Let it Grow: Last-minute Thanksgiving ideas for all

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hey, folks. If the frost hasn’t got them yet, you can create a great bouquet from your annuals and tender perennials. I did.

If you have some coleus and variegated hydrangeas, cut them and place them in a vase. The beautiful colors of red, burgundy, green and yellow will make a great centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dining table. You’ll have some rooted cuttings to over-winter in a few weeks too.

The same goes for Texas Tarragon. The reddish-green foliage and the yellow flowers in a vase will make a great accent piece for your buffet or kitchen island.

Be sure to remove all leaves from the stem section before placing these flowers in water. There should be no leaves in the water; just stems. Leaves will rot in the water and stink like raw sewage in a few days.

OK. Food time. How about a quick and easy side dish or two that will fit right in with your Turkey-day dinner, yet will be a different twist to the traditional?

(Impress your friends) Slice some tomatoes in top to bottom halves. (Ripe or near-ripe) Add olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic (garlic powder will do) and fresh-grated Parmisiano Reggiano cheese on the cut side. Place them cut side up on the grill or on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven and cook until the skin starts to peel down the sides.

Fry that turkey. As long as you are frying and the oil is hot, make up some hush-puppy batter (a little wetter than usual, like sour cream consistency) and batter and fry some jalape”os, bell peppers or chunked tomatoes.

Last year, I fried all of that plus chunked pineapple, Japanese persimmons and mangos.

Try this: Bake or grill some sweet potatoes, tightly wrapped in foil, until fork tender. With a melon-ball tool, scoop out balls of the sweet potato. Batter and fry them. You can also take your traditional Dean’s country sausage balls, dip and fry them. These will puff up quickly and brown fast in a 375 degree pot of peanut oil. Hey, they’re already cooked on the inside. You just want to give them a golden brown twist.

If you want more detailed or just more recipes, e-mail me ASAP and I’ll be sure you get a reply before your grocer closes on Wednesday.

so you can do what I love to do on Thanksgiving…please my friends with good food and conversation.

Happy Thanksgiving Week everybody