I realize now that having family together was the big draw for most people, but I was with my family all the time. We didn't get together with other family members on Thanksgiving ... or any other holiday for that matter. My mom had just as many siblings as myself. Most of them lived here in town, and almost all of them had just has many kids as she did. We would have had to rent out a banquet hall to get everyone in the same building!
As the older kids began to marry off and had in-law houses to go to for Thanksgiving, getting just our core family together became more complicated, and sometimes impossible. It was only then that I realized how special it was to have all of us in the same room.
Around Thanksgiving, the Food Network is dominated with shows devoted to Thanksgiving. To keep things "interesting" and to keep viewers coming back, the chefs have to come up with new recipes every year. And I've noticed something ... as the years go on, the recipes their chefs prepare get stranger and stranger!
Like my mother, my menu stays the same year after year. I don't watch many of the Thanksgiving shows on the Food Network, but I do enjoy looking at the television guide, rolling my eyes at some of the "classics" they prepare, and taking screen grabs to make fun of them later!
Below are a few of my favorites from this year:
Celery-root and apple puree? Do you eat it with a spoon? Is it a dip? A glaze?
I'm sorry, but an EASY 11-layer potato gratin? EASY would be two or three layers ... four tops! This recipe undoubtedly calls for several different types of those "artisan cheeses" I simply must buy but don't have access to. Unless I can pick up all eleven layers of this dish at the supermarket, which is unlikely and would result in making one particularly snooty chef to wrinkle her nose in disgust, this recipe is off the table. I guess it's a good thing I never invite celebrity chefs to my Thanksgiving table.
Baked-mashed potatoes with peas? Yuk! If I want peas in my potatoes ... which I don't ... I'll put them there myself. And what am I supposed to do with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs? Is this a side dish? An appetizer? Do I put them in my salad made with locally grown, organic vegetables? And, once again, I'd have to make it with common bread and Parmesan ... from the supermarket.
Oh, the horror of serving the peasant food from a supermarket! No ... I could never serve common supermarket food to my fancy guests (insert shudder here). So, I guess this one is out, too.
A "Classic Thanksgiving" which includes pumpkin Alfredo lasagna rolls? I don't know what this is, but it sounds disgusting ... and it's certainly never graced any "classic" Thanksgiving table I've sat at! And crispy truffled turkey? I don't want crispy turkey. I want juicy turkey.
And as for the dessert, well, I had to look up what a semifreddo cake even is. For all you fellow hillbillies out there ... it's "a partially frozen Italian dessert". While that does sound simply devine, the host and I obviously differ greatly on what we consider a classic Thanksgiving.
All my snarkiness aside ... I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and good food (even if it comes from the supermarket!).