Monday, November 20, 2017

Dreaming of Leftovers


It's the Monday before Thanksgiving, and folks from sea to shining sea have one thing on the brain.

FOOD. IT'S FOOD.

While obviously the actual thanks will be involved in our holiday {that post is coming soon}, today my thoughts surround an over-sized bird in a vat of oil. Is that so wrong?

Homes across the country are currently buzzing with warmth and family and tradition. Heavenly scents already permeate the air as well-rehearsed chefs have thawed the turkey and begun chopping nuts for pies and veggies for dressing. Grocery stores are packed with full carts, and the annual sale of can-shaped cranberry sauce has taken off. While I'm not the best cook, I'm a really good eater. As my taste buds tingle today, I am sharing the foods for which I am most ready:

My palate is not of the casserole-enjoying variety, which knocks off many Thanksgiving staples, but there is one that has my heart. The reasons being: A) I love green beans. B) I love crunchy onions. C) I love cheese. You put all these things in a dish with various creamy soups and the addition of mushrooms in a recipe I'm pretty sure Jonathan stole from the Pioneer Woman, and I'm going back for thirds. And also reheating days later.

When brainstorming desserts for a Thanksgiving feast, most people are thinking pumpkin or apple, right? Not me. My brain goes straight to Karo. Go big or go home. I know I've mentioned the holiday delicacy known in my family as haystacks, but it's worth another name drop. These tasty morsels rank up there with the headlining bird. It's just corn flakes and peanut butter and everyone's favorite corn syrup. My mom has been making these since I was little and each bite transports me to that cozy place of bulky sweaters, roaring fires, and absolute comfort. You know the one.

Last but certainly at the top of my list is the turkey. I don't know if having this gigantic bird on the table more than once or twice a year would lessen the excitement level, but mine is through the roof. Years ago Alton Brown taught my husband to safely fry a turkey and we haven't looked back. The delicious brown sugar brine and cooking method combine for a juicy main course. My mom cooks a second bird in a more traditional style in the oven and both get equal billing on my plate. I can already taste the tryptophan...

Honorable Mentions: All forms of bread, whole black olives, strips of extra pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon, homemade mashed potatoes, and many generous pours of wine.

Now that we're prepared to salivate through this three-day countdown, let's get to the real reason I wrote this post. I really want to know which dishes rank for y'all. When reading the foods I'm most ready to put in my mouth, what imagery and flavors popped into your head?

Please share in the comments the Thanksgiving dishes going on your plate this year, and maybe we'll add to the menu.... as long as it's still in stock at Walmart!

Happy Monday, friends.

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