Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Food & DrinkJonathan Bardzik

Thanksgiving… you got this!

You love those personality tests in magazines, right? Are you a cat person or a dog person, what’s your sign, and what is your dating type? Well, I’ve got a personality test for you: is Thanksgiving an annual nightmare of managing eight side dishes, a turkey that hogs the oven for at least three hours, and the pressure of setting a fabulous table  -OR- is menu planning, shopping, two (or more) days of prep and, again, setting that fabulous table a wonderful challenge, one of your favorite times of the year?

I’ve got some good news. Whatever you answered I’ve got a dish for you. It’s quick and easy and packs lots of flavor with minimal effort. You can also precook the vegetables and finish the dish quickly right before serving so it’s not hogging a burner on the stove.

I’ve got one more bit of good news whether that perfect Rockwellian Thanksgiving is your biggest fear or your great passion. You are spending the day with people you love and sharing time together. By the time you herd cats and get everyone to the table the buffet will have been sitting for at least fifteen minutes. Even if they sit down on command, by the time everyone gets up for seconds, and they will, your hard work will be closer to room temp. So relax, don’t take it too seriously whether meal feels more like passion or penance, your guests will be grateful that you’ve taken the time to welcome them into your home and shared the day and this meal with them.

So relax and enjoy a truly happy and abundant Thanksgiving. You’ve got this.

Photo by Matt Hocking

Apricot Chile Glazed Carrots

Serves 6

Sweet heat and the earthy notes of apricot help the humble carrot stand out on your Thanksgiving table. Steam them well ahead of time, leaving them still firm. You can free up the burner to do other work and finish the carrots in 5-6 minutes right before dinner is served!


  • 4 carrots cut in 2” matchsticks, about 4 cups
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • White pepper


  • Steam carrots 5-6 minutes until still very firm in center. Remove from heat and leave covered. You can do this up to 30 minutes ahead of time.
  • Melt 2 tbs butter in 12” skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until they begin to turn a rich, caramelized brown. Add pepper flakes and cook for one minute longer.
  • Add carrots and a pinch of salt. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring a few times, until carrots begin to brown on edges.
  • Add apricot preserves and vinegar and toss to coat, as the preserves melt and the vinegar reduces. Season to taste with additional salt, white pepper and vinegar.

Featured image of Jonathan by Martha FitzSimon

Jonathan’s cookbooks offer simple recipes prepared with farm and garden-fresh ingredients to share with the people – friends, family and farmers – who make our lives matter.

Bring one home today or share one with someone special, click here.

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Jonathan Bardzik

Jonathan Bardzik is a DC-based storyteller, cook, keynote speaker and author of three books inspired by the fresh, seasonal ingredients he finds in the garden and at farm markets. Self taught, Jonathan seeks to inspire home cooks with the belief that life can and should be lived well, something we can do everyday by preparing and sharing simple, delicious food with those we love. Find over 250 recipes and short stories, Jonathan’s schedule of live appearances and his books at JonathanBardzik.com

Jonathan Bardzik has 26 posts and counting. See all posts by Jonathan Bardzik

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