It's hard to believe that this time last year, I had already gotten the garlic planted and fig trees wrapped in burlap, and it wasn't half this cold. Thankfully, there has been one food-related constant. Restaurants, caterers and bakeries—from Breadzilla to the Golden Pear to the Hampton Coffee Company—have started rolling out Thanksgiving menus and holiday offerings.
Do we really have to wait all year for cornbread stuffing, sweet potato pie, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin-spiced Jack o'latte?
For those whose palms start to sweat at the notion of impressing—or at least satisfying—friends and family around the turkey table, OSO at the Southampton Inn in Southampton is preparing an “abundant, endless, and delectable” buffet from 3 to 7 p.m. for $25 a person, and $15 for children.
It's an economical option that doesn't preclude families from “going back to someone’s house for an after dinner drink or catching the last quarter of the football game,” according to chef Bryan Naylor, who recounted the many steps involved in a homemade Thanksgiving—from pressing the table cloth to doing the dishes. “It costs less and it’s less stressful than doing it yourself.”
Families, no matter how dysfunctional or angst-ridden, still get to sit at their own tables. And in a small town setting like Southampton there’s a good chance a neighbor or friend or fellow volunteer fire fighter will be at the next table.
Starters include: pumpkin and butternut bisque, assorted salads, and grilled sweet corn. There will also be apple chestnut stuffing and giblet gravy, fresh Berkshire ham, Thanksgiving succotash, and whipped Yukon golds. Standby desserts like pumpkin pie and apple cobbler will sit alongside shoo fly pie and sour cherry brioche bread pudding.
“Not everyone knows how to make a fresh ham,” said Naylor, formerly at the Crescent Beach Club in Bayville, who could recall at least one holiday-meal cooking disaster story. “Or do a turkey confit in goose fat. It is difficult to cook for 12 or 15 people. And if you screw it up it can really ruin the holiday.”
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