THANKSGIVING DINNER –DO I OFFER HORS D’ OEUVERS? Thanksgiving dinner is a favorite holiday for so many people; a day when friends and family gather together and enjoy an array of so many different foods that it is hard to consume even a ‘no thank you helping’ of everything placed on the table before feeling stuffed…somewhat like the traditional turkey that is the focus food of the meal. It is the kick off of the holiday season celebrated by eating!
When we are invited to dinner during the year or if we host a dinner the meal usually begins with a few hors d’ oeuvres inviting conversation among the guests and allowing the host/hostess a little time to tie up loose ends before serving the meal. But at a thanksgiving meal with so many favorites, what do the experts say about hors d’ oeuvres?
Social etiquette suggests prior to any company dinner a starter is served to the guests - an aperitif so to speech to stimulate the taste buds before inviting everyone to the dinner table. But with such a big meal waiting in the wings what is appropriate to serve?
I always suggest taking something that is normally served at the Thanksgiving Dinner and turning it into an hors d’ oeuvre. A favorite of many is butternut squash or pumpkin bisque…rather than serving it in a bowl along with dinner, try pouring it in shot glasses crowned with a kiss of crème and chopped sautéed apples – Yum! Stuffed cherry tomatoes, celery and olives are another great starter; something that many families serve on a relish platter at the meal but can easily be served as a starter. Stuff the items with your favorite cheese filling then pinch one leaf of parsley and place it on top of the filling in each item. It is attractive, light and easy to eat. Deli olives and mixes or veggies and a light dip or even a crostini with a roasted pepper bruschetta are great and all easy to prepare and serve – don’t forget the serving plates as no one enjoys following a double dipper. And please don’t forget that anything you plan to serve should be completed a head of time including setting out the serving pieces and utensils and cleaning up the mess made in preparation. Then moments before the guests arrive, all you have to do is place, pour and set up!
Whether you decide to follow the rules of social etiquette or not on offering hors d’ oeuvres on Thanksgiving Day, keep in mind that the this day is a time to give thanks for all of our many blessings and gather together with family and friends, so be organized, eat and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from us and ours…