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Can Americans (or people who live there) tell me what sides you have at thanksgiving?

(194 Posts)
cactusdog Tue 17-Nov-20 19:13:02

In particular, is sweet potato casserole a side or a dessert?
The recipe I'm looking at has candied pecans and marshmallows on top!
Looks delicious but I can't find if it's a side.

Do you just serve everything up together? Like I keep seeing pumpkin pie and pecan pie as "sides" for thanksgiving dinner?

OP’s posts: |
OlyRoller Tue 17-Nov-20 19:19:35

It's sort of regional. Where I'm from traditional sides are mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing. Others might have sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole. Everyone has gravy.

Pies are eaten as dessert.

mindutopia Tue 17-Nov-20 20:02:17

Sweet potato casserole is a side (it’s weird, not a favourite of mine, but fairly traditional depending on what part of the US). Any sort of pie is a dessert.

Otherwise, mash, stuffing, green bean casserole (ooh this is good), sometimes roasted sweet potatoes if not braving the sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, we also often had buttered rolls but these are hard to explain and I don’t know how you’d make them (I think we would get them in one of those tins that explodes when you open it).

mindutopia Tue 17-Nov-20 20:03:48

I would also add that pecan pie wouldn’t be for thanksgiving where I grew up, only pumpkin. If you’re going to brave making a pie, I’d go for that unless you really love baking.

EKGEMS Wed 18-Nov-20 19:16:14

Yes, sweet potatoes or yams are highly popular but so are mashed potatoes and gravy (I like to make garlic mashed potatoes) or macaroni and cheese, stuffing ,green bean casseroles,bread of some kind like cornbread or biscuits and desserts-usually pie and cake or banana pudding

mscongeniality Wed 18-Nov-20 19:19:28

Mac n Cheese!

GalesThisMorning Wed 18-Nov-20 19:19:53

Mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, green beans, cornbread baked in sweet corn shaped molds, cranberry sauce, red cabbage, roasted squash and beetroot and gravy.

I miss it every year, but even more so this year sad

GalesThisMorning Wed 18-Nov-20 19:20:19

Oh and stuffing!!!

GalesThisMorning Wed 18-Nov-20 19:22:03

mindutopia

Sweet potato casserole is a side (it’s weird, not a favourite of mine, but fairly traditional depending on what part of the US). Any sort of pie is a dessert.

Otherwise, mash, stuffing, green bean casserole (ooh this is good), sometimes roasted sweet potatoes if not braving the sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, we also often had buttered rolls but these are hard to explain and I don’t know how you’d make them (I think we would get them in one of those tins that explodes when you open it).

Yes!!! I would call those rolls biscuits, but they are totally welcome at the table any time

Xiaoxiong Wed 18-Nov-20 19:59:38

Apricot and grand marnier sausage stuffing from the Silver Palate
Green beans with tarragon and fried shallots
Mashed potato casserole (or one year we had dauphinoise)
Turkey gravy
Cranberry sauce
Some kind of squash side, usually wedges of squash or pumpkin roasted and with an "interesting" dressing like one year it was sort of Chinese inspired with chili, ginger, garlic and spring onions - another year was an anchovy vinaigrette with toasted hazelnuts - yet another year was a creme fraiche/lemongrass/lime drizzle.
We have a green salad as well with feta, cucumber, dill, avocado and little gem sharply dressed, which is not traditional but is a really nice crunchy and cool palate cleanser after all of the above

Desserts we usually have guests bring but I always make a sour cream apple pie and a pumpkin pie as well.

