We thought it would be fun to invite a few of our new non-American friends over for Thanksgiving. John has made friends with a guy at work and he and his girlfriend will be joining us for dinner. I am so excited to meet new people and make friends! So, last week I created a spread sheet of 5 meal options and, with John's help, narrowed it down to the final menu! Most of the items come from the October 08 issue of Vegetarian Times Magazine. The meal includes:
Harvest Canapés with Chipotle Cheese Topping
Arugula Salad with Roasted Grapes
Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin
Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (goes on top of the stew)
Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Pomegranate and Maple-Glazed Beets
Green Beans with Walnuts and Shallot Crisps
and for dessert, Mexican Mocha Pudding with Pumpkin Cream and Chai-Spiced Pistachio Brittle.
The brittle is a little unnecessary but John drooled over the picture for a few minutes so I tossed it into the mix.
My first thought, this is a lot of food for 4 people. But, the stew will be baked in individual little pumpkins and, although there will be more stew to offer, I wonder if people will ask for seconds considering the massive amount of other things to choose from. Also, most of the side dishes make food for 6-8 people, but I am making half portions.
Knowing this meal was going to take quite a bit of time to prepare, I got to work as soon as the final menu was set in stone. I started buying the dry ingredients about a week ahead of time because a) I have trouble finding ingredients here mainly because their names are in a language I don't read/speak (yet)! and b) there are so many ingredients to find.
Today, 2 days before Thanksgiving, I accomplished the following: All ingredients are purchased. Veggies are appropriately washed, chopped, and stored in Green Bags (these are the most amazing invention ever!).
The pumpkin for the dessert topping is roasted and pureed(this is only if you live in a country that doesn't have canned pumpkin or if you just want to make it fresh yourself).
The walnuts are roasted and I prepared the shallots for the green beans.
The bread is sliced and in the freezer in an airtight container.
I made the maple syrup substitute. (Again, this is if you live in a country that charges €9 for maple syrup. Please! That is over $13.)