...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Menu Planning with Your Garden Fare at Hand

One of my favorite things to do in prepping for a holiday meal is to peruse old cookbooks to see what tradition recommends. Today, I'll offer a couple of quotes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. (New in 1960 that is.)

"For your centerpiece, let your mood and resources be your guide." Our table this year had a country harvest feel to it. I used the heavy stoneware and a centerpiece that featured a corn husk doll, bright red and gold leaves, and cinnamon candles. I just didn't "feel like" going with the china for this one. The centerpiece was shifted to the unused end of the table during the meal--there were only 5 of us--and only rolls and condiments graced the table proper. The feast itself was served buffet-style off the kitchen table. This arrangement worked so well, I may use it every year.

Back to the cookbook. Its list of Entertaining Menus were indeed entertaining as we read through them the day before our meal shopping outing. We found menu plans for everything from a late evening buffet to a luau.
But, their recommendation for a Thanksgiving Buffet included the following dishes:
Swedish Pickled Shrimp
Cold Sliced Smoked Turkey
Frosted Cranberry Salad
Assorted Relishes
Buttered Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Pie
Tea and Coffee to drink
Our own meal relied heavily on the stock that came from this summer's canning and freezing efforts which I've marked with an asterisk in the menu listed.
*Zucchini bread with powdered sugar and a variety of homemade jellies
Light Lunch:
Egg salad on french bread toast
Summer sausage
Cheese ball and crackers
*Homemade freezer slaw
Holiday Dinner:
*Roasted turkey with herb vinegar marinade
*Herb dressing
Cranberry sauce
Mandarin oranges
Golden mashed potatoes
Marshmallow-topped yams
Amish noodles
*Green beans
Pumpkin pie
*Chess pie with strawberry and blueberry topping
Obviously, I pulled a lot from the freezer: from the strawberries picked and frozen in June through the zucchini bread made sometime in July, from the slaw made in August to the corn and green beans packed away here and there throughout the summer, all these brought memories to the surface, making the meal a tangible celebration the bounty of the year.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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