The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

Maybe It’s Time You Just Picked Up the Phone …

Still haven’t settled on a menu or picked up your turkey for Thanksgiving Day? You’re SERIOUSLY running out of time. Unless you thrive on stress, you may want to let someone else do your dirty work …

A few great local restaurants (Bridge Road Bistro, South Hills Market & Café) were offering pre-made holiday feasts you could order ahead of time, pick up Wednesday and take home to reheat on the big day. But those ships (i.e. deadlines) have sailed.

You may still have time to grab a Bob Evans carry-home Farmhouse Feast featuring a variety of almost-like-homemade holiday favorites. The hearty meal comes complete with your choice of a slow-roasted whole boneless turkey breast or sliced boneless ham, bread and celery dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, buttered sweet corn, green beans with ham, cranberry relish, rolls, a loaf of pumpkin bread and a pumpkin pie with whipped topping.

Call, stop by a restaurant or order at now through December, or while supplies last.

A few local hotels (including the Marriott and Embassy Suites downtown) are also serving Thanksgiving Day buffets. Just be sure to call ahead for more information and reservations.

Having just spent a less-than-pleasant hour at a crazier-than-usual Kroger, trust me when I say you need to come up with your Thanksgiving menu – and secure all the necessary groceries – speedy quick.

You do NOT want to be battling these crowds the day before your feast, when there’s enough stress to deal with already.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

The star of your table is a no-brainer (you’ve already bought your fresh turkey, right?) although may want to serve a small ham alongside it for variety. After that’s settled, most of your obligatory side dishes fall neatly into place …

You have to have stuffing, but also mashed potatoes for all that good homemade gravy you’re making. And not just mashed potatoes, but sweet potatoes too. And rolls. (This is definitely a “no carb left behind” kind of meal.) A few token veggies are a must – usually green beans on my side of the family, but peas on my wife’s.

But I always like to throw in at least one or two new sides each year, just for kicks. This year I’m leaning toward a Brussels sprout hash (sautéed with a little bacon) and maybe a colorful succotash with edamame and fresh corn.

And we’ll round things out with buffet of sweet treats – pumpkin, pecan and apple pies, plus some sort or rich chocolate torte.
It’s a pretty basic menu, sure, but the holidays are all about keeping long-standing traditions alive. So bon appétit!

Welcome to the new “Food Guy” food blog!

Greetings, dear readers, and welcome to the new “Food Guy” food blog!

If you’ve followed my weekly food column in the Charleston Daily Mail for the past 10 or so years, you already know I’m pretty obsessed with cooking, recipes, restaurants, wine — pretty much anything food-related. Or maybe I just like to eat. Either way, I figure I’m not alone, so I hope you’ll check back here often so we can share our love of all things yummy together. I’ll still be writing my weekly column for the newspaper, but this here blog is where I’ll start sharing cooking tips, restaurant updates, new food finds, random rants and more on a more frequent basis. And I look forward to hearing what you have to say, too.

So welcome, food friends! And let the discussion begin!!