How to Host a Smaller Thanksgiving
For many families, Thanksgiving is typically the time we get together with extended family and friends. Multiple generations fill the household to give thanks for our blessings, watch or even play football, and eat, and eat, and eat!
Unlike the hustle and bustle of Christmas, Thanksgiving is a time to truly reflect, relax and enjoy the company of those we may not see that often throughout the year. This year, however, this nasty little pandemic is hanging around, and many state and local authorities are encouraging people to limit their Thanksgiving gatherings to immediate family or household members. This got me to thinking...how do you prepare a Thanksgiving FEAST for just a few people?
1) There’s no need for a 20-pound bird. Ditch the big guy and look at some smaller alternatives. If you’re a traditionalist, many stores sell just a turkey breast. It cooks fairly quickly and much less mess when you’re done.
2) Consider roasting a chicken, a duck, a pork loin or bake a ham. Any of these options would feed a small family nicely.
3) How many sides do you need? Instead of bowls of mashed potato, sweet potato, turnip and squash, choose one, and look up a new recipe to try with it. Likewise, if you’re deciding between green bean casserole or roasted carrots, steamed broccoli or pan seared Brussels Sprouts, instead, put together a simple tossed salad with all your veggies in one bowl!
4) Pies, cakes, cookies, bars....Thanksgiving is definitely a time for me to indulge in these confections. But again, you don’t need that much for a small group of people. Take a vote in your household and make the one that wins. Or, if you insist on making multiple desserts, make room in your freezer and pull them out again at Christmas!
5) Since everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about this year has been different, try something different at Thanksgiving too. Go totally rogue and involve your family in a cultural cooking experience by making an ethnic meal (think Italian, Mexican, Asian etc.)
6) Check your local restaurants and see what they might be offering for Thanksgiving take-out meals. Just think, you don’t have to cook AND you’d be helping the local economy.
Regardless of what you have on your Thanksgiving table, or who you’re seated with, I hope you are able to count your blessings and give thanks, even in these uncertain times.