An Introduction . . .
If you've ever attempted to put together a large Thanksgiving Day dinner--an undertaking only slightly less taxing than assembling a steamboat--you know that pleasing all the people all the time is impossible.
One side of the family has always eaten creamed onions; the other side can hardly stand the thought of it. Make a cranberry relish, and wait for the chorus to erupt in protest that you've committed a heresy--that jiggly, jellied log from the tin can is tradition. Go ahead and spend half the afternoon on that wonderful casserole of sweet potatoes and pineapple you saw on a TV cooking show, but Uncle Marvin is going to want a bowl of mashed potatoes, too.
Is your head starting to pound?
Holiday menu planning is only getting worse, thanks to all those agitating special-interest groups--the nut-allergic, the wheat-allergic, the gluten-free, the vegetarians, the vegans. These days, accommodating people's feast-day tastes can be a diplomatic and logistical nightmare.
How to honor those cherished traditions while bending to meet the needs of everyone around you and, oh, yes, introducing new flavors and new combinations of taste to keep the meal new and interesting? Without turning the carving knife on your guests?
We invited five chefs to come to the rescue with menus for a new-old Thanksgiving.
Gillian Clark's Kitsch Menu
Gillian Clark, with her fondness for Americana, seemed the ideal choice for a "kitsch Thanksgiving." The Colorado Kitchen chef and proprietor cleverly updates many of those cheesy, can't-do-away-with-'em classics. Her Creamed-Onion-Stuffed Onion, for instance, is a sophisticated riff on a humble, feast-day staple.
Click here for Clark's menu