Fruited wild rice pilaf

The hubby and I usually host Thanksgiving, mainly because we’re sort of centrally located amongst our immediate family members. But selfishly, it’s because we don’t like deciding which side of the family with whom to spend the holiday, and when we host, both sides are invited.

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I absolutely love hosting people for any holidays, but especially food-specific ones. I get a high from the logistics: the planning, the prepping, the plotting, both for the food and the table decor. Few things in this world make me happier than using all my pretty serving dishes, which don’t get much of a workout otherwise in a family of three.

I typically start playing around with Thanksgiving side dishes a few months ahead of time, both because it’s fun and because life can get crazy and I always want to have something festive prepared for this column.

Life did indeed get crazy all of the sudden, and because I’m hobbling around in a gigantic, Iron Man-like boot for a few more weeks following surgery, my mother-in-law stepped in and volunteered to host.

To be fair, I did still offer to have everyone over – albeit it rather halfheartedly. The invitation was worded something like, “Everyone’s more than welcome to come here for Thanksgiving but we won’t be serving any food unless you bring it.”

A tempting offer, to be sure, but the hubby’s mom said, “I can host. You can just rest and put your feet up.” Sweeter words were never spoken.

I would love to say I served this fruited wild rice pilaf – based on a recipe I found online – for Thanksgiving this year (or any previous year) and that it was a hit with everyone. But I can’t.

What I can say is that I served this fruited wild rice pilaf in early October and it was a hit with everyone, even if it was served as a side dish alongside spicy chicken stir-fry instead of turkey and gravy.

Note: This actually makes a truly excellent side dish alongside spicy chicken stir-fry. I may never again eat plain rice.

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