Wednesday, November 24, 2010


For many years, I clung to my traditional Thanksgiving menu of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls, jellied cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Jim brought green bean casserole into the relationship and got me to swap out the rolls in favor of biscuits. Once he was forced to go vegetarian (that story's a post for another time), it became more complicated. In those years when we had company, I could still justify cooking a turkey and we'd make a special entree for Jim--usually a Tofurky roast with Tofurky gravy tho' we also tried Quorn roasts, someone's Field roasts, as well as stuffed acorn squash.

This year, we find ourselves without company and increasingly disinterested in the traditional menu. Maybe it's the foodie magazines or the food blogs I've been reading or maybe it's just the pent-up desire to get cooking again in a big way, but we have decided to wipe the slate clean. In searching for recipes for our feast, I was looking for dishes that we both could share so that meant vegetarian food that didn't involve a lot of eggs or heavy cream (neither of which Jim tolerates well) but would feel festive and out of the ordinary. An added bonus would be recipes that wouldn't be so stressful and complicated that we couldn't enjoy the day off.

In a nod to tradition, pumpkin pie still appears, but with a twist. Cranberry compote is the only one of the dishes that we regularly eat and we have had the sweet potato dish at a previous Thanksgiving (mostly because Jim loves sweet potatoes and this is the first recipe involving said orange vegetable that I actually like to the point of wanting seconds). Best of all, I found a vegetarian main course with protein. Despite the lovely trend of more vegetarian recipes appearing this time of year, too many magazines, papers, and blogs seem to think that vegetarian eating is simply a matter of leaving out the meat and adding more vegetables. More on that rant another day. Here's the menu:

  • Mushroom and lentil pot pies with gouda biscuit topping
  • Root vegetable mash (potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas)
  • Fennel gratin with pecorino and lemon
  • Sweet potatoes in sage brown butter
  • Cranberry compote (see earlier post for recipe)
  • Pumpkin pie with pepita, nut, and ginger topping.
  • Farm & Sparrow farmhouse bread (from our outstanding local baker) with crabapple jelly
  • Homemade hard cider
OK, so if you read Bon Appetit, you'll know where I got most of my new recipes. If you don't, you may be wondering how two people will eat all that food. We won't. But since we won't have turkey or faux turkey leftovers, we'll need something to eat this weekend.....


  1. I'll be breaking out the emergency fat pants tomorrow evening...

  2. Sounds wonderful but what did Jim do Wed. night with no bread to tear apart?