For the fourth year, Jonathan and I have had a smallish, vegetarian — we pardon all the turkeys — Thanksgiving dinner at home. Part of this blog post is scrapbook, part memory aid, part encouragement for others and part proof for my mother that we did have a nice meal.
This year, the theme was sides we already love. (Clockwise from upper left) Fruit salad, steamed butternut squash, corn bread, roasted potatoes, mushrooms pan dressing style and green bean casserole. Festival slaw, below. Not seen: baked apples, cranberry sauce, thin ginger cookies and a nice bottle of Moscato d’Asti. (Chosen because of all the fruit flavors; makes a nice change from cider. Low in alcohol and lightly fizzy.)
I should note that the squash and thyme (in the mushrooms) are local, and the mushrooms are probably local too, since so many are grown in Pennsylvania. I could have gotten local apples, cabbage and potatoes, too. Local is hot this year, no? But the real treat is that the food was easy to find (neighborhood groceries mostly), easy to prepare (thanks, cream of mushroom soup) and easy to pay for. In case you think this isn’t practical.
The mushrooms are seasoned with celery, onions, thyme, sage, pepper, imitation chicken stock and a small knob of butter; thickened with some wheat bread cumbs. The slaw — which I sometimes give a postwar/happy homemaker-style recipe name like “Festival Slaw” or “Chow Chow Slaw” — was inspired by a trip to Amish country. Here with cabbage, carrots, kidney beans, sweet peppers, celery and sweet relish — sometimes with kernel corn, canned (drained) green beans, green onion and vegetarian bacon chips — in a sweet and sour dressing. Plus a touch of tumeric and ground ginger.