Our “standard meal” (after hours of grazing on apps as brunch) is turkey plus mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, white gravy, brown gravy, cranberry sauce, and if someone has a hankering for sweet potatoes they bring them (almost no one else touches them).
Last year’s twist was stuffing balls. The usual attendees are split between hating stuffing and loving it, but the balls united all - they were gone before seconds.
So, double the amount of usual stuffing (that is more than half leftover) will be made into balls this year.
I’ve been trying to take over the Brussels sprouts for a couple of years, so they’re roasted tender-crisp and not soft-charred from blanching and then roasting. Maybe this will be my year.
Apps - glorious apps. We do a couple of cheese boards, smoked salmon and charcuterie, plus whatever else people wanted to experiment with that year (this is the flexible part of the day - the main meal is pretty locked down).
In the past I’ve tried gougeres, salmon mousse, variations on things in puff pastry, pate, stuffed mushrooms, baked Brie/Camembert, etc.
This year I think perhaps another appearance of gougeres, plus salmon rillettes (Dorie Greenspan’s last book has some interesting variations), and maybe the tuna mousse @Rooster has mentioned previously. And/or mini magic quiches inspired by the baking thread.
I don’t contribute to dessert. Never have room for it anyway, and I like chocolate but no one else seems to want any on thanksgiving, so boo.