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Thanksgiving dinner is always a shared undertaking, an array of wonderful food that we look forward to all year, and with everyone contributing, there is always time for a big family walk Thanksgiving morning. Some dishes have become a tradition, while others are tried once, never to reappear.
Both of these side dishes are ones I have made many times – it seems as soon as the weather starts to cool, I find a way to incorporate them into the menu.


3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon dried sage

Stir together squash, apple cider, water, butter, sugar, salt and pepper. Place in a skillet over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, gently stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and cook five minutes, or until liquid thickens and squash is tender. Gently stir in walnuts and sage until well combined.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, October 2006

1 1/2 cups of pecans
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
1 pound of brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Heat the oven to 425F.
Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast until fragrant about 6 minutes. Let cool.
In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, squash and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and nutmeg and season generously with salt and black pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Scatter the pecans and ginger over the vegetables and drizzle with the maple syrup, toss well.
Continue to roast the vegetables for 25 minutes longer, until they are tender and golden. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine