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Friday, October 31, 2008


I've committed myself to cooking my first Thanksgiving Dinner, this year. One of the benefits of being married to an American. I've never cooked a turkey before and ,while the whole prospect of being responsible for such an important meal isn't horribly daunting, it IS a first and I'm quickly finding that there are a lot of American dishes, or American adaptations of dishes from other countries, which I know nothing about.

To wit, Steve and I had an interesting discussion today on the subject of 'Goulash', to find our concept of that particular dish is worlds apart. I grew up with Hungarian Goulash while he grew up with Hamburger Goulash. I asked him what he'd like for dinner and he said Goulash, so I was mentally preparing a paprika-based stew with chunks of beef and to be served with tagliatelle or some other egg noodle (which is what my mother always used instead of the traditional egg dough 'pinches'). I didn't realise until later, that Steve was concocting a vision of a dish based on ground beef into which macaroni is added and it all cooks up together. So, I'm going to try to whip up something similar to his version, tonight.

I realise that Thanksgiving Dinner is not too far distant from a Christmas Dinner - what with the turkey and veggies and cranberry sauce even - but there are some very key things that seem to make Thanksgiving Dinner just that, and not a fore-runner to Christmas Dinner.

Anuja is providing use of her oven (I don't have one) and the space to entertain family and friends. I've volunteered to do most, if not all, of the cooking so if anyone out there has something very typically eaten at an American Thanksgiving Dinner, please could you shout out. One thing though, I'd really rather NOT prepare any dish that incorporates marshmallows. Just saying!

Thanks everyone.


patsy said...

you'll do a stellar job, fi!

Drama said...

Sweet potatoes...without marshmallows. I *lurve* my momma's and they're oh so simple. Peel the sweet potatoes and then cut in half length wise. Boil until cooked through, then drain and move to a large sauce pan. Pour maple syrup over them and add loads of butter to the syrup. Cook until the syrup and butter melds together into a carmelized delicasy and the potatoes are super soft and tender. *drool*. They're even better the second day.

Loving Annie said...

check out 'allrecipes.com' and 'cooksillustrated.com'

Both have fabulous suggestions for Thanksgiving recipes and have tested them out thoroughly !

Loving Annie said...

oh, I forgot !!!

Even better maybe. Go to :

and check out Ree's recipe section - her stuff is amazing and EASY TO MAKE. Has pictures for every step of the way !

Jonas said...

Here's one of my favorite mac n' beef recipes:


Roasting a turkey is a simple treat. The stuffing is where you get creative. A good cranberry relish goes well, and a sweet potato side dish is...well...expected.

My favorite wine for Thanksgiving Dinner is a crisp, sweet Gewurtztraminer

Happy Thanksgiving MRS. FIONA!

Sunny Delight said...

Our "traditional" Thanksgiving meal has changed over the years as each new adult family member married in, funny thing is, the adult may leave due to death or divorce but the menu item always remains.

Each one had a favorite side dish from their own childhood family Thanksgivings, and each one became incorporated into our family menu. It is indeed a feast when we are all together, as there are usually two different green bean recipes, several corn dishes, at least 4 different potato dishes (sweet and otherwise), several salads, breads, 1 stuffing, and a dressing too, as well as desserts, and in addition to the turkey there is also ham.

Depending upon one's ethnic background, and/or the region of the U.S. one is from, the menu varies.

My first question would be, what is Steve's favorite traditional side dish or dessert? That is a must on the menu. By the way, is he cooking too?

I think you will enjoy the whole process, I know I do, one of the things I missed last Thanksgiving was the meal preparation and gathering of loved ones.

Oh, and Jonas's choice of wine...perfection!

anna said...

How exciting! I have never prepared a Thanksgiving dinner myself either. Although I was born and raised in Canada, my Italian family never celebrated Thanksgiving.

My husband is very Canadian and has always celebrated Thanksgiving. So we made a deal long ago. He always makes the turkey and stuffing and I always make the side dishes.

I was going to pass on my sweet potato recipe (always a big hit with all my guests), but it includes a marshmallow topping - although I'm sure you could just omit that last step. Perhaps I'll dig up the recipe and post it here for you anyway.

Fusion said...

Good luck Fiona, My dinner for Kimba was OK last year, but missing some key items... this year it looks like Thanksgiving will be by myself now that my daughter and I are on the outs...

the last spartan said...

Good luck....welcome to the day of Giving Thanks...which really should be every day (minus the big meal, of course).

Why don't you just prepare a haggis?


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