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Your Unique Thanksgiving Dish

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Name one dish you traditionally make for Thanksgiving that *probably* nobody else makes. Unique to your family, at least that you know of.

I'm interested to see what form tradition and inspiration can take, even though it all stems from the shared tradition of Thanksgiving.

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  1. I make Brussels sprouts with cream, butter, and parm. I bake it in the oven. It is amazing. I've never met anyone who eats them that way (if they eat them at all.) When given the chance, I will also make my special butternut squash risotto with bacon, parm, and brown butter. I am going a bit rogue for tomorrow and making something I have never seen at a holiday dinner, honey bbq baked beans with chopped bbq beef mixed in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

      Those Brussels sprouts sound great. I do completely traditional everything on Thanksgiving day, and am trying to cut down on waste, so not doing Brussels sprouts tomorrow, but the market had some great looking fresh ones, so I may put them on my list to do later in the weekend:) Care to share some more specifics?

      1. re: sunflwrsdh

        Sure! The recipe is from years ago pilfered from Todd English, but I can't seem to come across the actual recipe anywhere. It's a gratin.

        I wash about 1.5 lbs of sprouts and dry them and cut them in half. I generally heap them in a small casserole dish, including the loose leaves. I pour heavy cream over them. I would guess about 1 cup or so. It needs to be enough so that when it is done they will be coated with a nice amount of sauce, but they won't be swimming in it. Next, I cut up 3-4 tbs of butter in cubes. I toss those on top, then put in a couple of handfuls of good grated parm. I add salt and pepper and a clove or two of chopped garlic. I stir it all together. I cook for about 20 minutes on 400 and then stir. I put it back in the oven for about 25 more minutes, or until the sprouts are tender. I do not boil them before baking, but if you do, I would cut the cooking time back by 10 minutes or so.

    2. Desserts that conspicuously aren't pumpkin pie, usually creme caramel or a cranberry tart in nut crust (from Martha Stewart). I'm not making either this year, as I am dining alone, and am off sweets to the degree I can be.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jay F

        My daughter made Martha's apple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for yesterday's dinner. They were heaven.

        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

          Do you remember which book the apple cupcakes are from? Thanks.

      2. Kasha varnishkes; lokshen kugel.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mamachef

          Mmmm..... I make sweet potato and carrot tzimmes instead of a tradional sweet potato casserole. And I love a good kugel.

          1. re: iluvcookies

            Do you put prunes in your tzimmes? I do a tzimmes pot roast to die for...

            1. re: mamachef

              I use raisins since prunes aren't well liked in our home. Dried cranberries also work well, though they are not traditional, just tasty.

            2. re: iluvcookies

              Oh, kugel at Thanksgiving. How yummy.I love noodle kugel with a passion.

          2. Going back at least to the 60s, my granddad (deceased in '97), made something he called Wonderful Cheese. When he died, Wonderful Cheese died with him because he never wrote down the recipe. I have brought it back to life, though. From memory, I recreated it and it's very close to the original.

            Basically, I make a cheese log (only a couple of inches in diameter) out of extra sharp cheddar, cream cheese, L&P worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. I then roll the log in chili powder. And then I roll it again in crushed pecan. After that, it's wrapped in saran wrap and refrigerated until meal time. Truly a blast from my family's past.

            Requiescat in pacem, granddad.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              Sounds mighty gooooood, PK. Enjoy the day!

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                Yum, that sounds like a variant of pimento cheese. And very tradition-worthy.

              2. A spinach and gorgonzola 'souffle.' My sister introduced me to the recipe and it may have come from her MIL. Anyway, I've been making it for 15 years so that counts as tradition, I hope.

                8 Replies
                  1. re: mcel215

                    Here you go:

                    Spinach & Gorgonzola Casserole
                    1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, undrained
                    1 16 oz. container small curd cottage cheese
                    4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
                    ½ c. butter, melted
                    3 T. flour
                    5 large eggs, beaten to blend
                    Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 6 to 8 cup soufflé dish. Place spinach in large bowl, mix in cottage cheese, Gorgonzola, melted butter, and flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add eggs and stir til blended. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake until spinach is set in the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or room temperature.

                    1. re: tcamp

                      Sounds yummy and I can't wait to try it -- I've been checking back every few hours since your first post to see the recipe!

                      Your post and the original post reminded me of a story about one of my students. I teach in a school with a large number of immigrant children. One day a few years ago, my students and I were discussing the holiday Thanksgiving in class. One student, a young girl who was born in a Middle Eastern country, expressed her excitement about having spinach lasagna for Thanksgiving dinner. Turns out that when she and her family first arrived here in America they were at a refugee shelter over the Thanksgiving holiday. The center had had so many mouths to feed on Thanksgiving day that they had run out of the traditional turkey and trimmings. So, reaching deep into their freezers, they began pulling out what they could. And this girl's family had a wonderful feast of spinach lasagna and garlic bread. The family cherishes the memory of the event and the delicious food so much that they now make spinach lasagna every Thanksgiving in lieu of turkey. :)

                      Thanks for the recipe for your Spinach and Gorgonzola Casserole, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

                      1. re: AnneM5

                        Yikes, this will make the foodies cringe! I just got a call for an addition to the menu -- Watergate Salad. You know, the one with pistachio jello, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. But it is pretty hard to resist a breathless-with-excitement child. I don't know which is worse, the request or the fact that I have the ingredients!

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            Ha! It took me a minute. Will do! :)

                            1. re: AnneM5

                              That Watergate Salad had to be the best thing on the table, just for the context of your story! "...pretty hard to resist a breathless-with-excitement child..." I am touched with how sensitive you were to the little one's request.

                      2. re: tcamp

                        Thanks, sounds so good. I will add this one to next Holiday dinner.

                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com