Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving countdown II: Menu planning

So just when I thought we were moving forward with Thanksgiving plans, my MIL volunteers cheerfully "I would like to bring something!" Remembering the pink syrup in a bottle she once squirted on strawberries to go over my homemade short cake, I scrambled to think of something long enough for her to volunteer what she really wants to bring:

Ambrosia

I could just weep. Do you know what this is? Mini marshmallows, shredded coconut, various kinds of canned fruit (we live in California, for christsake—why would anyone eat canned fruit??), sour cream, and I think Cool Whip (cannot believe I just typed those words). I hate ambrosia!!! It is gross!!!!!

So do I point out that everyone else hates ambrosia too? Well, I guess that is not really true. After all, she likes it. Maybe other people do too. But probably not. The "not if it's too much trouble!" did not work. Ambrosia is coming to dinner. Along with my MIL. At least we all really do like her.

So what else are we having? In addition to various appetizers, yet to be determined,
  • Roast turkey with gravy
  • Whole cranberry sauce (I always can a bunch this time of year)
  • Cranberry relish (Lisa is bringing this)
  • Stuffing with sausage, apple, and chantrelles
  • Buttermilk mashed potatoes
  • Corn pudding
  • Sauteed green beans (my friend Matt is bringing this)
  • Smoked king salmon (Jim is bringing this—he wanted to smoke my turkey, but I told him no because of the stuffing and gravy issue)
And of course, we will have pies: definitely apple and pumpkin, possibly pecan. Does anyone really like pecan? Probably the same people who like ambrosia. I guess I'll make one.

What's your Thanksgiving favorite? Would you eat ambrosia?

17 comments:

carolyn said...

my condolences about the ambrosia... if you want to try a "GOOD" pecan thing try the bourbon pecan tart recipe in Bon Appetit. I don't like the gooey pie ...this is MUCH better, I promise.

Purple Flowers said...

I don't like ambrosia. It's too sweet and the flavors don't mix well. Anyway, my favorite dessert on T-day is apple crumb pie. I prefer that to the two pie crust.
Your menu sounds terrific!

Jane said...

Ok I have to chime in on this..I hate ambrosia. From the sound of the name to the taste. It's a dish that should & hopefully will die off with that generation - I know that sounded harsh..but really, ambrosia is just awful. Maybe at one time when rationing food for the war effort made ambrosia popular or when people were unloading unused canned good & a boat load of marshmallows from their pantry - it made sense. But nowadays - there is simply no good excuse for this stuff.
Tell her to bring crescent rolls or some kind of rolls to make turkey sandwiches with. Little kids (& big kids like me) like to eat my turkey on a roll or bun.

Kristin said...

Ambrosia is vile. There's a pecan (or walnut) pie recipe that has fresh cranberries in it. Much less ooey gooey than traditional pecan, & the cranberries really cut the sickly sweetness.

Kate said...

It's gross. So is the "Green Stuff" that always makes an appearance at my MIL's table...I think it is pistachio pudding based with marshmallows and marachino cherries - not sure what else. Frightens me.

Kate said...

Do you have a good cranberry relish or cranberry chutney recipe?

ANFQ said...

So you likey the corn pudding, huh? It is a keeper, for sure. I wish I had some here at my desk this morning. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Mom on the Run said...

This is like the green bean casserole....it just has to be there to make people happy.

The first year MIL lived here and decided to host Thanksgiving, she told me to bring the relish tray. Yeah, I am the only one in the family who can cook worth a damn and she told me to bring the relish tray. I told her I could also bring sweet potatoes and she told me "nobody likes them"....come to find out she's the only one who doesn't like them. That was the beginning of the end of my relationship with MIL.

We're eating at our house and I'm cooking everything I want to cook and nothing else. What freedom.

Trish said...

I've got to stick up for Ambrosia...but then I'm from the South, so I kinda like a good pecan pie too. Here's my Ambrosia recipe:

2 cans Mandarin orange slices, drained
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 ½ cup flaked, sweetened coconut
1 carton sour cream (full-fat, natch!)
1 can pineapple chunks drained
1 bag miniature marshmallows
½ cup chopped nuts (pecans are good)

Make sure all the fruits are drained so it's not too goopy. Also, it's MUCH better if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight.

It might be a little less vile w/o the Cool-Whip (ugh). I make a half-recipe for my kids, since they don't eat much on T'giving except for rolls & brussel sprouts.

And the Bon Appetit bourbon pecan pie is to die for.

KatieGirlBlue said...

heh, heh..."he wants to smoke my turkey..." Sorry, just sound like some bizarre foodie euphemism.


Regarding ambrosia, and while we're on the subject, jello: Best to stay out of Utah. Only place I've ever lived where you ask someone to bring a salad, and they show up with a complex dish comprising jello, fluff, pretxel crumbs and crushed pineapple.

It's weird I tell you, and I'm from Pittsburgh, where we eat our cole slaw and french fries ON our sandwiches....

Kate said...

OK, you had me until you insulted pecan pies by lumping them in with ambrosia. What's not to like about pecan pie made with with delicious Georgia pecans? Yum.

TC said...

Pecan is my all-time favorite pie. By far. Don't diss the pecan!

Trevor said...

Despite my giggles I'm really quite empathetic to your angst here. When my grandmother was alive she would insist on bringing 'the wine' to our holiday feasts. She would show up with four bottles of Andre "Cold Duck". We always had wine in reserve ready to go.

Smiling at the corn pudding on your menu dear!

Rachella said...

I would eat ambrosia.

Jill Anderson said...

My MIL also likes Ambrosia. Perhaps it's a generational thing? I'm not going to serve it to her though. She's just going to have to suffer through some real food this year as Thanksgiving is at my house. :-)

bewitchingkitchen said...

This is very interesting. I have never had this ambrosia you mentioned, and at first was surprised when you said you hate it.

What we call "ambrosia" in Brazil, (and I imagine it originated in Portugal) is a fantastic dessert made with sugar, milk, and eggs -

I've always heard it is tricky to make - maybe I'll search for a good recipe and blog about it. I wonder what's the origin of the American version. I don't think I would like it... :-)

Sally

Elizabeth said...

We used to have that at our Thanksgivings when we were kids. I didn't like it then and now it's just a horrible memory!!