Xiaoxiong Wed 18-Nov-20 20:02:40

And as for your other question, no - we eat the savoury stuff, then have a bit of a rest and a walk or throw a ball around in the garden, and then come back and have dessert and coffee. Pie definitely not a "side" for the main meal, but then again we don't do sweet sides with marshmallows and stuff like that.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 18-Nov-20 20:02:47

Yes!!! I would call those rolls biscuits, but they are totally welcome at the table any time

What biscuit recipe do you use? I tried making them once and basically recreated puff pastry.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 18-Nov-20 20:04:38

@Xiaoxiong that all sounds absolutely incredible!

something2say Wed 18-Nov-20 20:26:03

Oh biscuits are so yummy! Had them in Georgia by the Mississippi with butter on. I'd be so fat if I lived in America!

something2say Wed 18-Nov-20 20:26:29

There was a cajun cookbook which I WISH I'd bought!

Xiaoxiong Wed 18-Nov-20 20:32:36

Jesus you might like my cranberry sauce then - it includes grated ginger, cloves, wedges of orange, and a bit of port!

I'm pretty controlling about Thanksgiving food grin Most people ask guests bring sides, whereas I always specify dessert or wine but not sides to the main meal unless I already know they're a truly superlative cook.

Here's a good biscuit recipe - just SR flour, salt, and double cream: food52.com/recipes/34357-king-arthur-flour-s-never-fail-biscuits

cactusdog Wed 18-Nov-20 21:27:31

Oh thank you for all the replies these sound so delicious! I would love to experience a traditional American thanksgiving (although I didn't realise there were regional aspects so that's interesting to know!).

I did a bit more shopping today, so so far I've got - turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mash, mac and cheese and cornbread (or biscuits). I feel like I need some sort of corn dish..?

For dessert, in Sainsbury's American section I got tinned pumpkin and going to make the recipe on the back, also got a pie base. Very excited!

OP’s posts: |
cactusdog Wed 18-Nov-20 21:28:39

@Xiaoxiong thanks for the biscuit recipe these look great! It says in the recipe about serving them with jam etc, could I serve them as savoury with the meal?

Also any tips/recipes for gravy from anyone?

OP’s posts: |
cactusdog Wed 18-Nov-20 21:29:00

White sausage gravy and biscuits is something I really want to try one day

OP’s posts: |
GalesThisMorning Wed 18-Nov-20 22:00:47

JesusInTheCabbageVan

*Yes!!! I would call those rolls biscuits, but they are totally welcome at the table any time*

What biscuit recipe do you use? I tried making them once and basically recreated puff pastry.

Ones from a tin that pop out when you open it grin

GalesThisMorning Wed 18-Nov-20 22:02:36

@cactusdog tinned pumpkin pie filling and a ready made crust is absolutely authentic! Enjoy

FedUpAtHomeTroels Wed 18-Nov-20 22:29:03

We always visited the inlaws for Thanksgiving dinner. We were served Turkey and Ham,
mashed potatoes,
green beans,
carrots,
sprouts,
stuffing,
Chicken bake,
Yams with marshmallows in yuck
Hot dinner rolls,
And lots of Turkey gravy.
Then all different pies, Chocolate cream, Pumpkin, banana cream. All delicious.

Xiaoxiong Wed 18-Nov-20 22:46:53

Yes there are definitely regional aspects. My family would never serve things like cornbread, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, or pecan pie. Those are all Southern things.

We might have whoopie pies as one of the desserts though, probably pumpkin and maple flavoured, and we'd definitely have ice cream (even in November).

Xiaoxiong Wed 18-Nov-20 22:48:18

(Not that there is a problem with Southern things! We just aren't from the South.)

HawthornLantern Wed 18-Nov-20 22:56:29

DP’s family is a New Jersey clan, so definitely not Southern but their dinners is:
Turkey
Green beans
Carrots
Stuffing
Sweet potatoes mashed with marshmallows on top
Macaroni cheese
Mashed potatoes
Gravy
Cranberry sauce - fresh made but also from a tin
Before hand there would be a mountain of Italian antipasto and afterwards (several hours afterwards) there would be up to 5 varieties of pies - quite a few home made as DP’s brother and nephew are incredible pastry chefs.
Not this year though...

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