Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand you don’t have to travel (read sit in traffic) and get to cook what you like your way. On the other hand juggling cooking, cleaning and preparing can leave even the most avid hostess feeling frazzled. Take a deep breath and consider your options for de-stressing. My favorite is to “farm out” a few side dishes.
Health in a Hurry on the Post Road in Fairfield has just released their menu of Thanksgiving side dishes, which are organic, vegetarian versions of classics made with local ingredients whenever possible. Most dishes can be made to suit the vegan diet. In celebration of their five year anniversary, the restaurant is inviting the public to come in today through Saturday to have a cupcake (chocolate-chocolate or gluten-free coconut) and sample their Thanksgiving menu.
I got a chance to sample all four side dishes with my family at our early Thanksgiving dinner last night and they were a hit. I can’t tell you how liberating it was to just roast some sweet potatoes, make sure the bird didn’t get overcooked and focus on the gravy being cooked to the right consistency and seasoned just right. In the interest of full disclosure, these dishes were leftover from the News Ch. 8 segment I did on a Local Thanksgiving. The turkey, also from the show, is a fresh Whole Foods Market All Natural, Free-Range broad-breasted white, which had amazingly rich dark meat and delighted my three dark meat lovers. No wonder this grower has supplied the White House for almost 40 years!
To place your order, either stop in the store or visit Health in a Hurry’s web site and email chef/owner Sue Cadwell requesting she email you a menu. These dishes are all fully cooked and need only a gentle reheating in the oven. Note: Only reheat the crispy shallots for 5 minutes or they will burn and taste bitter. These are the crunchies you see adorning the green bean casserole in the photo. Deadline for ordering is Saturday, November 21 for pick up November 24 or 25. Please bring your own bags or boxes. Actually bring both!