Monday, September 12, 2005

Thanksgiving Appetizers

When you are planning your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to provide some appetizers. To start with, most families will skip breakfast (and lunch) in preparation for the big meal. This leaves plenty of room but is not the best idea in a family of hypoglycemics - mine, for example. Appetizers serve a twofold purpose:

1. They keep people's hands occupied and their blood sugar from crashing.
2. They keep the kids occupied and THEIR blood sugar from crashing.

Thanksgiving appetizers are in a different category from most formal dinners; the idea is to keep people from getting full. Therefore it is a good idea to avoid the cheese and crackers; they are very filling. Likewise, spinach dip is not a good idea as the bread used to dip also swells and fills the stomach. The best appetizers entertain the small fry and provide a task for older children.

A veggie platter is not a bad idea, though many vegetables are no longer in season, so this can be expensive. However, there's the typical Thanksgiving platter, which consists of:

Black olives (perfect for sticking on the ends of little fingers)
Green olives (which are almost exclusively eaten by adults)
Sweet mini pickles (dill are acceptible)
Mini corn (this really fascinates yard apes)
Sugar snap peas in the pod
Baby carrots
Bell peppers (if they're not too expensive)
Broccoli heads
Cauliflower heads
Ranch dip

When you have a child who is old enough to help and willing to do so, the following recipes are suitable.

Olive Cream Cheese Balls
You will need:
Green olives with pimentos
Softened cream cheese (you can hand whip regular cream cheese with a little milk)
Finely ground nuts
A bowl of water and a towel for washing hands frequently

Roll the olives in the cream cheese and then coat with the nuts. Wash and dry hands every few olives to keep fingers from getting sticky.

Celery Sticks
You will need:
Celery cut into proper lengths (have an adult do this)
Cream cheese
Peanut butter and raisins

Spread cream cheese in the center of half of the celery sticks; spread peanut butter in the other half and sprinkle raisins on top.

Heart Attack Salami and Cream Cheese Treats
You will need:
Sliced salami
Cream cheese
Sliced black olives

Spread some cream cheese in the center of the salami; put some black olives on top. Roll up the salami and secure with a toothpick.

Bon appetít.

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