Sunday, November 22, 2015

Don't Mess With Tradtion

My family goes for a very traditional Thanksgiving - turkey with all the trimmings. However, they aren't picky about how the "trimmings" are prepared. They allow me the license and creativity to find new ways of preparing the traditional Thanksgiving foods, so it keeps things current and interesting. I always do a traditional roast turkey (we all seem to prefer it over the popular fried and/or
smoked versions), which almost always turns out tender, moist and flavorful, but this year I've decided to try brining for the first time. I'm going with a slight variation on Alton Brown's brine recipe and useing his roasting method (which I've used now for several years, and love).

Stuffing and/or dressing is my most "messed-with" Thanksgiving side dish. From year-to-year I never seem to prepare it the same way. For years I used my mother's traditional southern cornbread & biscuit stuffing recipe and didn't deviate from that at all. My mother actually got offended if I tried recipes for traditional foods that weren't her recipes. (One year I made Christmas sugar cookies from a friend's recipe which was given as part of a gift of Christmas cookie cutters. I thought my mother was going to disown me for it.)

It wasn't until Mother passed away in 2001 that I really began to explore my own culinary creativity and style and started searching for new and different ways to prepare traditional dishes. After Steph and I got together, I learned that she really wasn't fond of cornbread based dressings and so that gave
me license to do something different for the first time. Since then, I've added different variations of nuts, berries, fresh herbs, bacon, sausage, and varied the types of bread I use in my homemade stuffing. And every year my family compliments me on my creative culinary endeavors.

Sorry Mom, it's not that I didn't love your Thanksgiving dressing when I was a kid. But I'm a big girl now with my own family, and I love making them happy and hearing their compliments and
accolades at the Thanksgiving table every bit as much as you did.

So here's to "messed-with" Thanksgiving recipes and to those who aren't wed so much to tradition as they are to the love and togetherness that those traditions inspire.

1 comment :

  1. Our messed up family loves whatever you mess with!