This year, I have managed to con my way into a solid ten day vacation from work at the measly cost of 10 hours of personal time. With a full week off before thanksgiving day, I have decided that I want to do a home cooked thanksgiving meal with whatever assistance I can grab from my lovely family. By home cooked, I mean 100% from scratch as much as humanly possible. No I won't be making my own evaporated/condensed milk, but I do plan on making a pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin and cubing bread for stuffing - so home cooked things of that sort. Keeping cans and pre-made ingredients to an absolute minimum, etc.
I'm running into a bit of a problem here though as my family is extremely picky about certain aspects of food and while looking up recipes for various thanksgiving dishes, I am finding mostly stuff they wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.
The biggest rule is no fruit. I am literally the only person in my family who will consider eating fruit in a savory dish. This has curbed my experimentation in the kitchen substantially, much to my chagrin.
My sister will not touch anything that has beans, bell peppers or tomatoes that have actually reached ripeness as ingredients. She also will not eat stuffing, citing the texture as being "gross." Admittedly, we have always had Stouffer's or Stovetop stuffing with our thanksgiving meals, so I am hoping I can win her over to the stuffing side with a good quality recipe wherein the bread cubes maintain most of their structure and the overall dish is slightly crunchy instead of mushy.
I've got the green bean casserole redux recipe from chow in my arsenal, but I'm unsure as to where to go with some things.
Do any of you guys have some killer fruit/bean/bell pepper-free recipes for traditional Thanksgiving dishes? What about vegetable substitutions for common fruits used in most Thanksgiving recipes?
Apples in the stuffing is a complete no-go, would parsnips be an acceptable replacement that would retain the flavor profile while being a non-fruit ingredient? Or would something else entirely work better?
Any help and advice is wholeheartedly appreciated and I hope this thread will help out other hounds in the same situation as I!