My first question!

Joined Oct 24, 2001
I am come from a very Italian family. I am visiting my boyfriends family for the first time in Indiana for Thanksgiving. I'm from New York, currently live in South Jersey. They know I love to cook, however, I'm not sure what to prepare that's simple. I cook with a lot of garlic I don't think they'd like anything too spicy. Do you have a recommendation for a light dish that a midwesterner would enjoy? My first q, hope its ok???!! :)
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Nancy ,all Q? are Ok.

Like Anneke asked,What part of the meal are you thinking of preparing?
How about an app of a carrmilized shallot brushetta with simmered sweet garlic on the bread with a calamata-roast eggplant tapinade.
Joined Jan 5, 2001
What's your specialty Nancy? If you're worried about garlic, maybe use roasted garlic instead, and tone down the hot stuff. If you like to cook, then don't be affraid to show them what you're all about! They'll probably appreciate that more than you think!
Joined Oct 20, 2001

Think about a dessert if you're not sure which way to go...almost everybody loves dessert and it's usually the safest way to go if you have a picky bunch.

Ever make cheesecake? How about a pumpkin new york style cheesecake. Or go with your roots and dazzle 'em with a classic italian dessert with an american twist.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee would bring the house down. :)


Joined Apr 4, 2000
I'm quite sure I just saw a recipe for pumpkin crème brûlée but where...

If you decided you want to do it, and need a recipe let me know and I`ll look for it.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
If garlic is a scarey ingredient than this isn't a group that's going to try anything their not slightly familar with. UNTIL THEY KNOW YOU and trust your tastes.

Safe/Good things to bring to a conservative mid-western Thanks Giving.... First, they'll love anything you do, but to MEET THEM I think you should blend in, be apart of them. When they love you, then show them your wild side. BUT Thanksgiving and family mean tradition!

Any home made candies or cookies as a supliment to pumpkin pie is great! But don't think their going to give up their pie for creme brulee'. Either can hold incase everyones too full and it also makes a nice hostess gift if no one has room.

Other items to bring would be h.d.'s. But think about bringing something your can travel with and maybe not have to heat. SINCE it's not your house and the oven is probably pretty taxed on this day. So go with basic items....crab dip, cold artichoke dip and toasted herb pita chips, simple homemade herbed bagel chips and dip.

Play it conservative the first time you meet them, though. I'd make either a chocolate candy, toffee or some small pretty butter cookies.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
I was thinking about a book Kimmie. The problem is that I've been looking at so many I can't remeber where.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Hi Nancy,
I'm a little Italian myself. I would not be afraid to make one of your favorites. They do grow garlic in Indiana. If you are cooking there, just make sure that you pick something that the ingredients are readily available . Don't alter your recipe. They will like anything you make. They can get their food anytime. Cook yours. I think the biggest mistake you can make in food or life is to try to impress somebody. Make your addition to the dinner and meld in. Take DeBords advice, don't try to substitute anything, add something to the dinner.
Joined Dec 23, 2000

You might be surprised how popular garlic is, here in flyover country. My wife and I eat it like a vegetable, not a condiment. We're of Irish, German, Swedish, and Scotch background. None of these countries are noted for big garlic use, but we, and most of the people we know in the Chicago area are big-time garlic freaks.

By the way, it's my impression that the use of garlic in European cuisine declines as you go north from the Mediterranean. I'm not sure the Swedes have even heard of it.

As another poster pointed out, they raise a lot of garlic in northern Indiana and, I believe, in southern Michigan. It's not an unknown ingredient around here.

You could ask your boyfriend to make discreet inquiries, but I bet his family would be happy to have some nice, garlicy Italian specialties!

Knock 'em dead!!

Joined Apr 30, 2001
Dear Other Nancy,

I suggest that you be yourself. Make something that is special to you that you would want to share with someone you love.

Mike has good ideas - check for extreme food prejudices. I, for example, loathe liver andcouldn't even pretend to like it to be polite...but otherwise would enjoy trying something new.

The midwest is not the "middle of nowhere"...don't cook down to them.
Joined Mar 12, 2001
As someone from the Antipodes I am suprised by that comment.
Australia is sophisticated and recognised around the world for it's food and wine. It takes quite a bit more than that to actually offend me, but I think maybe you just didn't know what you were talking about.
Joined Apr 30, 2001
My very humble apologies, pollyg...I certainly didn't mean to disparage Australia in any way.

My previous, and clearly erroneous, understanding of the phrase, was that the "antipodes" designated "the middle of nowhere."

I will have to watch my idioms more closely.
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