Thanksgiving is a gift for everyone at the table. Whether you’re one of the cooks or a lucky guest – it’s a day to savor good food and good times, to bring our best to the table in the form of mouthwatering dishes and lively conversation. If you’re hosting, you know the meal doesn’t happen without some good pre-planning. Grocery lists, recipe testing and the ability to delegate will serve you well. If you’re a guest, think about ways you can be helpful. That might mean peeling potatoes, mixing drinks or even taking the kids outside to collect some autumn leaves for the centerpiece. Whatever your role, don’t forget to give thanks and savor the day!
Thanksgiving dinner is a meal that can easily accommodate almost every dietary need. Offering a variety of side dishes, including some without meat, is one way to be a thoughtful Thanksgiving host. Mashed potatoes, green beans, Spanish rice, and 7-layer salad are excellent additions to any table. Yamasa’s artisanal Vegetarian Tonkotsu Ramen Broth Concentrate is an excellent way to infuse vegetarian dishes with a subtle and satisfying richness.
Side dishes are also an easy place to experiment with ingredients and for adventurous cooks to try something new. Sausage stuffing with a dash of Yamasa Shoyu is a new twist on a traditional dish with rich, umami flavor and great texture. Shoyu not only adds a depth of flavor to savory dishes, it also brings out the nuanced flavors of sweets. It’s a great idea to keep a bottle handy for whenever inspiration strikes. Miso is another super-versatile Japanese cooking ingredient to reach for when your dish needs a little flavor boost. Yamasa White Miso Soup Concentrate adds a toasty savoriness to soups and stews.
Dozens of movies have been made about the perils of family interactions over Thanksgiving. One great way to keep things positive and take advantage of the opportunity to reconnect is to do something together. Why not bake an apple pie? Split up into teams to make the filling, the crust, and – if you’ve got anyone with some creative chops in the group – have them do their best lattice or decorative top. Games are another way to keep everyone having fun together. Cards, board games or even a rousing game of family trivia are sure bets.
Turkey is – of course – the ultimate Thanksgiving tradition. Daunting for first timers, experienced cooks know the secret is in the prep. For a deliciously juicy turkey every time, consider soaking the bird in a brining solution. Brining both tenderizes and infuses flavor into the meat. Try this juicy turkey brine recipe to wow your crowd.
And don’t forget to keep serving up those long-time family favorites, even if they’re not your favorite! Sometimes those old staples like soft rolls, canned cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes with marshmallows hold a whole lot of meaning for family members, and it just wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving without them on the table.
Thanksgiving is truly the holiday that keeps on giving! Leftovers can be a way to keep the good feelings, and the delicious flavors, going well into the weekend. Think about ways you’ll want to package up portions to send home with your company. Consider saving some plastic and asking people to bring their own to-go containers for you to fill.
As for what to do with all that extra turkey, the ideas go way beyond epic turkey sandwiches! Try this turkey tetrazzini for a warming, hearty meal after hitting the stores on Black Friday. By the time Saturday rolls around and everyone is probably ready for something lighter, try this delicious turkey fried rice for a quick dinner or late-night snack. Reach for a drop of shoyu to enhance and enliven any of your leftover creations.
All the planning and thoughtfulness that go into creating a great Thanksgiving meal will create memories that can last generations. So with all that said… it’s probably time to get those recipes ready and get planning!