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Thanksgiving conundrum

 
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Barbara



Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Thanksgiving conundrum Reply with quote

Here's the thing. Menu topics have been receiving short shrift on this board and I love 'em.

Every 2 years, and '09 is two, the extended clan gets together at a local club for a family bash reunion (think 80 people) during Thanksgiving lunch. Traditional menu (turkey, stuffing, pies, potatoes- mashed and sweet) and we're home by 2:00.

Various nieces/nephews have put the squeeze on me for an evening get together at my house to play games (Cranium) and hang out. Due to various famly weekend committments, the only available night is Thursday, Nov 26. Okay, no problem, people have eaten a big lunch but by 7:00 pm a little something might taste good and people will certainly be thirsty.

So, here's some menu ideas. I have 3 teenaged sons who are always hungry. I ordered a big ham for slicing and will have nice crusty bread for sandwiches. Soups seems comforting and don't have to be complicated. I'm thinking two soups - maybe a yellow split pea/pumpkin for the adults but I might need a more kid friendly soup, too. Chicken noodle? Roasted tomato? Beef barley? In addition, a serving of vegetables - roasted medley? Given the pie frenzy at lunch can I serve cookies for desert at dinner?

What sounds good for dinner after a huge lunch? Don't tell me that you wouldn't be hungry because the more I eat, the hungrier I am. Please help design a crowd pleasing, make ahead, casual dinner post feast. Attending kids are aged 11-25 so I don't have to worry about toddler food. Thank god! (nothing against toddlers - I had lots of them but am past that phase.)

Thanks for the help.
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Tom L



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is impossible to eat too much pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 9579
Location: The Empire State

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many "kids" are we talking about? If you have a deep fryer you can make chicken nuggets and fries. If you want something less labor intensive, buy little hot dogs, meatballs, pizza bagels and serve hors d'oevres.
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Barbara



Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7 kids: ages 11, 15, 16, 18, 20, 25, 27!
6 adults
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tom



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 2332
Location: Northwest Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your ham and two soups idea sounds like a winner.

Maybe second soup could be cream of potato? Quick and easy to make, plus you can leave it on the stove or in a crock pot for a long time without messing with it. I've used it the last two Halloweens as the extended family all ends up at our house and have had good luck with both the kids and the adults eating it. Have had the same luck with a simple French onion soup too, but it's a little more labor intensive.

Instead of worrying about a warm vegetable, maybe a simple veggie tray with dip? Or instead, some cut up fresh fruit?

Good luck!
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GregC



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 3601

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't really fit into the Thanksgiving theme, but a pan of Baked Mostaccioli (sp) is really easy to make ahead of time and just warm up the day of the party. That's always my default meal when I have to have a no-fuss meal for a big group.
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 3574
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tom wrote:
Maybe second soup could be cream of potato? Quick and easy to make, plus you can leave it on the stove or in a crock pot for a long time without messing with it.

Tom, I think you need to share this recipe in the Menu forum!

Barbara, I would just eat more of the dinner left-overs on Thanksgiving evening, but that's just me. I'm sure the lunch potluck will have lots of left-overs. I can't get enough stuffing and mashed potatoes! I think the soups are a great idea.
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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soup and sandwiches sounds perfect to me. With ham sandwiches I'd go for a navy bean soup but that's just me. Or Chili. Or muligatawny.
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richfscott



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't like the kids, you could make GregC's Five Minute Fiesta.
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1L



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew up in an Italian family and although we would have a traditional "turkey" lunch meal, we always had a pan of lasagna on hand for an easy fast dinner. It is so easy to make these days with no-boil noodles and you can take out a lot of fat and calories by using skim ricotta, low-fat mozzarella cheese and a simple no-meat homemade red sauce (simply take cans of crushed tomatoes and heat up in a sauce pan with some sauteed onion, garlic, and Italian spices).

I also like Tom's soup idea and last year I made an easy Cream of Potato and Leak soup recipe for Super Bowl Sunday that I got out of Cooking Light. Even the kids liked it, and I fed two 7 yr olds and two 10 yr old along with much pickier teens.
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
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Location: The Empire State

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasagna is easy, but a tray of baked ziti is even easier.
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tom



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
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Location: Northwest Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scuba wrote:
Tom, I think you need to share this recipe in the Menu forum!


I stole this one off of Al Gore's internets and modified it. I've probably made it a dozen times and it's gone before you know it.

You can use either chicken boullion cubes or chicken stock as your base. Essentially, I get a six quart pan out and fill it with roughly 4 quarts of base. I then dice up 1 medium sweet onion, 4 carrots, 6 celery stalks, and 10 medium potatoes and throw them in. Salt and pepper to taste, let it boil slowly until the potatoes are very well cooked. I usually take a big spoon and try to mash the potatoes up as much as possible when they reach this point and then really stir the soup up well.

About 20 minutes before serving, take a skillet and bring about 1.5 cups of milk (heavy cream is even better) to a rolling boil and then slowly add 4 tablespoons of flour. Once you get this nice and smooth, simply pour it into the soup and stir it up.

This soup tastes great as is or we sometimes add some cheddar or colby to the top. Chives also are a nice addition.

It probably sounds a lot harder to make than it is. It usually takes me about ten minutes to get it all together in the pot and another ten minutes at the end to add the cream.
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Snowman



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 7076
Location: The Great Sout' Side of Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom L wrote:
It is impossible to eat too much pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.


I am thankful that Tom L and I have found yet another topic to agree on.
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Trent



Joined: 03 May 2006
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Location: Deep Wells, TN

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom L wrote:
It is impossible to eat too much pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.


Agreed.
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 9579
Location: The Empire State

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snowman wrote:
Tom L wrote:
It is impossible to eat too much pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.


I am thankful that Tom L and I have found yet another topic to agree on.


http://www.piechef.com/recipes/blueb_cran.html
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soup & sandwiches. I agree.

Here's a recipe from Julie's office mate, Gina, whose mom owned and operated restaurants in LA, Chicago and Puerto Rico. This is from memory, so bear with me.

Butternut Squash & Crab bisque

good sized butternut squash, peeled & cubed.
medium-small onion, diced
couple stalks of celery, diced
couple of carrots, peeled & diced
4 or 5 roasted garlic cloves (wrap in foil, drizzle with olive oil and bake in 400 oven till done. Not long, 10, 15 min?)

Simmer the above in 4 cups of chicken stock for about an hour.
Blend right in the pot with your stick blender
add one cup of heavy cream
one more cup of chicken stock
one 16 oz can of good-quality (chilled) crabmeat
season with fresh sage, salt & peper

Enjoy!
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