Okay, so I’ve been stressing about this Thanskgiving dinner and reading all the great turkey ideas you guys posted… and now I’m wondering how you are with side dishes. I mean, I’d planned to just do the normal veggies and casserole-type stuff, but I’m suddenly worried that my plain Indiana fare will fail to impress. So, got any new and exciting ways to serve yams? Any secret family recipes for outta-this-world baked beans? I’m looking for inspiration, folks. If you’ve got any favorite holiday dishes, please post a recipe or link to this thread and save my ass. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚


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  1. side dishes i love:
    1) roast parsnip – just stick it in the oven with some vegetable oil and let it bake along with the turkey – or even better – put it in the dish with the turkey to cook (when the bird has about an hour or so to go).
    2) green beans with a little bit of butter and a some nutmeg – enough to lighly cover the beans.
    3) butternut squash. it’s colourful, so it looks nice on the plate. cube it and then either bake it in the oven, or steam it on the stove. you can mash it once it’s cooked if you want to, or serve it as is if you can’t be bothered to smoosh it up.

  2. you have to make green bean casserole. i’ll even send you the friend onions if you don’t have them down there. as my Hoosier uncle says, it’s the state dish of Indiana! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I don’t think “plain Indiana fare” will fail to impress. Stuffing and mashed potatoes with lots of butter are just plain wonderful; no need for frills.

    Since you asked, however, here’s a recipe for outta-this-world baked beans (everyone raves about them):

    Saute 4 slices chopped bacon and 1 med onion, chopped. Stir in 1 lb cans of each: baked beans in tomato sauce, kidney beans, lima beans, along with 1/4 lb cubed cheese (cheddar or American works), 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/3 c catsup, 2 t Wocheshire sauce (sp?). Bake 350 for 30 minutes; serves 6. I hope the ingredients aren’t too American to find.

    I also have a great recipe for squash soup with Indian spices; if you’re interested I can send that along.

  4. Heh. I have a feeling some of my English readers will take exception to your description of those ingredients as “American”. I ate more baked beans and Worcestershire sauce there than I ever did at home… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the recipe though. It’s very similar to one my Aunt sent me. I might try to incorporate the two somehow. And I would make green bean casserole, Brigita, except I HATE the stuff. In fact, I hated green beans throughout my entire childhood. Then I met the Snook and he steamed me some fresh crisp French beans. Now I can’t get enough of ’em. The thought of canned mushy khaki green nastiness mixed with cream of mushroom soup (another childhood no-no)… Hoosier staple or no, I gotta veto that one.

  5. canned grean beans? ugh! i’ve only had it with frozen.

    just so you know, the uncle in question (Unka Pete) did try to make a gourmet version of the dishโ€”with pan-fried onions, homemade cream of mushroom soup and fresh grean beansโ€”for his wife’s family’s thanksgiving celebration a few years ago. apparently it couldn’t hold a candle to the pre-fab original. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. i just saw a recipe for these herb-y mashed potatoes on epicurious – you make this oil with chives and parsley and it turns the taters green! a suggestion if you’re fishing for something bold and colorful…

    also, where are you on the dessert business? i think you should rock some bread pudding. b. hartz’s mom used to make it so thick that you could cut it into cubes and eat it like finger food. yum…(but grandpa harter makes it, too, and it’s mushy and good. you should ask him.)

  7. I was actually referring to the cheese (recipe specifically calls for American cheese), bacon, and measurements, actually. I remember all to well the British penchant for baked beans (I’m not a big fan, especially in the morning). ๐Ÿ™‚

    While I’ve certainly eaten a lot overseas, I was never cooking, so don’t really know the difference in ingredients.

  8. For dessert, I’m making an American style pumpkin pie. My friend Smithers is bringing a pecan pie, since he’s like a chef and all. (Quote the Snook: “Smithers wants to bake? Let him bring any fucking thing he wants. Seriously.”) We’re only going to have eight people, so I’m thinking that’s enough.

    Ah, I get you Tricia. American cheese is a bit of a problem, but if cheddar works, we’ve got plenty of that. Most bacon we eat here is the thick-cut kind, but I can get streaky American style. As for measurements… I’ve got a nice set of US measuring cups with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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