New Castle News

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October 27, 2012

Culinary Conversation: Try some Thanksgiving alternatives

NEW CASTLE — At most Thanksgiving tables, the turkey is the star of the show.

But what about the poor, neglected side dish?

Last week, we talked about Halloween but as soon as that is over, it’s time to focus on the one day where food is the highlight.

It’s almost a mandate at some gatherings that the traditional green bean casserole made with mushroom soup and crunchy fried onions be present or there could be a minor war among family members. Squash and, of course, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes also seem to top the list.

Let’s not ignore all the possibilities of adding variety to the vegetables, side dishes and casseroles, though.

I’ll remedy that situation today in Culinary Conversation and even go a step further by adding desserts other than pumpkin pie. I’m a fan of any type of custard pies, so those were included.

Sometimes, it’s not the time to be overly adventurous, though. For Thanksgiving, tradition plays as big a role as does the Macy’s parade and the afternoon-into-evening football games.

For some families, that tradition may be lasagna. For others, it could be cabbage and pierogies. I also refer back to the cream of peanut butter soup that was a enormous epic failure at a dinner my family held on Thanksgiving years ago.

So I know from experience that throwing in a surprise element doesn’t always work.

You are cordially invited to send favorite Thanksgiving Day recipes to Culinary Conversation — whether they’re ones you have had for years or a newer selection.

And remember, it’s not what is served at the table that’s important. It’s who is seated there.

Cabbage Au Gratin

  • 1⁄2 medium head green cabbage, cut in four wedges
  • 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1⁄2 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsps. flour
  • 3⁄4 cup milk
  • 3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

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