Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving countdown III: Rolls?

Thank you to everyone who weighed in on the ambrosia discussion. I have made my peace with the fact that my MIL's feelings are more important than what I serve my guests. And besides, there's not a chance in hell anyone will think I made the ambrosia: My hostess rep. will remain intact.

But someone's suggestion that I redirect the MIL toward crescent rolls brings up something I've been gnawing on for a while.

Does one really need to serve rolls at Thanksgiving?

Are rolls and stuffing not redundant?

After all, they are both essentially bread. Don't get me wrong: I am no carb. counter (I've heard there's research that says people on low-carb. diets are bitchy, and I cannot afford to move any farther in that direction, but I tend to be of the persuasion that the only thing that should be doubled up on the plate are vegetables, especially when they are different colors. So beets are nice with something green, like zucchini. And who does not think corn is nice with spinach? But a roll sitting next to a pile of bread? And no, there's no room on our table for bread plates. I dunno. But then I've taken similar issue with pasta and garlic bread: Isn't pasta enough in the carb. category? And don't forget the pie crust coming up.

And besides, rolls come with other accompaniments (butter, preserves) that take up a bit of real estate on the table. But then I make really good preserves. I make only ok rolls—I purchase rolls much better. I will be sure to buy some nice bread or rolls for turkey sandwiches before bed or the next day.

And some people really like rolls. But my nephews, who at some family dinners have eaten nothing but rolls, will not be there.

What do you think?? Discuss.


Jill Anderson said...

Rolls are excellent for sopping up the gravy!! And, I have a local German bakery that makes rolls that heavenly. I wouldn't dream of making my own. I "purchase good rolls" too. They do make me happy -- although skip the jam - just unsalted butter for me.

P.S. thanks for your comment on one of my blogs - "What I Fed My Kids Tonight". I haven't been keeping that one up-to-date as the menu actually tires with a very picky eater. Sad but true.

Trevor said...

I hate to tell you this but you are also having corn pudding. Last time I looked corn qualified as a grain which for me takes it out of the vegetable category and closely aligns it with the stuffing (and rolls) you are serving. Rolls are not welcome at the Sis Boom [table]which is already a carb fest without them. I'm guessing we're in the minority on that though.

My friend's family used to serve a traditional roll from a recipe handed down generation to generation. Each roll was rolled out, twisted, looped around, and then pulled through itself before being set aside to rise and then bake. We couldn't stop laughing because of what part of the female anatomy they looked like after baking. They don't serve them anymore.

kpince said...

As a former picky eater who spent many a family dinner eating only the rolls, I suggest keeping them for the nephews. I agree with you about the pasta/garlic bread (would you eat bread with rice? NO!) That said, while I'm no longer picky, I am still vegetarian, and most stuffing is made with broth or some kind of meat. I don't know if you have any veggie guests coming to Thanksgiving, but for them it is nice to have something to go with the potatoes and other side dishes. Plus, for the holiday at least, it's not so much a meal (which for me implies "balance",) as a feast, which allows for more indulging and wider variety than a regular meal.

Trish said...

I LOVE these Thanksgiving discussions! It's like the conversations I've had -- in my head -- for the last two weeks about what in the world to serve my Hubs & I (who eat anything), my MIL & FIL (picky like toddlers) and my kids (who prefer sweets & bread).

My current debate is to make or buy rolls. But we'll have to have them one way or the other.

Purple Flowers said...

Thanksgiving Day is a day for feasting, so what's one more item, right? At your house, you will include your preserves which is an extra bonus. Before the food hits the table, admire your ability to set a pretty table. Then smile when all the bowls and dishes are crammed on it. Some people like to sop up their gravy w/rolls. Personally, I like to do that w/my mashed potatoes. Whatever the situation, look around at the faces and be thankful, as I know you will.

Kristin said...

There would be mutiny if we didn't serve my grandma's roll recipe. For my cousins, like the nephews, subsisted on rolls at T-giving & Xmas. And my son eats at least 5 before he touches anything else (notice I said touches, not eats). I love them, but only eat one small one & feast on the veggies & stuffing! I also save half of the recipe (it's one of those rise overnight ones) & use it to make cinnamon rolls on Fri or Sat. Yum.

Mom on the Run said...

DOTR's family, which we have already established has no spirit of adventure when it comes to their holiday menu, all adore the grocery store rolls that you bake for 8 minutes right before dinner and throw in a basket. This is the family that eats chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes and rolls everything into a piece of bread to make a sandwich, no matter what is, whatcha gonna do? Luckily, those rolls are only 99 cents, so no big loss.

gandr said...

Skip the rolls. Turkey is for sopping up the gravy.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see each family has their own methods, customs & rationales.
Growing up with all us kids - My Mom served rolls along side rice & whatever other similar carb that she could find.
I'm not a fan of just eating a slice of turkey that's just laying on my plate smothered in gravy. It's just never been my bag.I got in the habit of making a mini turkey "slider" instead. It consisted of a roll, turkey & gravy.
Everyone was happy. Mom got me to eat turkey (which I still think tastes kinda bland if it weren't for the tasty skin). Everyone ate the rolls - including my Dad. I enjoyed my turkey slider sandwich. Win-win!
At my home nowadays, holiday dinners don't look like a magazine cover or a martha Stewart style presentation. It looks like a free for all of yummy goodness to appease one & all.
Great post though! Love reading of everyone else's opinions!

Rachella said...

No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without homemade porterhouse rolls.