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Side dishes: Put a twist on tradition

No other meal is as traditional as the Thanksgiving feast.

If the host or hostess doesn't serve the family's favorite green bean casserole, Aunt Betty's sweet potato casserole or grandma's five-cup salad, there could be some holiday discontent.

Many cooks wouldn't dare stray far from the usual fare, but what if you wanted to try something a little different this year? Are you brave enough to put Food Network star Alton Brown's green bean casserole on the table? What about a stuffing with goldenberries?

If you yearn to show off your culinary skills but don't want to offend your guests, why not do both? Tweak some of those favorite dishes by recharging them with some fresh new ingredients.

A stuffing made with goldenberries would be a nice surprise. The exotic raisin of the Amazon is a sweet-and-sour delicacy and incredibly rich in vitamin A, according to the producer, Kopali Organics. Goldenberries are available at Whole Foods for $3.99.

We're pretty sure no one will turn up their noses at creamed corn gratin with fried onion rings and bacon. If they do, serve an old-fashioned scalloped-corn recipe from the Owsley County Outreach's Cookbook to Alleviate Hunger.

Parmesan tomatoes will please everyone at the table if you simply tell them it's a Paula Deen recipe.

No matter what you serve as side dishes this holiday, remember that nothing can stall dinner like too many dishes competing for oven space. Choose a couple of dishes for the oven and another recipe that can be prepared on the stove top, and of course a quick green salad or a sweet fruit salad that can be served cold.