Sunday I brought home double our usual amount of vegetables from the farmer's market. Yesterday we made the actual grocery store run. I also made carrot pickles, which I will discuss once I get the pictures actually on a computing device of some kind. Of course, I have to make a vast spread of holiday food first.
In the meantime, I'm taking a cue from Jes and compiling this list of last-minute American thanksgiving dinner ideas. The majority of these are vegetarian, for those of you. Anyway. Go forth!
- Marinated olives, toasted nuts, and vegetable crudités, none of which you need me to tell you about.
- Refrigerator pickles.
- Salami rolls.
- A few little bowls of hand-popped popcorn.
- Hummus and pita or carrots is never a bad idea.
- Red wine is always a nice thing to drink over an afternoon of cooking.
Soups & stews
- Black bean sweet potato soup, a classic at our house.
- Tuscan white bean soup.
- Brandied tomato rice soup: much more than the sum of its parts.
- Split pea soup is always great for blustery evenings.
- French onion soup.
- Carrot and white bean soup.
- Grain salads: quinoa, rice, barley, or even wheat berry are all good, and can be made the night before. They can also all take cooked chickpeas to boost the overall protein content.
- Green salads with fruit: spinach salad with walnuts and dried cranberries or fall salad with pear, pecans and dried blueberries.
- Shredded salads: Red cabbage and apple salad or carrot salad.
- Salads of root vegetables: beet and goat cheese salad, raw beet, pear, and cashew salad, or the slightly unseasonal (but maybe welcome in SoCal) potato and green bean salad.
- Roasted mixed vegetables vinaigrette, which you can make with nearly any winter veg, and which is great with fresh rosemary.
- Mashed sweet potatoes with garlic and ginger.
- Sautéed apples and onions, for that sweet-savory element.
- Sautéed kale (or other greens) with garlic. Tres facil et tres vogue. No, seriously, kale is up there in recent food trends.
- Baked winter squash, which you can then mash with butter & spices of your choosing.
- Cabbage braised in red wine, which is classic for a reason.
- Brussels sprouts with bacon, which are way down at the bottom.
Baked items: savory or neutral
- Olive oil baking powder biscuits.
- Cornbread. I usually use the Veganomicon recipe (though I sometimes unveganize it), but go with your favorite.
- Stuffing with shallots. It's sort of baked, right?
Baked items: sweet
- Cranberry bread: get those cranberries into your body without eating cranberry sauce (which I for one find disgusting even if homemade and beautiful)!
- Chocolate chunk banana bread. Breakfast!
- Apple pie, which is allll the way down at the bottom.
- Fruit crumble or crisp, which you will of course want to make with apples, pears, plums, or other winter fruit.
- Speaking of plums, you can always make another plum cake.
- And though I've never made it myself, our traditional family thanksgiving dessert is pumpkin chiffon pie.
Fill in that menu! You can do it!