100+ Thanksgiving side dishes

Dinner Party How To, Home Chef — By KF Louis on November 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm

If you’ve been to my house for an evening, you know that I use dinner parties as a platform for experimentation. Thanksgiving, not so much.

I learned a hard lesson about experimentation – which I later dubbed the “Disaster of ’96,” when I gave the family Thanksgiving dinner a modern, ‘sophisticated’ facelift without asking my audience if it needed one! Hence I saw furrowed brows down the table, and heard comments such as: “why is there garlic in these mashed potatoes?” “Your cranberries have a weird flavor [ginger and galangal], do you happen to have can of ‘straight’ cranberries in the pantry?”

While I felt indignant at the time (channeled my inner mama dawg:  you’ll eat what I serve, and like it!!!), I later felt horrible when I realized one third of my more traditional-minded guests plowed through the only items that didn’t have an updated twist, which diminished their supply for the more adventurous eaters.   Now don’t get me wrong, I still love experimenting with new renditions of classic dishes—but there are a few rules I try to keep in mind for holiday gatherings:

Know who I’m feeding. And it’s usually a mixed audience.

Traditional is ok. Because it’s a once a year occasion, and folks rarely eat a whole-roasted turkey with all the trimmings more than once a year.

If I’m going to experiment… I’ll pick a couple of dishes, not reinvent the entire menu as in 1996.

Cool New Web Tool Alert — Jabbit!

This year, I’m picking just two edgy dishes to throw in the dinner mix.   I used this new web bookmarking and sharing tool called Jabbit to collect all the interesting Thanksgiving side dish recipes this year.  Within about 10 minutes, I collected this Jabbit page of 100+ Thanksgiving side dish ideas. Check it out.  Perhaps it will shorten your search!

In years past, I’ve tracked my holiday menu ideas using the traditional (and not so functional) bookmarking methods—a saved Excel sheet, an online bookmarking system that organizes my saved pages by date, etc.  I don’t know about you, but it’s a cumbersome process that wreaked more havoc on my planning than it helped—losing bookmarks… I forgot I’d saved and scattering my search all over my computer.

That said, Jabbit is my new BFF.  Now, all of my recipe searching and saving is done in one location — and now research for 5 new blog posts — aand accessible from any internet connection and I have the ability to share my recipe collection with my peeps.

Let me know what you think of the list I collected.  And, let me know how next week goes for you.  Have a good Thanksgiving, all!

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