Bizarre Summer Thanksgiving Bleg
Last winter my wife and I donated the promise of a dinner party for ten at our home for a charity auction, something we do every year or so. Normally when you do this kind of thing you try to have some kind of basic theme so people will be inspired to bid. (“Dinner at the Home of Some Guy You’ve Never Met” tends to focus-group surprisingly poorly.) This year we decided to do Thanksgiving in July, an idea we’ve never tried — or, to be more precise, an idea we’ll never have tried up until a week from today.
The concept is to take the basic idea of what you expect from a Thanksgiving dinner and recreate it from the ground up with farm-fresh summer ingredients. For example, for desert we will serve pies because that’s what you do at Thanksgiving. But because it’s summer they’re going to be berry or cherry pies rather than pumpkin, apple or pecan. We’ll probably also add two homemade ice creams that are staples in our house this time of year: fresh mint with dark chocolate bits, and basil infused sweet cream with toasted pinenut brickle. Also, I’m pretty damn sure that I’m going to be be serving Burt’s Cooler cocktail* as guests arrive — maybe with Dark & Stormies as well? (We’ll see.)
But now that we are a week away, it’s finally time for me to get with the program and figure out the actual pre-desert part of our menu. And here is where I could use some help. Here is what we know we will have:
- A roast turkey
- A smoked bone-in ham
- Some kind of turkey stuffing
- Some kind of potato dish
- Vegetable(s), or dishes made from vegetables
- A salad of some sort
- Some kind of appetizer(s)
In the next day or two I’ll be trying to figure out exactly what I’ll be doing to these items to make them both instantly recognizable and entirely foreign to the standard, American Thanksgiving table. But it occurs to me that it would be foolish not to take advantage of the hive mind here, filled as it is will foodies and chefs alike.
So, dear readers, I ask you…