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Thread: What're you doing for Thanksgiving?

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    What're you doing for Thanksgiving?

    Or if your country has some other big meal coming up around this time of year, what're you doing for that?

    Both of my brothers have to visit multiple households, so we decided that this year instead of the traditional turkey and fixings, I'm going to make sukiyaki, which none of us have made in decades.

    Right now, I'm making the dashi for tomorrow, and I have to admit, this is only the second time I've ever made dashi instead of cheating and using instant dashi (hon dashi). How's that for a measure of laziness? Making it from scratch just involves boiling dried kelp with bonito katsuobushi (essentially dried tuna bacon), then running the resulting mess through a strainer. It's mildly time consuming but super easy.

    I'm such a lazy bastard.

    Now that hotpot has become popular in America, it's much easier to explain sukiyaki to Americans. It's basically hotpot, but instead of cooking the meat and veggies in a broth and dipping the results in a sauce, you're cooking them in a watery sauce at the table. Diners just keep adding sauce ingredients (dashi, soy sauce, sugar, sake, mirin [sweet rice wine]), meat and veggies as they please as the meal goes on.

    It's funny that if you go back a decade or more and ask any American about Japanese food, usually the only Japanese dish they knew anything about was teriyaki, but I've never made homemade teriyaki, and neither has anyone else in my family, but we did eat a metric crap-ton of sukiyaki when I was a kid.

    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any chrysanthemum leaves, but I do have spinach in the 'fridge, and in our house, fresh spinach was almost always my family's substitute for chrysanthemum leaves back before Asian supermarkets were as common as they are now.

    Tomorrow, the hotpot at the table is going to be full of:

    • Thinly sliced beef
    • Green onions
    • Fresh spinach
    • Shiitake mushrooms
    • Enoki mushrooms
    • Shirataki (yam noodles)
    • Udon (kinda like super-thick ramen noodles)
    • Yellow squash
    • Sliced carrot


    • Dashi
    • Soy sacue
    • Brown sugar
    • Sake
    • Mirin


    This will be served with rice, miso soup (admittedly instant), gyoza (admittedly pre-made frozen gyoza) and assorted Japanese pickles.

    Traditionally, everyone gets a sauce cup with raw scrambled egg for dipping the food in just before eating. Given that my parents are getting really old, my mom has vascular dementia, and my brother is still recovering from brain damage, it's probably not a good time to risk salmonella just to be traditional. Besides, we never really did the raw egg thing in my family.

    Again, this is mostly because we all ate lots of sukiyaki when I and my brothers were children, but none of us have cooked it as adults, so it's a nostalgia thing combined with an effort to make sure my brothers' families don't get sick of traditional turkey dinner this time of year.

    For the sake, I bought a giant bottle of sho chiku bai (I know the sake snobs will sniff at that, but it was always my mom's favorite, so toss off; dementia or not, she's getting her sho chiku bai).

    Anyhoo, are any of you planning anything interesting for Thanksgiving?

    Or heck, if you feel like, share any favorite family recipes you have for turkey or sides or whatever.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I still want to try my hand at creating a gajar halwa pie for some holiday meal, but I've never made gajar halwa and I've never made a pie, so needless to say I've been procrastinating.

    But it just has to taste good. I just know it! And it would fit nicely with a traditional American holiday dinner.

    I will create it one of these days.

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    Followed a recipe (from a Japanese chef) this time and, uh, the other time I tried to make dashi, I didn't use enough kombu and I used waaaaaay too little bonito. Whoopsie. Something to remember for next time.

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    Veteran Member braces_for_impact's Avatar
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    Picking up my kids, and we're going to be at my mom and Uncle's place, we're not cooking this year, instead, we're doing a Polish thanksgiving. Pierogi of various types (potato and cheese, sauerkraut and mushroom, spinach), potato pancakes, good stuff like that.
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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    None of us have eaten sukiyaki since I was a teenager. It's been decades. The nephews actually liked it despite the presence of vegetables. It went over pretty well, but we're going to be swimming in leftovers for some time.

    The yellow squash went bad, so I didn't use it.

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    Veteran Member braces_for_impact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post


    None of us have eaten sukiyaki since I was a teenager. It's been decades. The nephews actually liked it despite the presence of vegetables. It went over pretty well, but we're going to be swimming in leftovers for some time.

    The yellow squash went bad, so I didn't use it.
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    Intergalactic Villainess Angry Floof's Avatar
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    That looks amazing, Underseer.

    I didn't do anything yesterday. The daughter and grandkids are out of state, so it was just another day for me. I don't like the historical aspect of Thanksgiving anyway. The family and feasting are what I like about it, and it's kind of the intro to the winter holiday season.

    Today, however, I'm roasting a bacon-wrapped turkey breast and making a few sides. No vegetables at all because broski doesn't eat them and I get vegetables in almost every single other meal I eat every other day, so it's just stuffing and mac n' cheese with the fancy turkey breast. He didn't ask for rolls so I didn't mention it because I didn't feel like making them. edit: He asked to butter and broil some hot dog buns, so that's our rolls.
    Last edited by Angry Floof; 11-23-2018 at 09:07 PM.
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    Amazing looking meal, Underseer.

    We're pretty traditional at our house re: Thanksgiving dinner. I've (finally) gotten smart and just started asking (or delegating hubby to ask) what people are bringing. It can get interesting respecting everybody's food preferences/dietary restrictions, so that's part of the issue/strategy re: getting people to pitch in. I think it makes for a more interesting meal plus I'm not stressed out over trying to accommodate those who love turkey and those who hate it plus the vegetarians; those who love and insist on mashed potatoes and those who hate mashed potatoes. Ditto wild rice. I do a couple of my family or origin's traditional dishes, mostly for my own sentiment. I am under no illusions that any of the offspring will continue the tradition. They do enjoy those, though it is rough on the vegetarians. I tell you, the years I had to accommodate all of the above plus someone who was newly discovered to be gluten intolerant and someone who suspected they might be--while cooking almost everything myself plus working full time: that about did me in.

    Had one or two unexpected last minute guests but that was fine. There's always a lot of food and I always send home left overs.

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    Deus Meumque Jus
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    On Canadian Thanksgiving weekend partner and I were sleeping off jet-lag.

    Usually my parents are pretty traditional, but partners parents were born in Holland. At their house Thanksgiving is acknowledged, but the food can be a mix. It's just an excuse to get together.

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    Senior Member starwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post


    None of us have eaten sukiyaki since I was a teenager. It's been decades. The nephews actually liked it despite the presence of vegetables. It went over pretty well, but we're going to be swimming in leftovers for some time.

    The yellow squash went bad, so I didn't use it.
    What a great idea and a great way to celebrate your family. I admit I had never heard of it until I read your thread! Looks delish!
    Keep messing with 45

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    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    Nothing fancy. Baked turkey breast, fresh mashed potatoes and some butter and rye bread. A small salad. No big family to do this year.
    Everybody is scattered across the nation this year. This Christmas I want something different Haunch of Moose.
    Cheerful Charlie

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