21 October 2009

Visions of Thanksgiving Foods Dance in my Head

A chill is in the air. The leaves are morphing into russet-tinged cracklers under foot. Low, grey clouds stack the landscape with nary a peep of filtered sun shining through. Fall has arrived.

With it, my cravings for decadent, warm foods. On my notepad of "to do" items - a list that is supposed to be for work items, with jots of personal reminders - I've been scratching down ideas for holiday menus all week. The choices for Thanksgiving are already starting to overwhelm, and we're still a good 5+ weeks out.

We'll be at my family's house this year, and as usual I'll volunteer to bring at least a couple of dishes. What my assignment is, I don't yet know, but here's what I'm currently considering:

For the main dish, nutloaf - a recipe Nate brought back from a jaunt to England (along with my engagement ring) in 2002.

For a side, perhaps those sauteed and sweet Brussels sprouts I had a love affair with this summer, long before the leaves had started to fall.

Another side might be the custard-filled cornbread recipe from Orangette author Molly Wizenberg's debut book. I couldn't find Molly's exact recipe online, but this offering from the Food Network looks very close.

And then there is dessert. Usually I make a peanut-butter pie. It's obscenely simple and obscenely delicious.

Yet this year, all I can think about is butterscotch. That warm, slightly tangy, round flavor keeps sliding to the center of my mind. PCC must've been feeling rather clairvoyant because the co-op recently tweeted a link to a series of butterscotch-laden recipes. One in particular - a pie - stands out. I need an excuse to try it, so perhaps Thanksgiving it is.

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