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Too sweet? Thanksgiving menu help

Trying to go to the store today and am finalizing menu. Worried it is very sweet and need another dish.

Mashed potatoes
Sautéed green beans with slivered almonds
Baked corn
Macaroni and cheese
Cornbread apple stuffing
Sweet potato pecan bake
Baked beans

It is also a lot of starch. They will not eat salad or garlic, among other things. Thinking about roasting acorn or butternut squash as well. Or should I do a traditional vegetable and bread stuffing. So torn!

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  1. If you are worred about sweet, I would not add roasted squash, which is very sweet. I don't really think you need anything else but maybe you could swap out the baked beans for a green vegetable (unless that is heresy because it is a family tradition). Happy T-Day!

    1. This looks like a very typical Thanksgiving menu to me. I agree with GretchenS that the baked beans are unnecessary unless they're traditional - I would dump them altogether. I would also add another green vegetable instead of the squash (roasted Brussels sprouts, sauteed kale, something like that). As for the stuffing, make whichever you like - I wouldn't worry about the too-sweet factor there. Otherwise, it looks like you're good to go!

      1. to offset the sweet, how about brussells sprouts with bacon (or pancetta). But I think you have enough. I was having the same internal battle with myself last week, when menu planning. I realized they will like whatever there is and just be happy to be together

        2 Replies
        1. re: momoftwo

          Ditto...you could elminate the beans and add roasted winter vegetables (butternut squash, carrots, turnips) with brussels sprouts.
          Don't fret about the salad. I tried to serve one for years, and it always went untouched.

          1. re: momoftwo

            I am the only sprout eater and I the beans are a favorite. Everything they eat is usually sweet but I was looking the menu over and getting concerned.

          2. A relish tray would add some salt and acidity -- pickles, olives, peppers, onions, etc.

            1. I agree about baked beans unnecessary and acorn or butternut squash adding even more sweetness. Since you already have a green, how about spaghetti squash if you want another squash?

              1. Take out beans & corn, you should be all set.

                1. <burp>! Use regular, or s. Dough for dressing, and forego baked beans. Gasp...no cranberries?!?! You have more than enough starch/carbs. Looks like a turkey coma coming on. Bon appetit. I plan to stuff myself as well!!!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: letsindulge

                    If it were up to me there would be this much starch. Unfortunately this is what passes for vegetables to the folks I am cooking for. The green beans an the rolls were a request from my sister . My Soon to be MIL is bringing the corn and Mac and cheese and I think they would die if they weren't in the table. My mother is doing the beans because she know my fiance's family will expect them. Last yer I did broccoli but it wasn't popular. The patriarch doesn't believe in green veggies.

                    I forgot the cranberry. We are having homemade made from cranberry and sugar.

                    1. re: melpy

                      Then do a different stuffing, one without sweet elements like cornbread & apple. You could also do without the sweet potato bake.

                      1. re: melpy

                        Don't worry about the meal being balanced. A balanced diet applies to the whole life, not one meal. If your taste is for something lighter, or crisper, or more sour, to go with the other items, fine. The segregation of 'sweet' items (there aren't many in this menu) to the dessert is a cultural artifact. Prepare what your guests will enjoy, even if means sticking with old favorites.

                    2. Realizing that perhaps the reason I haven't thought of anything is that these folks are so picky.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: melpy

                        okay, so let's deconstruct this. aside from the turkey w/gravy, what are the "must-haves" for your guests? and must-have doesn't just mean they like the dish, it means they'd boycott if you didn't serve it because it's just not Thanksgiving without it.

                        1. re: melpy

                          @melpy, you can't please all the people all the time! There will be plenty to eat so I hope you don't try (or think you have to try) to do it all.

                        2. Your menu sounds great! In my opinion you can't have too much starch or sugar on Thanksgiving.

                          1. Ok I'll just stick with this. As it is I had a couple must have cut like oyster dressing, hand cut noodles, mushroom stuffing, creamed onion, mashed turnip, gelatin salad, red cabbage and creamed spinach. Mostly had to pare down because only half the crowd would eat the dish.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: melpy

                              When other add must haves, this is when you ask them to contribute a dish. Particularly dishes few guests will enjoy.

                            2. Melpy, we've all got our "go-to" dishes and our own traditions that we bring to Thanksgiving, and your dinner covers many of the traditional foods served. I use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to try new things in addition to my own version of tried and true. For me, having some contrast between sweet and, well, non-sweet is worthwhile. I make a pumpkin shrimp bisque as a starter, include items like beets (roasted, with ginger), chard, roasted carrots with evoo, cranberries and fresh basil, and braised fennel as sides, and for apps I've made mint and harissa dipping sauces for when I prepare shrimp ceviche, among other items that will emerge from the kitchen. I also like to prepare caramelized apple slices as a starter, some good nutty cheese, maybe an olive tapenade (if the sometimes sullen teenagers decide to pitch in). I just try to include non-sweet stuff in somewhere, but if your crew is long on the sweet stuff, by all means. And let me just say that I think the inclusion of baked beans is terrific!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: 280 Ninth

                                I would love to try something new! I was going through my my dream Thanksgiving in the aftermath with my mother tonight.

                              2. Would your relatives eat a fresh fruit dish as a palate cleanser? It might sound silly but maybe a side of chopped mango, raspberries and orange with mint would be a refresher course if the fam has an aversion to vegetables. Still sweet but light with some acidity and would help cut the starchiness. :)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mushroomaffairs

                                  They used to eat fruit salad with dessert but nobody would eat it so I'm not going to make any. Plus they add sugar the fruit salad.