What are the must-have Thanksgiving dishes?
November 25, 2004 6:44 PM   Subscribe

We’ll be interstate with my family for Festivus, and so we thought we’d start a new tradition and hold Thanksgiving with my wife’s family as an almost-end-of-year get-together. (stuffing inside…)

Minor hitch – Australians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and I’ve never been to a Thanksgiving, so I have no idea what to serve apart from turkey and pecan or pumpkin pie. What are the must-have Thanksgiving dishes? I’m especially after sides to accompany said bird. Do you really put marshmallows on mashed sweet potatoes then bake them? Is this a main or a dessert? Are there regional variations for traditional fare? Killer recipes appreciated.
posted by obiwanwasabi to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
Typical Thanksgiving dishes:
  • Turkey with dressing, giblet gravy, and cranberry sauce
  • Mashed (non-sweet) potatoes
  • Candied sweet potatoes (yes, with marshmallows, for a side dish, not a dessert)
  • Green beans (possibly in almondine or casserole form)
  • Cornbread or rolls
  • Pecan pie
  • Pumpkin pie
If you like green stuff and don't think the green beans are enough you might consider adding a salad or some mixed vegetables as well. After that point you have way too much food.
posted by grouse at 6:57 PM on November 25, 2004


posted by mervin_shnegwood at 7:02 PM on November 25, 2004

Cranberry Sauce / Dressing is a must. Don't know if you can find the canned variety in Oz. My family seems to have always have a variety blended with oranges.

Stuffing. Never made it. I know it has bread in it. Especially delicious is made with cornbread and sage.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:32 PM on November 25, 2004

I used Dreama's gravy recipe (linked from this stuffing thread) this year and found it wonderful. I also used lodurr's method of tenting my turkey and it worked like a charm. All in all, a very AskMe Thanksgiving. (I wish we had a sort of permanent "thanks" thread where people could share stories of how AskMe specifically helped them; I've certainly been helped by reading answers to questions I haven't asked, and I like letting people know when they've been helpful and just generally when advice really works. But I digress.) There's lots and lots of recent AskMe threads with Thanksgiving recipes; I'd stroll through the archives. Grouse has the quintessential American Thanksgiving menu pretty much nailed. I would suggest Epicurious for general Thanksgiving information and recipes.

I am not southern, but southern cooks really know how to handle birds and potatoes, which are the heart of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I think this recipe looks wonderful. That recipe is from a page with a whole southern menu at the lower left.

Also, try bending the ears of the people in your wife's family who love to cook for suggestions. Anyone who's done lots of cooking has passionate opinions about what constitutes the essentials of a great holiday meal. It's a wonderful way to get to know someone better and be sure that you bring something to the table they'll appreciate. So ask the cooks of the family for recipes, advice, and tips, and I'm sure they'll love that you cared enough to ask.
posted by melissa may at 11:09 PM on November 25, 2004

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