“Thanksgiving is a holiday of sides and more sides. If there is no turkey, I can live with that."
Since Thanksgiving is all about cooking with love, we asked Carla to reminisce about some of her favorite Thanksgiving comfort foods. Warning: don’t read her post on an empty stomach!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It feels like all the Sunday Suppers from my childhood rolled up into one -- family, good conversation, and great food!
This, of course, is the holiday to celebrate and give thanks for our bounty, and bounty it is. The table overflows with all of my favorites. Even though much care and attention is paid to the roasted or smoked turkey and the new addition of fish (my sister insists on it, since she and my mom have high cholesterol), it's the side dishes that make my heart skip a beat.
Here are my top 5 comfort foods and why Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without them.
Cornbread Dressing reminds me of a denser corn pudding, studded with onions, celery, herbs, and sometimes sausage and cranberries.
Southern-style Collard Greens with Chow Chow pickle on top and enough pot liquor to run into the dressing. Be still my heart! The greens are slightly spicy with a hint of vinegar, and the chow chow adds that perfect crunch, added tartness and spice.
Cranberry Sauce. I'm not too proud to admit that I still like the canned stuff, although I realize that my love for it is more of a food memory than the taste itself. A homemade version is also prepared every year, but it sits proudly next to the ridged, round mold, thinly sliced.
Macaroni & Cheese and Glazed Sweet Potatoes are running neck and neck. The mac & cheese torch has been passed to my niece and I'm so proud to say that she does a wonderful job. My Granny would be proud. However, roasted and sliced sweet potatoes finished with a buttery brown sugar glaze until they're slight caramelized is a really good time. They're not as sweet as they sound, so they're the perfect balance with the other savories on my plate.
GRAVY!! I simply cannot have Thanksgiving without it. Even if all of my favorites above are on my plate, I'd turn them down if the gravy were missing. The gravy is the thread that ties them all together, the yin to the yang, the OM in OMPAH... You get my drift. It's a must for me.
As you can see, there is no meat on this list. Thanksgiving is a holiday of sides and more sides. If there is no turkey, I can live with that. If there are no gravy and sides...well, Thanksgiving Day must have been moved without my knowing.
NOOK owners: go to shop and search for ‘Carla Hall’ to add this instant-classic to your NOOK cookbook shelf.
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