JEFF TIEDEMAN: Thanksgiving Day dinner on the sideThere’s more to Thanksgiving Day dinner than turkey.
It’s hard for me to not get nostalgic when Thanksgiving rolls around. That was the one day of the year my family got together with all of my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on my mom’s side of the family.
There was a lot of kidding, cajoling, card-playing and horsing around on that holiday, but what I remember the most was the delicious food that we shared as we gave thanks for the wonderful lives we had been given.
Of course, a 15- to 20-pound turkey was the centerpiece of the celebration — and the main event — but the feast just wouldn’t have been the same without the myriad of tasty side dishes that accompanied the bird that might have become our national symbol instead of the bald eagle if it would have been up to Benjamin Franklin.
Besides a relish tray that included pickled beets, olives (both stuffed and pitted), cream cheese-stuffed celery and carrot sticks, we had a bevy of side dishes such as bread-and-pork-sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes (topped with marshmallows), scalloped corn, seven-layer salad, cucumbers and onions in a cream sauce, cranberries and my favorite, baked oysters, which I still make as do several of my cousins.
I’ve probably left something out, but you get the picture.
Thanksgiving at our house won’t be much different this week. Therese and I probably have hosted the holiday get-together for the past dozen years, and many of the dishes we’ve served are ones that we had when we were growing up.
I’ve never fretted about putting together the meal. In fact, I relish the opportunity. About the only thing I fear is overeating.
And as many of you know, it’s pretty tough when there is so much good food.
But it is easier to keep things under control if you’ve got a plan.
Here are some tips from Ellen Doebler, licensed registered dietitian with Altru Health Service, to help keep you on track:
n Start your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruit, dairy foods and protein like eggs, ham or peanut butter.
n Don’t starve yourself before the meal. The longer you go without eating, the more you eat when you sit down for a meal. Grab smaller, low-calorie snacks throughout the day.
n When it comes to the holiday meal, select foods carefully. Think about what foods you want to eat, which ones you will just sample and which ones you will skip.
n Finally, enjoy the celebration. Pace eating and spend time visiting. You’ll eat less and feel good about what you’ve eaten.
I can’t think of any better advice.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.