek

                This is a great idea! I might even switch!

                1. re: luciaannek

                  I'm going that route. Frisee au lardons with homemade croutons. I'm omitting the poached egg.

                2. my family always follows more of a COME AND GET IT!!! strategy on Thanksgiving.... but most of us have a first course that i like to consider "quality control" of everything as it comes out of the oven/off the stove

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mattstolz

                    We are also from the "quality control" school of thought.