Necessary Thanksgiving Foods


SilentOne
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What foods would you say are required to make a Thanksgiving dinner, and if they aren't there, it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving?

I thought about this a while back and I believe I decided that the minimum necessities for a traditional Thanksgiving, to me, are turkey, stuffing/dressing, cranberries, rolls, some sort of potatoey dish (sweet potatoes or mashed white potatoes), and at least one out of apple and pumpkin pie.

Edited by SilentOne
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9 minutes ago, SilentOne said:

What foods would you say are required to make a Thanksgiving dinner, and if they aren't there, it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving?

I thought about this a while back and I believe I decided that the minimum necessities for a traditional Thanksgiving, to me, are turkey, stuffing/dressing, cranberries, rolls, some sort of potatoey dish (sweet potatoes or mashed white potatoes), and at least one out of apple and pumpkin pie.

Looks good to me. I would add several more pies to the list (Strawberry Rhubarb, Mixed Berry, Chocolate Pecan) and maybe make the Turkey smoked instead of oven baked. Otherwise my list is the same as yours.

Edited by Midwest LDS
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If my family is there, the food is almost irrelevant. Not saying I don't have food that I associate with Thanksgiving, but it's the family associations that I really cling to.

That said: Turkey is a must, preferably with gravy. I think pumpkin pie is a sine qua non, as well. Pretty much everything else is negotiable.

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My husband has to work on Thanksgiving, so we are doing our own dinner the night before. It's just the 2 of us, so we decided that are musts are: Turkey (well, chicken in this case--we just can't deal with a whole turkey), stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, something green (green beans, this year), rolls, dessert (doing a sweet potato casserole, this year), and my husband needs cranberry sauce (I don't do that except as a jam for toast). 

I'm actually not big on desserts and I can't stand sweet things with my savory food. Hence, the sweet potato casserole is not next to my potatoes/gravy, but a dessert for us and my husband will enjoy his cranberry sauce with his food, while I'll save it for toast or a PBJ sandwich later. 

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Turkey...which is my least favorite.  For some reason it is always up to the Dad (in this case...me) to prepare and cook the turkey and then to carve it up later and then clean up the mess.

Mashed potatoes also tend to be on me as well as the pumpkin pie.

My wife makes deviled eggs and double stuffed potatoes so at least I don't have to do that. 

Luckily we have two stoves, one for her to cook in and one for me to do the turkey in.

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19 hours ago, beefche said:

My husband has to work on Thanksgiving, so we are doing our own dinner the night before. It's just the 2 of us, so we decided that are musts are: Turkey (well, chicken in this case--we just can't deal with a whole turkey), stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, something green (green beans, this year), rolls, dessert (doing a sweet potato casserole, this year), and my husband needs cranberry sauce (I don't do that except as a jam for toast). 

I'm actually not big on desserts and I can't stand sweet things with my savory food. Hence, the sweet potato casserole is not next to my potatoes/gravy, but a dessert for us and my husband will enjoy his cranberry sauce with his food, while I'll save it for toast or a PBJ sandwich later. 

Even though we went Vegan some years ago, I was able to "veganize" your macaroni and cheese recipe (still one of my family's favorite dishes :))We will be having Gardein crispy tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, green been casserole, corn, dinner rolls and Daiya New York cheezecake for dessert.

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Wife-made sweet potato pie with marshmallows.

Drinking punch out of these special glasses that came from my grandparent's house from the '70's.

3 parts cool whip to 1 part pumpkin pie.

Green bean casserole.

Since we raise and process turkeys, we'll occasionally do something non-turkey like ham.  Even did beef ribs one year.

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1 hour ago, Suzie said:

Even though we went Vegan some years ago, I was able to "veganize" your macaroni and cheese recipe (still one of my family's favorite dishes :))We will be having Gardein crispy tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, green been casserole, corn, dinner rolls and Daiya New York cheezecake for dessert.

I'm so glad you were able to adapt it. And I'm so glad to hear that my momma's recipe is finding the love with others!

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:47 AM, SilentOne said:

What foods would you say are required to make a Thanksgiving dinner, and if they aren't there, it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving? ... turkey ... 

Ah yes, the curse of turkey. I wish some 8-year-old kid would yell from the roof top, "Turkey sucks! It's awful. It's dry, cheap, and has a distinctive flavor that must be covered up by gravy, special recipes, basting, infusions of butter, herbs, etc. Let's just admit it and move on!" [i.e. The Emperor Has No Clothes!]

My family succumbs though. We buy the smallest Butterball turkey we can, cook it properly, and everyone gets an obligatory bite or two, so we can say it was a Thanksgiving dinner. Then we move on to copious amounts of ham, and all the other good stuff.

Edited by prisonchaplain
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24 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Ah yes, the curse of turkey. I wish some 8-year-old kid would yell from the roof top, "Turkey sucks! It's awful. It's dry, cheap, and has a distinctive flavor that must be covered up by gravy, special recipes, basting, infusions of butter, herbs, etc. Let's just admit it and move on!" [i.e. The Emperor Has No Clothes!]

Count me in the camp of Ralphie's dad, a turkey junkie. I love the flavor of turkey. Is it as good as chicken? Well, no...but chicken is nigh unto the perfect meat. And if it's cooked right, it's anything but dry. My wife cooks the turkey "upside-down", which results in a very moist bird.

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2 hours ago, mirkwood said:

We've been getting the pre-prepared meals from Cracker Barrel for several years now.  Saves sooooo much work.

When I was growing up and had no family nearby, that is where we would go on Thanksgiving. Got the open face roast beef sandwich with sour dough bread, mashed potatoes, and fries every time!

That is truly a great restaurant 

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

When I was growing up and had no family nearby, that is where we would go on Thanksgiving. Got the open face roast beef sandwich with sour dough bread, mashed potatoes, and fries every time!

That is truly a great restaurant 

I worked last year on Thanksgiving and after I got off duty we went there for dinner.  My wife got the turkey dinner, my boys got pancake breakfast and I had biscuits and gravy with the potato casserole and extra bacon.

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3 hours ago, mirkwood said:

I worked last year on Thanksgiving and after I got off duty we went there for dinner.  My wife got the turkey dinner, my boys got pancake breakfast and I had biscuits and gravy with the potato casserole and extra bacon.

Cracker Barrel has THE best pancakes I've ever had. Crispy edges, fluffy middle and full of flavor (before adding the butter and syrup). 

And for dinner, they have greens! My friends make fun of me because I'll often get 2 servings of their greens. Yum!

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