Monday, November 12, 2012

Turkey Trot Misgivings

Holiday season is approaching at warp speed, and with it come various obligations. Some of these are great fun, others fall into the do-I-have-to realm.

Though I'm an introvert by nature, I enjoy hanging out with friends and family. It helps me bring balance and harmony back into my life to not be living and breathing books every minute of the day.

For instance, our extended family's Thanksgiving will be at a sister's house. That's fine, but we'd planned to let her off the hook due to some health issues she's been having, but she overruled us. She gets to do that because she's the oldest.

Along with that pronouncement came the list of food that others were already bringing. Turkey. Ham. Cornbread oyster dressing. Giblet gravy. Two kinds of cranberry sauce. Sweet potato souffle. Squash casserole. Tomato casserole. Pumpkin pie. Tea.

With all that stuff already on the menu, what could I possibly add? Keeping in mind that I'm on a low-carb diet, mashed potatoes are out, so are sweet desserts.

I'm 4th on the sibling totem pole, 4th out of 5, so most of my family is unconcerned that I'm at a loss about my contribution. Oh, and ice and dinnerware are already taken.

So help me out gang. What should I contribute? Tell me some of the traditional and nontraditional foods that grace your Thanksgiving meal.

And while I've got your ear, the ebook edition of IN FOR A PENNY will be free at Amazon Nov 14 to 18, that's this Wednesday to Sunday. Here's the hyperlink: www.amazon.com/InForAPenny-ebook/dp/B008MCSGMM

Now put your Thanksgiving thinking caps on and help me figure out this turkey trot quandry...

Maggie Toussaint
www.maggietoussaint.com
www.facebook.com/MaggieToussaintAuthor

33 comments:

  1. I like simple vegetables. Turnips or parsnips are relatively low in natural sugar (I think). Some salads are great either cold or warm ... I love Kale and there is a great simple salad with lemon, avocado and kale! Veggies and dip are usually on my table as well because I figure with everything else people eat ... they need a simple low calorie finger food!

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    1. These are great tips, Lynn. I eat a sald every day and can't believe I didn't htink of a green salad. Seems like every day I hear about folks eating kale. You either love that food or you don't want anything to do with it. I've enjoyed it a few times when someone else has fixed it, but I haven't tried my hand at it yet.

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  2. I love a fresh green bean dish. Break 1 pound of green beans into 3" pieces, parboil. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan, saute 1/2 to 1 yellow onion, sliced into rings, until limp and slightly browned. Add parboiled beans, cook about 2-3 minutes until beans are tender. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon (or about 3/4 tsps of dried).

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    1. Michele,

      Yum. Those beans sound delicious. I'm saving this recipe right now for my own dinner table.

      Thanks!

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  3. Maggie, my family loves a cheese ball for appetizer. Here's our recipe:
    ½ lb. Roquefort
    1 pkg. Old English cheese (no longer available—I use an 8 oz. pkg of Velveeta)
    l eight-ounce pkg. cream cheese
    ½ lb. pecans, chopped fine
    1 bunch parsley, chopped fine
    1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 small onion, chopped fine
    ½ tsp. horseradish
    Let the cheese soften to room temperature and mix thoroughly. Add Worcestershire, onion, horseradish and half of the parsley and pecans. Mix thoroughly and shape into a ball. Do NOT do this in the food processor, as it will become too runny. Even a mixer makes it too smooth and creamy—wash your hands thoroughly and dig in, so the finished cheese ball has some texture and credibility. Roll the ball in the remaining parsley and pecans. Chill. Serve with crackers.

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    1. Hi Judy,

      This sounds quite tasty. I'm going to have such a great collection of ideas after this that people will think I'm a great chef. That's a stretch for me, The Queen of Carryout. But this sounds like something I could do, easy. Thanks for taking your time to get this down for me.

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  4. You will blow them away with this recipe from the Frugal Gourmet, Maggie. Easy and dramatic baked in the pumpkin like that, and best of all, it's especially tasty. Your family will rave. I recommend it. http://www.grouprecipes.com/21356/baked-whole-pumpkin.html

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    1. Hi Rose,

      I checked out the recipe. I've never made anything like this, but it sounds delicious. Since I don't have a big dish to make this could be something that really steals the show. I love custard pies. My mouth is watering. I want some right now!

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  5. One of the things I did one year was bring a cheese and cracker plate. All sorts of cheeses and cheese spreads, some Ritz crackers, water crackers, triscuits etc. Another thing to consider is a green bean casserole - for me thanksgiving isn't thanksgiving without a green bean casserole - besides they are easy as sin to make. I don't put some of stuff that is in the "official recipe" in mine but I like it better.

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    1. Hey Delilah,

      A cheese plate. Hmm. That sounds just right. And green bean casserole. Forgot about that one, but its always a crowd pleaser. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I'm tucking all these delicious treats away in my "entertaining" idea bin...

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  6. Replies
    1. That's two words! But seriously, if I brought Chocolate Fondue, who would eat turkey? Not me... Umm, I can smell it now. Thanks, Keena!

