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VOL. 43 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 8, 2019

Why would you cook?

Local chefs have you covered for Thanksgiving

By Catherine Mayhew

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It’s the countdown to the biggest eating day of the year. But an afternoon of overindulgence also means a whole lot of cooking. There are onions to chop, potatoes to boil, cans of cream of mushroom soup to open for the ubiquitous green bean casserole and, of course, a plump turkey that will consume all your oven space for at least four hours.

That’s a lot of work, especially if you have a large guest list.

If a mountain of pots, pans and baking sheets isn’t your idea of a good time, consider without shame the idea of getting Thanksgiving to go. You won’t be alone.

“It comes down to convenience when you’re trying to celebrate multiple family gatherings,” says Jason Beckelhymer, an avid Turkey Day takeout fan who turns to Cracker Barrel for help.

“We have two different Thanksgiving celebrations and a ‘friendsgiving’ thrown in. The Cracker Barrel to go is the closest to what my mom used to make.”

Julia High is a member in good standing of the sandwich generation caring for multiple family members, young and older. She finds either supplementing her Thanksgiving with sides or going all store-bought on occasion a stress reliever.

“I truly love planning and cooking multicourse culinary extravaganzas,” she says. “However, as a sandwich generation working parent, I haven’t always had the luxury of dedicating two or three days to shopping and cooking.

“If I am exhausted or stressed out, I can’t enjoy it. Besides, professional kitchens do an excellent job – often better than I do, and I am considered a pretty solid cook.”

High has three iron-clad rules about a satisfying Thanksgiving meal.

“We never invite anyone with whom we don’t truly enjoy spending three or four hours,” she says. “Blood relatives are not exempt from this rule. And we have a ‘carpe diem dress code.’ Think yoga pants, leggings and loose jeans. BIG shirts. Elastic waists.

If Swett’s line makes your mouth water, you might want to consider letting them cook for you.

-- Photo By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

“And even if we are in sock-feet and sweatpants AND eating takeout, we still eat in the dining room and use the good china. Because ... priorities.”

Many chain restaurants offer takeout options for Thanksgiving. But we’re going all-local with this list, hitting just some of the highlights. But there are more options on the full Thanksgiving menus, so be sure to visit the websites for all the choices.

And, if you have no shame, you can transfer your store-bought favorites to your own serving dishes. When you’re asked to share a recipe, just say it’s a family secret. Who’s to know?

(One word of warning. Call ahead as quickly as you can to reserve your favorites. Sellouts happen every year.)

Barbara’s Home Cooking

1232 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin

Two words: yeast rolls. These behemoth yeast rolls are pillowy soft and deeply satisfying. Put a basket full of these giant lovelies on your Thanksgiving table and wait about two seconds for the compliments to begin.

As long as you’re journeying to far-off Franklin (not so far, really) for the rolls, throw in an order for their other Thanksgiving sides, including cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, cinnamon apples and their luscious mashed potatoes with gravy.

• Travel tip: Miss Daisy King’s shop (see below) is nearby so make it a morning and hit both spots for your favorites.

• Deadline: Thursday, Nov. 21. Pick up: Monday, Nov. 25, or Tuesday, Nov. 26. The Thanksgiving order form is on the website. You may also call 615 794-9533 for more information.

Bro’s Cajun Cuisine

3214 Charlotte Ave.

Tamera Kelly, general manager at Swett’s, displays a Thanksgiving dinner plate. Orders can be made now for Thanksgiving meals that feed up to 12.

-- Photo By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

Bro’s knows how to fry a turkey. Owner Darrell M. Breaux, originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, has been frying them for years. The birds are injected with Cajun seasoning, onions and bell peppers and fried in peanut oil. They come vacuum packed with a foil warming pan and reheating instructions.

If you want to go full-on Cajun for the entire meal, Bro’s can also supply you with red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo and a homemade bread pudding.

• Deadline: The birds are available through Dec. 24, but call ahead early at 615 329-2626 to reserve yours and for hours of pick up at the restaurant.

Copper Kettle

4004 Granny White Pike

How does a deep-fried turkey with Cajun gravy or a Bourbon-glazed ham sound? Absolutely wonderful. But don’t stop there. Pair it with sides like smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese, broccoli-rice casserole, cornbread dressing and apple cranberry chutney. Add a mixed-berry cobbler and you’re off to the turkey day races.

• Deadline: Friday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m. Pickup: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2-7 p.m.

The Corner Market

850 Hillwood Blvd.

Yes, you can get your turkey whole or sliced at this venerable Nashville institution. And no need to make gravy, either.

But in our humble opinion, the sides are the real stars here because The Corner Market offers selections you won’t find anywhere else. Let’s just run down a few: Haricots verts (French green beans, ya’ll), shallots and shiitake mushrooms, corn pudding, spinach artichoke casserole, roasted autumn vegetables and brandied cranberry orange pecan relish. Round out your meal with candied sweet potatoes and a pumpkin pie.

• Deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 20 (615 352-0527). Pickup: Noon, Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Dozen Bakery

516 Hagan St.

Pies from Dozen Bakery

-- Photo By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

Let’s go out on a limb here. Is Dozen Bakery the best bakery in Nashville, the best bakery in Middle Tennessee or both? Let’s just say that everything that comes out of the ovens at Dozen is sublime.

