Today is a big food day in the US. You get a holiday pass to gorge. No guilt allowed.
We categorize food using the national food groups. We prefer to use colors. It’s much easier. I don’t know why the government didn’t think of that. No pyramids for us.
There is the white food group: turkey, stuffing. If there is ice cream, it would go here too.
Then the yellow-orange-red food group: corn, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie.
The brown food group is the ham (it’s sort of brownish), gravy and any chocolate that may happen along.
A green food group? This includes the napkins, table cloth, decorative kale or the parsley sprinkled on top of things. No one has room for a salad so we did away with green vegetables on Thanksgiving. No we don’t do the green bean casserole.
Some things you don’t fool with. Mom’s filling (it’s filling, not stuffing) is made the way she made it. It is a German-style potato-bread filling that is incredibly tasty. It’s made from premium breads (no Wonder bread), sautéed vegetables, good potatoes (throw out those shriveled ones) and the judicious use of butter and broth. Did I mention there’s butter in it?
Sweet potatoes (or yams) – ah, those are another story. By themselves they are healthy and nutritious. So why do we ruin them? Our old tradition was to drown them in a butter-brown sugar sauce until they were barely recognizable. This is the nutritious part of the meal. We aren’t talking dessert here.
One year I made mashed sweets. I loved them. No one shared my enthusiasm. I tried roasting them. Wonderful! The roasting brings out the sweetness and makes the edges crispy. Cool reception. I have a few hours to decide what I’ll do this year.
Gravy is just gravy. I don’t use a lot of grease. You don’t really need to. Just enough to bind and thicken.
You don’t get creative with the frozen corn either. Just butter and salt period. There are a few other sides – cranberry sauce, biscuits, etc. Canned jellied cranberry sauce is most popular. No point in getting creative grating nuts and oranges. No one will eat it.
I am not responsible for the desserts. My brother is. He is an excellent cook and baker.
We are pumpkin people! Minced meat pies are considered an abomination! We’ll do an occasional apple pie for an outsider. Just to be nice.
One year my brother BOUGHT a minced meat pie. It damn near ruined the holiday. There are some who say it affected the outcome of the football games. God forbid anything tampers with the football games.
This is a balanced Thanksgiving Day diet. I follow it up with a good book. Some people prefer football. Take your pick. (We really should follow up with some exercise!)