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  7. As a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes, how about a faux version of the classic mash made with cauliflower?

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/george-stella/mock-garlic-mashed-potatoes-recipe/index.html

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    1. Deborah, I eat mashed cauliflower all the time. It's a staple on our South Beach Diet. They even serve it at Ruby Tuesday's so its making its way into mainstream eating. Thanks for the new recipe though. Sounds yummy!

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  8. Green bean casserole is a must, but forget the stuff with dried onions on the top and cream of mushroom soup. mine has corn and cheese, and green beans of course, with crushed ritz crackers on top.

    I also have a fabulous recipe for glazed parsnips& carrots, but it takes a little more prep and active cooking.

    iI know nothing about low carb eating, but let me know ifnyou wiuld like either recipe.

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    1. Ugh. Still learning to type on the ipad, sorry for the typos.

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    2. You made me laugh about the typos, Susan. I have trouble with the touch screen keyboards too. Just doesn't have the same feel and its so easy to hit the wrong key. Plus by the time I'm done, I don't want to proofread the whole thing. Seems like it should be perfect.

      I've never eaten parsips, but carrots are high in sugar, comparatively speaking, so they're not something I eat routinely anymore. I'm very interested in your green bean casserole recipe. Send deets/recipe please ma'am.

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  9. First, congrats on the new contract! The book sounds like a great read.
    Okay, I've been reading the comments. Excellent ideas here. I do a mashed yam dish that always pleases. I add fresh squeezed orange juice for a zesty flavor. If that's taken, how about baking a "killer cornbread"? I use Trader Joe's cornbread as a base and add to it, usually cranberries and walnuts (I sneak in oatmeal and flax seed as well).

    Jacqueline Seewald
    TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS--now in all ebook formats

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    1. Hi Jacquie, There's already a sweet potato dish, so yams won't work this time, but your orange juice flavored dish sounds good. Your killer cornbread sounds like fun. I'll look into that as well. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  10. Go to the supermarket and order one of those snack platters to nibble on--celery and carrot sticks, those little rolled up ham and cheese one-bite things, raw brocolli, grapes, etc. Add a vegetable dip and crackers. Don't stress--they'll probably eat anything!
    Best of luck with your Freebie.

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    1. Celia, I love the practicality of your suggestion. I might try this, if not this time, for another gathering. I'm always looking for shortcuts.

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  11. I'm taking low-carb cheesecake. Just have to be very careful to follow the recipe exactly (recipes.com) or else, it's not so good.

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    1. Bridgette, Low Carb cheescake would really make my husband happy. Thanks for the recipe lead.

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  12. Seems like there's enough food for the Russian army :)

    Don't so any food - bring a festive tablecloth, nice napkins, maybe decorative place name holders? If there's a lot of kids, maybe little bags of games from the Dollar Store? How about music?

    There's lots you can do to enhance the festive mood w/out adding calories.

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    1. Sorry my comment got eaten, so I had to reboot. These are great ideas! I'm going to get some new music for myself as a treat for all this what-to-bring-stress. Thanks!

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  13. I've always thought that Thanksgiving was about the condiments. Really fine olives, both green and black. Two kinds of pickles, dill and bread and butter. Mixed nuts with a nut cracker and picks.

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    1. Condiments. What a cool idea. And not so labor intensive either. They make all kinds of pickles these days. I might look for some at the Mistletoe Market where I'm exhibiting this weekend. Thanks, KB.

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  14. We absolutely must have these items at Thanksgiving dinner:
    Cranberry cloud, I ate this at a party and begged for the recipe, never got it but finally found it...you do need a food processor. Just Google 'Cranberry Cloud' super delicious and good the next day.

    Green Jello Salad - two small boxes or one big one of green jell-o, dissolve in HALF the water, a drained can, the big one, of crushed pineapple, a carton of small curd cottage cheese and let set. After it's set, spread on (block of soft cream cheese + a glop of mayonnaise, mixed until smooth} top. You can also sprinkle some chopped pecans on top.

    Green Bean Casserole: I follow the recipe but add a small can of drained, chopped into slivers, water chestnuts. It gives a little crunch when eaten.

    Now I'm starving! I LOVE thanksgiving!

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    1. Yum. Sounds great, Pepper. Water chestnuts are a fav of mine too. I feel like veggies for lunch!

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  15. Maggie,
    We always have a fruit and relish tray. Just a thought.

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    1. Ilona. I love both fruit and relish. Thanks for the tip.

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  16. I haven't read all the suggestions others have made, but what my sister always asks me to bring since I'm not big on cooking anymore, is a tray with cut up veggies and olives and dip. Healthy and good to munch on while waiting for the main course to be ready. Actually, there aren't many veggies left afterwards, either.

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    1. Hi Gloria,

      This is a good suggestion and several others have made it too. I think people want to eat healthy and they figure if they're going to eat all that gooey high calorie stuff, then they better balance it out with some fiber and great taste.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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