Last year it was just me and Eric, and our menu was a mixture of homemade and Wheatsville. This year, we’re hosting my mom, who’s down from Paris, Texas, for the first time in exactly four years (she hates the drive, and I don’t blame her!). I was originally planning to make my great grandmother Tollie’s cornbread dressing, and my mom even made a phone call to our Aunt Barbara to refresh her memory regarding the recipe, which neither she nor I have made since I came home from the UK for Christmas in 2003 (I think!).
But as the list of ingredients got longer and longer, and I considered the fact that I don’t have a dishwasher, and worried about the allergy attack I was suffering last weekend turning into a full blown illness, I decided the dressing with have to wait till Christmas. I’ll make it in early December and post in time for your Christmas menu planning. And when I finally post the recipe, you’re in for a treat!
Meanwhile, if you’re still searching for some fairly unfussy but crowd-satisfying dishes for your holiday table, check out some of my Thanksgiving recipe ideas, below.
We’re buying a garlic chive cheese ball from Wheatsville, but if you want to approximate that addictive, nostalgic flavor with a simpler recipe that keeps well, try Debbie’s Delicious Cheese Spread, one of my favorite family treats.
If you’re like us, and have more pumpkins than you know what to do with, try Stella’s Pumpkin Soup.
Okay, okay. I lied. I will actually be making my Southern Sweet Potatoes tomorrow morning while my mom drives down.
This morning on KUT, John Aielli was on a rant about how he hates sweet potatoes, and is tired of people trying to “fool” him into liking them, by making them into things like sweet potato chips (?). After playing a few Calexico songs, he changed his tune and raved for a full ten minutes about Bettie Winn Reeves Harris’ sweet potato pie recipe. If you make it, I’d like to hear what you think about it. Apparently, this is the only way John Aielli can eat sweet potatoes. Oh, dear.
For an even easier sweet potato solution, try my Perfect Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
If you’re like John Aielli and still hate ’em, try my Pesto-Tossed New Potatoes instead.
And you know you want some Macaroni and Cheese. This one’s special.
Another of my favorite recipes on this site, that happens to be pretty Thanksgiving-y, is this one for Pecan-Stuffed Delicata Squash. This one is a little more involved, but the result is so filling and flavorful that it makes a great alternative main for a vegetarian holiday celebration. Something about the combination of nuts and sage approximates sausage, and I just can’t get enough of it.
Another great main dish for vegetarians: Autumn Vegetable Fritters with Homemade Applesauce. Or, save these for your Chanukkah party.
Another really easy, budget-friendly recipe that’s sure to please are these Roasted Parsnips and Carrots. Parsnips are a wonderful tuber to which I was first introduced at a typical English Sunday roast dinner. If your local market has them, try them like this first to see if you like their flavor. I love them.
For the opposite end of the diet spectrum, this sweet and low-carb alternative to pumpkin pie is sure to please any primal eaters: Paleo Pumpkin Pudding.
Finally, this is a picture I took this morning, of Eric’s Pumpkin Roll. We sampled it for breakfast, but there’s enough left to see us through the weekend. Though he says it’s “more of a pumpkin lasagna,” this sweet dish is both pretty and pretty filling! He used homegrown pumpkins from our allotment garden again, so it tastes that much better.