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Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving recipes’

Back in the day, when I was a corporate young’un, I would often meet a friend for lunch at a nearby restaurant where we would commiserate about our horrible clients and general misery. She’d call me from her office with urgency – “11:30. Houston’s.” This was usually around 11:15 so I would run the few blocks over to the restaurant to get a big cozy booth just before the lunch rush. We always ordered the same thing: hot spinach artichoke dip and off-the-menu chicken club salads, easily the two best things on (or off) the menu. Then one day the restaurant closed, replaced with a fancy boutique hotel and it’s corresponding hip restaurant serving $29 burgers. We found other lunch mainstays but none had spinach dip like that. I miss that spinach dip.

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Oh Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving. It’s the only holiday that is solely dedicated to eating. How great is that? Secondarily, I would say enjoying time with family is maybe a bit more important and watching a few football games is up there too but no other holiday has such focus on food. It is the best day of the year for that very reason. The menu is fairly set – turkey and stuffing of course and cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy. From there we’ve got some leeway – sweet potatoes probably, some kind of green vegetable is nice and then probably pumpkin pie for dessert. Anything beyond that is up for discussion but we all pretty much know. Where there is really room to stretch is with the appetizers. With the exception of family traditions, there’s no set ideas here. You need something to start the day, welcome your guests, take the edge off and lay a base for the delights to come. Appetizers.

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Try as I might to resist, I’m getting twitchy for pumpkin. The amount of pumpkin/pumpkin spice products in the grocery stores is obnoxious and some things just have no business living in the pumpkin spice realm – check this list out. While I roll my eyes at the vast majority, there are a few things that I do love. The original, OG pumpkin spice donuts from my youth (still working on recreating those). My pumpkin bundt cake. A slice of a good pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. They’re delicious and invoke feelings of nostalgia in a way that pumpkin spice Cheerios or Oreos do not. Inevitably, as I pass the cans of pumpkin puree on the grocery display, one will go in my cart. Maybe two. Which is exactly what happened last week.

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