Seasonal Sundays (Week 46) My Dream Thanksgiving

I'm gonna break it to you: Thanksgiving is nigh. In case your menu still has holes or you're still not sure what to make to take to your brother's, I've pulled my own very favorite recipes for this all-things-food holiday, from the simple to the sublime with lots of side dishes in between. I hope you'll find one or two destined to earn a place at your own Thanksgiving table for this and years to come ...

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. Thank you for following Kitchen Parade, for checking in on these Sunday recipe collections. It means the world to be welcomed into your InBox and RSS readers and most of all, your kitchens. So thank you, thank you. And if you like this week's recipes, perhaps you'll share this newsletter with a friend or social circle? If you forward this message, others may subscribe for free right here. Thank you!

If I had a magic wand — or a magic carpet or a magic crystal ball — I'd poll the whole lot of you about Thanksgiving plans. Staying Home? Hosting a Crew? Cooking for the Family? Ordering In? Traveling? Taking a Dish Elsewhere? Going Out? Ordering Pizza In? Just Ignoring All the Fuss? Focused on Football? It's Complicated? Too Soon?

My dream Thanksgiving is a big group of friends or family or both Friendsgiving-style at our favorite place in the country a few days before, then skip down to my sister's in Texas to cook with her for the actual Thursday.

Every year, I hope it'll work, 2023 had good prospects because Thanksgiving falls so early.

But alas. An early Thanksgiving also means that a "Country Thanksgiving" on the Sunday before overlaps with deer season: there are better weekends to spend in the woods unless you're an actual hunter.

So instead, I've revised my dream Thanksgiving right here in Seasonal Sundays — a kind of "pie in the sky" menu buttressed by modern conveniences like ovens and dishwashers let alone running water and you know, plumbing.

And so here it is, on offer, with any luck inspiring or focusing your own Thanksgiving ideas.

The usual "Seven Selections" are below but oh my, did I ever struggle to narrow it down because yeah, there's this affliction called "pent up demand". But I'm committed to seven, so seven it is, skip on down if you like.

But Wait! There's more! It's my late-night TV moment. These pages include all my hand-selected, Thanksgiving-ready recipes, super-organized to help you quickly hone in on what you might want. Just interested in cranberry sauce? There are several choices. Need a new way to make potatoes? There are choices.

I know that cooks are inundated by "100 best side dishes" for Thanksgiving. This is not that place.

Happy exploring ...

Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus & More, organized for easy browsing & targeted searches ♥

PS My best advice for anyone hosting Thanksgiving? Make soup.

Why? Odds are pretty high, you'll spend Wednesday in the kitchen, giving everything a big head start. You may even end up with a fridge full of food — and absolutely nothing to eat and absolutely not one iota of energy to cook one more thing. That's why I always recommend cooking a big pot of soup or chili or anything warm and filling that'll sustain you until morning.

PPS This isn't exactly advice but it's something my husband and I started doing during lockdown, when it was just us for Thanksgiving. We had pie for breakfast!! It was really fun, totally unexpected, and frankly, you kinda feel like you're getting away with something. And so it goes, ever since. This year, I'll be introducing the idea to a grandniece and family. I do hope the three Littles remember their Auntie Al for doing crazy stuff like pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving! Just a note, we've learned to go for less-sweet pies, pumpkin happens to work really well, I think apple would too. Save the cream pies for later ... (Need some ideas for Thanksgiving pies? Check out last year's Seasonal Sundays, Thanksgiving Pies.)

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Anyone see a turkey, there? Way way back, I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner on a lovely fall day. My husband disappeared for awhile, then emerged from his studio with a giant pumpkin painted like a turkey. He was our greeter, that day!

In Praise Of ...

  • ... friends who deliver not only puréed wild persimmons but a 150-year old recipe to go along. So fun! So good!
  • ... good ideas for keeping that bottom pie crust from coming out pasty and soggy from King Arthur Baking, I personally switched to metal pans last year, huge difference. I bought this nine-inch non-stick pie pan from Williams Sonoma and this metal pie pan (affiliate link) from Amazon. I like both.

Democracy Matters

The country needs calm, thoughtful and assertive voices amid the chaos inflicted by a minority hellbent on taking/retaining generational power by strangling democratic principles and equal rights. None of us have to personally change the world. We just have to do our part.

Tuesday was a great day for America! We had good, clean and decisive wins in multiple states. Whew.

But there's work to do. This week three writers I admire each wrote at length about the danger-danger-danger bells clang-clang-clanging all over about a second Trump presidency.

We cannot wait on others to influence our own family and friends. Form your approach, take a deep breath and do what your mama taught you to avoid: politics and religion.

