Nov. 21—Where will you be feasting on turkey and all the fixings this Thursday? At a friend's house with other guests, or at a potluck? Maybe going to a gathering of all the relatives?
In any case, you won't leave hungry.
Heading to a potluck? That's likely one of the best of venues to sample every dish that's even remotely related to the day. Everyone has their "gotta haves." Potatoes: mashed, scalloped, roasted, and sweet potatoes, either caramelized or mashed.
Vegetables come either served lightly sautéed, creamed, roasted or in a casserole (hello, green beans). Will there be salads? Bet on it, especially a fruit salad or a cranberry-Jello mold. Mac and cheese? For sure. Those in charge will have made sure that no dish is overlooked — bring them all. No surprises for dessert — pumpkin pie and maybe pecan or apple, or both. A potluck is usually how aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and even in-laws get together.
Is there chaos? Yes, but the good kind and no shortage of family favorites.
One area where you might want to avoid any chaos is on the menu. Being a good Minnesotan, you probably asked the host or hostess if you could bring something. Here, you probably received your assignment for the dinner — and perhaps even a recipe or a request to bring a dish you're known for. If so, bring that expected item. After all, both counter and oven space might be at a premium there.
About adult beverages: At a potluck everyone brings their own, so that makes it easy. At a private home the hosts likely have already made their wine choices. Regardless, ask if you can contribute something — maybe a dessert wine. Actually bring a bottle or two of one of your favorites anyway. Especially popular this time of year is Beaujolais Nouveau, a red, which plays well with this dinner. Released by the French government a few weeks ago it requires no aging time. It does need to be consumed within six month's however so don't save it for next year. Best served slightly chilled.
It's another Minnesota thing to never go to someone's house empty-handed. Since these folks have done most of the heavy lifting for this feast take them a jar of your home-made jam, salsa or pickles, or stop in at The Retail Shop, LeeAnn Zubay's venture at 212 First Ave. SW. There you can pick up specialty oils, vinegars, pastas and a variety of other unique culinary items.
There is however one thing to leave at home or in your car: Your phone.
A great "take along" dish.
2 lbs. yellow summer squash
7 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
4 slices plain white bread
24 Ritz crackers, crumbled in food processor
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 350. Butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Cut squash into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cook in boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Let sit in strainer for a few minutes to get all moisture out. Puree in food processor. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and peppers and cook until just tender. Meanwhile crumble the toast in food processor, melt remaining butter and toss together. In a bowl mix the squash puree, cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir in the eggs, cream, sugar and seasonings. Blend well. Pour into the baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and bake until browned, about 40 minutes.
Post Bulletin food writer Holly Ebel knows what's cookin'. Send comments or story tips to