Thanksgiving side dish recipes (and the importance of All The Trimmings)

[18 Nov 2012 | By | 8 Comments]

No offense Turkey, but Thanksgiving talk is increasingly about Thanksgiving side dish recipes. That isn’t to say I won’t brine you and stuff you with herbs, onions and citrus—or carefully ladle juices on you while you are roasting in my oven. I will carve you with care, and be grateful to the farmer who thoughtfully raised you. I imagine you growing up, clucking and fanning your enormous wings, puffing up to impress bystanders and romping around the barnyard. Fed well and grown large, you now come to my table. I have not forgotten: you are the center of The Feast.

heritage turkey

Since the turkey is the established icon of our Thanksgiving meal, I think family traditions and comfort foods, new twists on old favorites and surprise new table staples all come in the way of sides. As in: all the trimmings. And as much as Thanksgiving is about The Bird, it is [dare I say] equally about The Trimmings.

Thanksgiving side dish recipes are alive and well on Pinterest boards and food sites, magazines and mobile apps. Ideas ooze from the computer, a leaflet or your nearby store. What are your favorite dishes? What sides are a must-have on your Thanksgiving table? And just as fun: what new dishes are you making this year? Are you joining another family and ready to enjoy their food traditions or are you hosting The Feast yourself?

Thanksgiving side dish recipes

As it turns out, I am hosting a humble gathering at my home. I will pull out my gold-rimmed wedding china, fill the table with large gourds and too many candles—and leave the center spot for the Beloved Turkey. Then I will fill in all the spaces with The Trimmings: homemade gravy and rum cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and garlic bread. I will try to re-create last year’s fig bacon stuffing and lace the table with a big green salad, great-grandma’s orange rolls and perhaps a small teaser of French Onion Soup (a new addition, but I just made homemade beef stock and it is begging for a showcase opportunity). I must make sweet potato casserole and roasted garlic mashed potatoes—and though I am bound to run out of stove-top and oven space—might toss in a small bowl of a new fave: easy creamed corn.

Happy Thanksgiving planning to you! I hope you have big plans for The Bird, and even loftier plans for all The Trimmings.

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  • laura said (19 November 2012 at 7:23 am):

    i love the turkey picture!!! great ideas on this post chica!

  • Hannah said (19 November 2012 at 8:05 am):

    Hi Janelle! I’m pulling out my gold rimmed china, too, and hosting. I love Thanksgiving and you’ve shared some terrific suggestions here. With full respect to the turkey, it really is about the side dishes for me, especially stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • Janelle (author) said (19 November 2012 at 2:59 pm):

    To you too! I have a good feeling that I will be seeing you soon! Happy Turkey and Trimmings day!

  • Donna Vander Griend said (19 November 2012 at 12:12 pm):

    Okay….we’re coming. Someone has to help you savor this fabulous feast!

  • Fork and Whisk said (20 November 2012 at 9:39 am):

    Beautiful pictures. All the food looks great. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  • Karista said (23 November 2012 at 9:16 am):

    Beautiful Janelle! I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! See you Tuesday :) Or, was it Thursday?

  • Janelle (author) said (23 November 2012 at 1:11 pm):

    Fork and Whisk: to you too! It was delish!

    Karista: TUE! Thanksgiving was filling and fun!

  • M 'n' M cookie recipe with pecans said (22 December 2012 at 7:39 pm):

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