The countdown has begun. It's just over two weeks to Thanksgiving and you've got creamed corn on the brain, dontcha? Let's face it, turkey shmurkey, it's all about the sides.
First, let's say this: the bird is important and you should be wrangling one of Pat's from Wild Acres if you know what's what. But past that, everyone expects the bird. With a few flavor, texture, and moisture factors in play, it's the same thing. It's turkey. Let's move on.
Where you can really shine, where the pretty meets the plate, are the dishes that dance around the table. They are your medium of expression, they are your generational contribution, they are (like a good can of Cream o' Mushroom soup) a binder for the table. The perfect offering of sides will be constructed with a zen approach—balancing bowls of innovation that keep it exciting, against bowls of nostalgia that nurture the roots.
This is how I'll spend my free time for the next two weeks, pulling recipes and positioning bowls, substituting veg, quantifying potatoes, and questioning comfort zones. There is no sense even glancing at the creamed corn, it is an inalienable right. Mashed potatoes will be present, but will they contain goat cheese? Last year's fennel slaw was a hit. Wasn't it? Will there be a greater acceptance of the Brussels sprouts with more bacon? The cranberries grace two out of the 20 eaters' plates, will there be outrage if they're omitted? This is the year to tackle turnips, I'm sure of it.®