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Vegetables at Thanksgiving

November 16, 2015

How can I write about Thanksgiving and vegetables when the main stars of dinner are Turkey and dressing?  I will be the first to admit that vegetables are not the first thing (or even the second thing) I think about when it comes to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner (think pie).  But as I began to ponder, maybe vegetables don’t play such a secondary role after all . . .

Sweet Potatoes:  While Sweet potatoes are becoming a year-round staple at restaurants either baked or in a French fry form, the greatest of all vegetable dishes is a Sweet Potato casserole.  There are as many versions as stars in the sky:  Some with marshmallow toppings, some with walnuts, some have pineapple, while some stick with butter, cinnamon and sugar.  One thing is certain, Sweet Potato is a vegetable mainstay for the holiday.

Green Beans:  The fate of the Green Beans at Thanksgiving were forever changed when Dorcas Reilly, a home economist with the Campbell Soup Company came up with a recipe for Green Bean Casserole in the mid 1950s.  She was looking for an easy recipe with minimal ingredients that can be prepared quickly.  Thanks to Ms. Reilly,  Cream of Mushroom soup and Crispy onion topping will be linked with Green Beans and Thanksgiving.  To read more about Dorcas Reilly, Campbell Soup and the recipe, Click Here.

Potatoes:  Now not everyone may have regular potatoes for Thanksgiving, but many homes do, if, for no other reason, that the pickiest of vegetable eaters will put potatoes on their plate.  The potatoes are usually mashed or, if you are lucky, a homemade casserole dish of scalloped potatoes with all their cheesy buttery goodness awaits on your Thanksgiving table.

Cranberries:  This tart fruit is experiencing a 21st century make-over for the holiday table.  Most millenials skip the jellied cranberry sauce in a can that is sliced and sits on a pretty dish, and make a cranberry relish,  green salad with cranberries or even a cranberry chutney.

So, this list was easy.  Stay tuned for next week’s blog when I discuss the unsung Vegetable heroes of Thanksgiving!




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