For turkey day this year, the bakery is offering their incredible pies in pumpkin, apple, buttermilk pear, chocolate cream and butterscotch pecan. The flaky, sugary pie crust is worth the price by itself.

Other special menu items include cranberry orange galette, pumpkin cranberry bread and potato rolls. You can even buy sourdough bread cubes (limited quantities available) for your holiday dressing.

But there’s more, so take a glance at the whole special menu. Or order the cherry cornmeal scones from the regular menu for a Thanksgiving morning treat.

• Deadline: Sunday, Nov. 24. Pickup: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Order online or 615 712-8150.

Elliston Place Soda Shop

2111 Elliston Place

You can get your turkey any way you want it from this Nashville institution – roasted, fried or sliced with a side of giblet gravy. Add in their real-deal mashed potatoes, baked squash, cranberry sauce and cornbread and call it one and done. You can add on a pie for dessert or go for their signature banana pudding.

• Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 21. Pickup Wednesday, Nov. 25.

To order: 615 327-1090.

Five Daughters Bakery

Various locations

This is a little outside the box, but go with us here.

If you’re Thanksgiving celebration is at 4 p.m. you need a little something to tide you over. Five Daughters is the originator of the 100-layer doughnut, a towering monument of what regular yeast doughnuts aspire to be.

Their November offerings include pumpkin chocolate cheesecake, molasses pecan pie, warm vanilla cardamom and white chocolate mocha.

But for our money, the most ridiculously over-the-top option is always on the menu – the King Kong with a cream filling, salted maple glaze and a crown of bacon.

If you want to gild the lily, pick up a pound of bacon at Porter Road Butcher, 501 Gallatin Ave. Breakfast might just outshine the main event.

Martin’s BBQ Joint

Various locations

You can order an entire Thanksgiving meal from this local institution and call it a day. But while we just love potato salad and baked beans as sides any other day of the year, we hit up Martin’s for the main event: Meat.

Let’s just talk about smoked turkey and smoked ham, shall we?

You can order a whole smoked turkey or just a smoked turkey breast, as well as a whole or half smoked ham. Pat Martin is building a multistate barbecue juggernaut, but he’s still our hometown hero and the man can smoke some meat. You can take that to the bank. Better yet, take it to your kitchen.

• Deadline: Monday, Nov. 25. There’s a form to fill out on the website and it notes that it’s a good idea to order as early as you can. Questions: 615 454-9677.

Miss Daisy King

1110 Hillsboro Road, Franklin

Longtime locals well remember Miss Daisy’s famous tearoom and have followed her to various locations since for superb casseroles, sides and baked goods. She’s now set up shop at a strip mall at the corner of Mack Hatcher and Hillsboro Road. It’s well worth a trip to procure her Southern home-cooked creations.

For Thanksgiving, may we highly recommend her corn pudding, green beans almondine, green bean casserole, party squash casserole, cranberry salad and twice-baked potatoes. Get a package of her yeast rolls while you’re at it. And for dessert, you cannot do better than her strawberry cake.

• Deadlines: Miss Daisy doesn’t have a special Thanksgiving menu, and most items are available year-round, but she gets especially popular around the holidays so it’s best to call ahead (615 599-5313) and make sure what you want is in stock.

Puckett’s

500 Church St.

You can get a whole Thanksgiving meal here, including a turkey either roasted, smoked or fried. As usual, we’re intrigued by the sides including broccoli and rice casserole, corn pudding and homemade yeast rolls. Of course, the ever-popular green bean casserole is on the menu. Is there any Thanksgiving dinner in the South without one on the sideboard? We hope not. You can satisfy your sweet tooth with a selection of pies, or peach or apple cobbler.

• Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 23. Pickup begins Monday, Nov. 25. Pickup: 8 a.m.-10 a.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m., and 7 a.m.-10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Order in person or 615 770-2772.

Puffy Muffin

229 Franklin Road, Brentwood

Puffy Muffin is your must-stop spot for desserts for the holiday table with pumpkin, chess, pecan and fudge pies among the many offerings. Cakes include pumpkin spice, caramel, three-layer sour cream coconut and many more. There also are Snickers cheesecake, Mississippi mud bars and eclairs.

As long as you’re there, score one of the Muffin’s signature breakfast potato casseroles for Thanksgiving morning breakfast or even to substitute for the traditional mashed potatoes on the dinner table. And go old-school with their congealed cranberry salad. Topping it with a dollop of Duke’s mayonnaise is required.

• Deadline: The Muffin hadn’t set a deadline by press time, check in at 615 373-2741. Order online

Swett’s

2725 Clifton Ave.

Swett’s has been the place to see and be seen in Nashville for decades. Confer such an honor on your Thanksgiving table with it’s always-fabulous food.

Start with an oven-roasted turkey or ham and round out the meal with dressing with giblet gravy, green beans and their famous sweet potato rolls.

And don’t stop there. Also order the turnip greens, creamed potatoes and the legendary macaroni and cheese. Can there be too many carbs on Thanksgiving Day? No such a thing.

• Deadline: Orders must be paid for in advance, and the restaurant needs at least 48 hours of notice. Pick up is available during business hours any day before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day 10 a.m.-noon.

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