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A Simple Social Friendsgiving Menu

Modern life means many of us live far away from our families and don’t make the trek home to see them on some holidays. I think this is most common on Thanksgiving (the slightly bogus anyway American holiday) where travel can be a nightmarish cluster, and our changing dietary choices can make for less than pleasant mealtime conversation. In recent years, I’ve taken the long weekend and gone on vacation to countries where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated, taking advantage of international travel bargains and not so crowded tourist destinations. Three years ago I spent a glorious 10 days on the road in Spain, visiting Galicia, The Basque Country and Catalonia, and last year visited Nicaragua and it’s glorious land and seascapes.

This year is different. As I used to do when I lived in California for many years and didn’t come home to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, I’m gathering friends in similar spots for a Thanksgiving feast at my house. My best gal Nicole is co-running the show with me and our menu reflects both of our personalities extremely well I think.

1-    We both love food and have created a diverse menu for food lovers.

2-    We have items that reflect both of our food passions, mine with whole foods philosophy and hers with Southern cooking and traditions.

3-    We have people coming with all sorts of dietary philosophies so we need a menu that can accommodate everyone, locavores, vegans, vegetarians.

4-    It just has to be delicious.

We’ve planned the following menu using the above guidelines

For appetizers and the cocktail hour:

  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Horseradishy Beet Soup Shooters
  • Parmesean Tacos with Frisee Salad
  • Crudite, salt brine pickles, and Olives

For the dinner feast:

  • Salt Brined Naurally Raised Turkey
  • Crispy Tempeh
  • Potato Celeriac Puree
  • Pimento Cheese Potato Gratin
  • Sauteed Red Kale
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts – Momofuku style
  • Grandma’s Cornbread Stuffing
  • Savory Bread Pudding with Leeks- Thomas Keller style
  • Mushroom Gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce

For dessert:

  • Maple Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • both with fresh whipped cream

I’ll update you once we’ve survived and let you know the challenges and triumphs, and post pics!

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