It always takes me a few days to recover from the days of preparation and slaving over the stove that is a holiday meal. By the time the meal is out in the table I’m ready to scream and run away. This year was no different. Ever the optimist, every year I still have visions of perky happy grateful children exclaiming excitedly how wonderful the food looks and smells. Why I haven’t learned yet that I’m not living in a Norman Rockwell painting surpasses me. Every year it’s the same thing; hell every meal it’s the same thing – ” eeeeww what is that?! ”
This may be the last thanksgiving meal I cook for a while. Next year the kids would be happy with Taco Bell or pizza 🍕
But Incase YOU want some new twists on holiday classics , or perhaps they are new to you , some recipes and ideas for meals to come.
A delightful entire pigs 🐷 head ! Omg 😮 YES I did that and we liked it. Learned after the fact that putting herbs in the pig face before smoking is questionable but what the hell I have thyme and rosemary coming out the wazoo because I grow it. Plus it looks cool right
So I didn’t do much to this really. I tried to hack it’s skull open and get the brains 🧠 out but that was unsuccessful ( see rather gruesome and awkward video of me hacking at this pig later to come) All that really needs to be done was for the pic to be removed from plastic, rubbing salt in it and herbs around it. Then cover and into the smoker or oven. I guess the whole point is long slow cook on this head. No matter what you’re doing though we found out that the pigs head has some of the best meet you will ever eat on it it’s fatty in the skin gets crispy like chips. The meat is tender at the cheeks and falls off the bones. You can keep your ham and your the morning and all your other cats for 10 bucks in the amount of meat and yummy …. GIVE ME HEAD The other protein that was wildly successful was duck. I thought because I did cook one once when we lived in our farm that the meat would be tough and gamy. Buy a duck and cook it because it is anything but tough and it’s meat is sweet and delicious beyond words. My kids devoured it and we all developed a taste for duck this Thanksgiving. I will be cooking them in many ways more frequently for meals to come for sure!
I could give you a recipe for deck but really there 1000 of them on the Internet to just go find something that looks yummy and cook a duck!!! Mine is with spice rub orange slices and a citrus glaze, garnished with Rosemary.
SIDESHOW Every meal has sides they get served along with it. Why is it that we wait for Thanksgiving to have these classics on the table? When really they’re pretty damn good and could be served with any mail at anytime. I think we’re done waiting for Thanksgiving. I’m declaring thanksgiving sides and every day meal side.
Sweet potatoes with butter and apple butter topping. That’s it! That’s all you do and roast them then stir it all in. STOP ✋🏼 for the love all that is good and Holy topping sweet potatoes with overly sweet sugar marshmallows syrup or whatever else you are slathering it and they don’t need it. The sweet potato is perfect on its own. The butter adds richness and the Applebutter adds the hint of sweetness with all of the fall spices you need and you are done.
Green-beans: tip here is cook them slow and long in chicken stock. You don’t need to add or do anything else to them if you do this.
Mashed potatoes 🥔 well that’s just going to have to remain a mystery if you don’t already know how to look it up or how to make it.
Same goes for macaroni and 🧀 cheese. Good Lord if you don’t already know how to do that you’re going to need a whole new post. I will cover stuffing later in separate post because it’s going to be too detailed for this.
Other then that there is not much to tell. Put out a good snack tray to keep people from “starving” while you get everything out. It’s minimal work and done right looks rather impressive.
Choose several dips , cheeses , meats , vegetables, and crackers— slice , cut , arrange- DONE ✅ ( also works for impressive office or other gathering events)