"Here’s what must be hammered home: Trump cannot be re-elected if you want the United States to be a place where elections decide outcomes, where voting rights matter, and where politicians don’t baselessly prosecute their adversaries." ~ Margaret Sullivan for The Guardian 11/9/23

"Now Democrats need to take on an issue many would rather avoid: Donald Trump and the future of democracy if he’s re-elected. It may seem safer to stick to traditional kitchen table issues—don’t poke the bear—but it’s time to put the most important cards down on the table and have a serious conversation with the American people about what Donald Trump intends to do if he wins again. The writing on the wall is clear. But far too many people remain unaware of Trump’s 2025 plan, or they don’t take it seriously. People who love democracy need to make sure they do." ~ Joyce Vance for her Substack, Frogs Boiled: What Trump Is Planning for a Second Term 11/8/23

"Imagine that freedom was in decline around the world. Imagine that things had gotten so bad that a dictatorship actually invaded a democracy with the express goal of destroying its freedoms and its people. And yet... imagine that this people fought back. Imagine that their leaders stayed in the country. Imagine that this people got themselves together, supported and joined their armed forces, held back an invasion of what seemed like overwhelming force. Imagine that their resistance is a bright moment in the history of democracy this whole century. We don't have to imagine: that attack came from Russia and those people are the Ukrainians. Would you sell them out?" ~ Timothy Snyder on his Substack, Would You Sell Them Out? 11/8/23

The Words of Wise Women

  • "There are just 50 days left in the year! Do you have any goals, dreams or desires for the rest of 2023? The weeks are flying by but someone I love recently suggested thinking in days not weeks. Seven weeks seems like nothing but 50 days is a lot of days. Whatever your hopes and plans, be kind to yourself." ~ Paraphrased from twenty-something Franni, daughter of my dear friend in Toronto.

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: My Dream Thanksgiving, the One I'd Happily Cook and Very Happily Eat

Thanksgiving Turkey Vegetable Platter ♥, just your favorite veggies + creativity! Then wait for compliments!

How to Roast a Whole Turkey with the Dry Brine Method ♥ Simple Technique, Superior Results. Many Practical Tips. Recipe, insider tips, nutrition & Weight Watchers points included.

Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker ♥, the convenience of the slow cooker plus the sweet aroma of cranberries, fresh ginger and orange zest!

World's Best Green Bean Casserole ♥, yesterday's comfort food made with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms, no canned beans, no cream of mushroom soup. Rave reviews since 2006.

Perfect Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Party Potatoes) ♥, rich, fluffy mashed potatoes, perfect for parties and family gatherings.

Festive Kale Salad with Apple & Pomegranate, another seasonal salad ♥, a burst of color, texture and flavor for winter holiday meals.

Spiced Pickled Red Onions ♥, a game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Homemade Chili with Dried Beans (Slow Cooker or Slow-Cooked in the Oven) ♥ Featuring Hurst's HamBeens Slow Cooker Chili Beans.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

  • November 23rd (early! nice!) - Thanksgiving
  • December 1st - Alanna's Unofficial First Day of Winter
  • December 1 - 23 PikkuJoulu (Finnish "Little Christmas")
  • December 21st - Winter Solstice (Official First Day of Winter)

Looking Back ...

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week, not including the Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Roasted Green Beans with Rosemary & Walnuts and Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple on repeat this time of year.

How to Steam Eggs ♥ Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked eggs at the same time.
  • THIS WEEK Turns out, I steam a few eggs often, the soft-cooked eggs are for breakfast, the hard-cooked eggs go in the fridge to add protein to quick salads later in the week. So good!
  • THE SIMPLE TECHNIQUE How to Steam Eggs Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked both at once. (PIN This)

Fast Roast Chicken ♥, such a simple way to roast a chicken, fast, yielding a crispy salty skin and perfectly roasted meat.
  • THIS WEEK It's been wayyy too long and yet truth is, a chicken stew was the dinner plan. Instead I picked up a never-frozen (so important!) chicken from Whole Foods, popped it in the oven, had a long visit with my sister, then sat down to one of the best suppers we've had in a long while. I experimented with a new way to cook potatoes for alongside, recipe coming soon. So good! Naturally, we turned the carcass into No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock and Froze It in Canning Jars.
  • THE RECIPE Fast Roast Chicken My signature recipe, just three ingredients and an hour.

Jubilee Greens, Another Master Technique ♥ How to sauté dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale and more.
  • THIS WEEK The last bunch of Swiss chard was too tough for salads so I turned it into a side dish, sautéing the red stems with onion and chopped broccoli before adding the leaves. On a whim, I used red wine instead of vinegar for the needed acidity. Pretty! So good!
  • THE RECIPE Jubilee Greens How to sauté leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale & more. (PIN This)

Pumpkin Cornbread ♥ A quick bread for fall, moist and pumpkin-colored.
  • THIS WEEK I'd forgotten how good this savory bread is but it was also a real workhorse this week. The first night, I used it as a base for a twenty-minute chicken supper (recipe coming soon!); the next night, sautéed for cornbread crumbles for a big supper salad; and the next, cut in half, topped with pickle and a little cheese for a little open-face sandwich alongside tomato soup; the last for breakfast as Fried Bread (Skillet Toast). So good!
  • THE RECIPE Pumpkin Corn Bread Who's got a cup of leftover pumpkin purée?

Perfect M&M Cookies ♥, classic Tollhouse cookie recipe with M&Ms, perfected by my friend Kathy.
  • THIS WEEK Danger-danger warned the bag of fall-hued M&Ms in the cupboard. So I turned them into cookies and delivered to family Littles to celebrate the season's last soccer game. Gone in a flash? Yep. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Perfect M&M Cookies First grabbed, first to disappear.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.

  • Any ideas for Seasonal Sundays? Share away!
  • Did you make something extra-good this week?
  • Anyone experimenting with new recipes for Thanksgiving?
  • What're you reading? What's grabbed you on Netflix/Hulu/etc.?
  • Anything else? Chime in, chat away.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.