A very dry run

For this year’s Thanksgiving festivities, I was given the plum assignment of making an appetizer. Having not made an proper appetizer in, well… forever, I started rifling through a few cookbooks, some magazines, and my own brain for something unique. I narrowed the choices to:

  • a seasonal salad
  • stuffed mushrooms
  • a cheese and bread combo

I quickly decided against the salad because of the obvious lack of finger-friendliness. I then jettisoned the mushroom idea, when I realized that quite a few people don’t like the friendly fungi. This left the third option and yet another recipe (Blue Cheese and Caramelized-Onion Squares) from Bon Appetit.

I was already digging the idea of using blue cheese or gorgonzola, and so, took the fact that this recipe came from a section called the Thanksgiving Workbook: What to Bring as a sign.

I decided to do a test run last weekend. It didn’t exactly go well.

First of all, I couldn’t get the dough right. The mixture was so wet, I had to virtually double the amount of flour to make it look anything like a cohesive ball. The caramelized onions turned out great, but took a good twenty minutes longer than expected. And then there was the finished product.

These things tasted like the Sahara Desert. It didn’t matter how well the cheese and onions went together; the crust was so dry as to completely suck the saliva from inside my mouth. I may as well have been eating salted, toasted flour itself. I guess this shouldn’t be considered an unexpected turn of events, considering how much flour I did end up using, but the experience pretty much sank my idea for Thanksgiving.

Therefore, I’m changing things up a bit for the actual event. First, I’ll be using pizza dough. Second, I’m going to try and add pears to the mix, as they really go well with the other two flavors. And finally, I’m going to make a second pie, with cheddar, apple and bacon.

I’m not sure exactly how they’ll turn out with the fruit, but at least my relatives won’t be gagging. And, in the end, isn’t that what Thanksgiving’s all about?


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