What the Pros Know
Thanksgiving sides

Chef Tina embraced the challenge of creating this year's offerings of Thanksgiving Sides. Don't they look good?

Thanksgiving Confessions of a FreshDirect Chef

Thanksgiving Dinner can take so much time to prepare. As a chef, I end up experimenting a lot: adding on, doing more, trying X to get it just right.

Luckily, I’ve already cooked Thanksgiving dinner here at FreshDirect. I created our Thanksgiving offerings around a few different ideals: tradition (different for everyone, yes, but there are definite common threads), desire (what do I crave with my bird) and overall mass appeal (you’d be surprised by how many people love Brussels sprouts). I know I will never be able to please everybody. (But I try my best!)

It made sense for me to offer two stuffings: one vegetarian, one not. Our vegetable offering runs the gambit from lightly steamed to covered in yum: maple, butter AND marshmallow. The potato offerings are pretty straightforward. I’ve learned not to mess with the mash. And then there are the wild cards like peas with pesto butter and baked macaroni with gruyere cheese. My instincts wouldn’t naturally lead me to the latter two when I think of turkey or Thanksgiving, but both are delicious and we sell zillions so we must be doing something right.

Last year we offered a “sides only” bundle for the first time. We sold out early. It’s the side dishes that really kick my butt because of the time they take to execute. Clearly I am not alone in my side-dish cooking challenge. I mean, really, there is only so much you can do with a turkey. But vegetables? It could go on forever, at least in my mind when I’m cooking at home. Same for dessert. When I meal plan at home, the apple pie can turn into quince (with cheddar too!). If the sweet potatoes are beautiful, bye-bye pumpkin. And the pecan? Forget about it. Those pecans can suddenly take on persimmon, dates, chocolate, bourbon, etc, etc., etc. (not all at once of course). It can leave me wrecked.

So I buy from us instead and split the difference. Not that there is anything wrong with buying ALL of it. They’re my recipes after all.

Who cooks Thanksgiving dinner in your family? Let us know on the FreshDirect Facebook page or via Twitter (@FreshDirect).

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