Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving menu: an exercise in fancypantsery

As promised, I am going to post my Thanksgiving menu here tonight. I'm sorry that I didn't have a chance to blog about it any earlier, but Daiku and I are both procrastinators when it comes to menu planning, and we didn't want to make any final decisions until we saw what looked good at the market today, so this is the best I could do.

I have to admit, before I go any further, that much of this menu is a shameless rip-off an homage to Millenium restaurant. Daiku and I have always wanted to eat there, we've even walked right by, but we've never actually done it. However, when I saw their Thanksgiving menu for this year, I was inspired by it, and I'm sure you'll see the echoes between the two.

Another thing about this menu is that Daiku and I had a great deal of fun "fancypantsing" the menu. Fancypants is a game we play, where we mockingly try and see who can come up with the best "gourmet" version of a regular dish's name. We started playing this many years ago, when we noticed that things like "balsamic reduction" and "molten lava cake" suddenly started showing up everywhere. In this game, simple breakfast oatmeal can become multi-grain porridge with seasonal dried fruit and maple-date glaze. This is our reaction to snooty and played-out food descriptions, but it's also a really fun way to organize a menu- how fancypants can you make your humble food sound? So here, I've given you our Thanksgiving menu, both the normal and fancypants versions. See which ones you like better!

Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2007

With help from:

Millenium Restaurant
Silk-Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey
Papa Tofu 'zine
And countless blogs and websites, especially B36 Kitchen, because Jenna convinced me to finally try Jerusalem Artichokes, already!


Sunchoke soup / Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Bisque with caramelized shallots, heavy cream, and an Amontillado Sherry reduction


Veganomicon Caesar Salad, with a few substitutions, since there was no good romaine lettuce in the market today / Medley of Organic Baby Greens with an Almond-Caesar dressing


baked acorn squash stuffed with rice (from the Silk-Road Cooking book) / Roasted Golden Acorn Squash filled with a Middle-Eastern fruited wild rice pilaf

ETA 11/23: I can't believe I totally forgot to include one of my favorite parts of the menu- a Sicilian-style lima bean-dill crostata from the "Silk Road Cooking" book!


cranberry sauce / spiced cranberry quince compote

Ethiopian Collard Greens, from Papa Tofu / Gomen with Nitter Kibbeh

Smashed potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes / Seasonal root vegetable mash with black truffle oil

Sourdough bread / Artisanal Sourdough Batard


Pecan Pie / Toasted Pecan Caramel Tart with a whole wheat-oatmeal crust

Some fruit that we don't usually treat ourselves to, like pomegranates and persimmons, with Soyatoo / Assorted Seasonal Fruits with a light soy whipped cream


Water / still and sparking mineral waters
Vegan Red Wine / Organic Sulfite-free Red Wine
Wild Turkey / Oak Barrel Aged Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (more for sprinkling on some of the food we'll be making than drinking!)

puttin' the Turkey back into Thanksgiving!
(image thanks to

So that's what we hope to eat tomorrow. It seems like quite a bit of food for two people, but both Daiku and I will make sure that none of it goes to waste- we love leftovers! We don't feast like this very often, but that's the fun of the holiday, right? I hope you got a giggle or two out of the fancypants names for these dishes- I know we did!



Celine said...

you need guests! I'm volunteering. no?

bazu said...


Liz² said...

brilliant game! or is it a masterful jeu of ostentatiousness?

bazu said...

liz, that is hilarious! or should I say, your bons mots have me delighting uproariously. heh.

Emmie said...

I need to start fancypantsing my food. It sounds fun! Also, we're total geeks here so we'd no doubt enjoy it.

I want to have thanksgiving too, but we're not thankful for anything here in Sweden.

Unilove said...


I think that those leaf pictures are the best leaf pictures I have ever seen in my life. Seriously. Really.

As for: "Smashed potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes / Seasonal root vegetable mash with black truffle oil" ...that all one dish?

Happy Celebrate Food Day!


selina said...

wow that is a lot of food. and i love the fancypants game. fun!

:) hope everything turns out perfect & cant wait to hear all about it!

aTxVegn said...

It sounds wonderful either way. It reminds of when Chase was younger and had an aversion to cooked fruit. When I called it a compote, he wouldn't even taste it!

I can't wait to see the fancypants pictures.

Veg*Triathlete said...

Joy to you for the day of offering gratitude and appreciation, Ms. Fancypants! Bon appetite!

Kate said...

I am in love with your "fancypants" menu! Happy Thanksgiving!

SaraJane said...

I love the fancypants names! I have to admit that I usually try and make up names like that for stuff whenever I cook for omnis. It makes their eyes get all big and excited that not only is my food vegan, but it's "fancy". haha

Village Vegan said...

That all sounds DELICIOUS. Yum. And I love fancypantsing (now I have a word for it ;-) ) It's so much fun to feel all restauranty and pretentious once and a while. You and daiku are master facypantsers-- I really got a kick out of your descriptions.

Happy Thanksgiving!

VeggieGirl said...

Bazu, this is too fun!! I LOVE the "fancypants" names for all the dishes" I too will be serving "Spiced Cranberry Compote" and a "Roasted Golden Acorn Squash" (filled with a quinoa pilaf, haha).

Enjoy the delicious feast you'll be making - yum!!

Melody Polakow said...

hilarious.. I love the fancypants versions.. You just may have coined a new term!

I wish I was eating at your house today.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Your menu sounds amazingly wonderful (both the "normal" and facypants versions) and I hope you are enjoying it right now!


Anonymous said...

Your fancypants game sounds like a lot of fun! I read a book this year (both the name and author escapes me at this moment) and in it he talked about how fancy names entice people to eat the food. In one experiment to demonstrate this he created a menu for a high school cafeteria. It was basically normal standard food. A couple weeks later the same menu was offered but this time the names were all fancypants. The kids ate much more of the good for them food(like green beans and salad) with the fancy names (haricot verts and mixed spring greens with seasonal vegetable medley) then when it was just called green beans and green salad.

Your menu sounds delicious. I hope it turned out at wonderful as it sounds.

Bridget said...

"still and sparkling mineral water" This made me laugh out loud. You two are hilarious.

Everything sounds wonderful and I can hardly wait to see pictures!

Potato said...

"An exercise in fancypantsery" :D Maybe you should be a professional resume writer! Happy Thanksgiving

b36Kitchen said...

how did you like the jerusalem artichokes???

Mikaela said...

Oh my goodness. You guys are too fun! :)

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