With Thanksgiving coming tomorrow, I'm gearing up for the usual delicious delectables: turkey leg, mashed taters, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce (from a can, the best way), antipasta platter, homemade bread, apple pie, and beaujulais nouveau. It's an interesting combination, in that it is the same combination every year and everything seems to go together in complementary fashion. The cranberry offers sweetness to balance the saltiness of the turkey and gravy, the carb effect of the taters balance the cheese, meats and veggies of the antipasta, and the beauj helps bring everything down. Throw that combo off balance, and you need to take other action.
If the turkey gets taken out of the equation, for example, you can't just substitute steak. You'd need to toss in some salad (preferably Caesar, the Emperor of Salads), in place of the antipasta, and of course the homemade bread would need to be replaced with a baguette. With that, the cranberry wouldn't really go, so you'd need to replace it with applesauce (I suppose). Before long, the stuffing is all that's left of the original meal, but that can never stand alone--stuffing without taters, turkey and cranberry is sort of like going to a Doors concert and seeing only Ray Manzarek showed up.
Here's wishing all a happy Thanksgiving!