This week’s theme: try it.
We are three weeks out until my favorite day of the year, aka Thanksgiving.
Usually, on this holy of holy food days, by the time dinner is finally served I’m so stuffed with stuffing and soup and tastes of turkey drippings (don’t judge) that I can barely finish my plate. But somehow I usually manage to finish two. Because did you hear what I said? Favorite. Day. Of. The. Year.
Just wait a minute, though. Could things get better? By golly they could. Because on top of gravy and mashed potatoes and yes, turkey drippings, this year there will be matzoh balls and latkes and maybe even brisket. Which, let’s be real, is always juicier than turkey. Because this year Thanksgiving and Chanukah fall on the same night. Which means it is seriously now my SUPER. FAVORITE. DAY. OF. THE. YEAR.
What does a double food holiday like this mean? Pure creative license.
It means you get total control of how to cook those potatoes (or maybe peppery turnips and beets), those green beans (or maybe glazed moroccan spiced carrots), and that center piece of meat (how about a rack of lamb). All bets are off. So make Thanksgivingkkuh yours. Try something new.
Dare to be daring. Go beyond the normal. Use new spices, new vegetables, new meats! Make rubs out of crushed dried mushrooms. Salads of shaved brussels sprouts. Mashed potatoes from cauliflower. Gravy from lentils. And make dishes that you crave, love, and cannot wait to sink your teeth into.
That’s what these holidays are about. Celebration and uncomfortably tight pants. So go for it. Start experimenting now in the many ways you can keep your table bright and cheery and low-sodium. And your guests clamoring for seconds. And then get ready to nail it on this very special double holiday.
So this weekend, try it. And kick off these holidays with style and maybe a turkey latke sandwich.
PIZZATIZERS: Toss out the rolls. Bake and break bread this year with a savory egg pizza.
GOOD GOURD: Acorn squash is the Texas of winter vegetables. Don’t mess with it. Just add maple syrup and an oven and you’re good to go.
SIMPLE SPUDS: Skip the bicep workout and let your oven make the potatoes this year.
PIE SURPRISE: Give pumpkin a break and wake up your guests with this cranberry citrus poundcake.
STOCK UP: Dried mushrooms are your best low-sodium friend. Use these tips to get all the flavor out of them. And then use those bits, pieces, and juices in all your savory dishes.
VISUAL INSPIRATION: For those in the Bay Area who like eating with their eyes, there’s a new documentary called SPINNING PLATES about three restaurants and the passionate people behind them that will be released TODAY in San Francisco and Berkeley! I special previewed it last night and between the moving music, the mouthwatering food, and the heartwarming stories, I’d say get your butt to the theaters ASAP. Showings at: Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinemas and Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas.