In just a few weeks, families across the nation will be breaking bread to celebrate Thanksgiving. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials are discouraging travel in favor of celebrating with the people you already live with. While this may hinder many families’ annual traditions, here are creative ways to right size the menu so can still enjoy the foods you love.
Fewer guests means you won’t need as much food. Instead of a full bird, look for a frozen turkey breast. Butterball makes a three-pound breast that can be thawed in a day, roasted in under two hours and easily serves four people. It also includes a gravy packet so you can still make dressing even without any pan drippings.
Ground turkey is another versatile alternative for your main course. Try making Sage and Parmesan Turkey Meatballs that can be dipped in cranberry sauce or gravy, put a spin on meatloaf with this Thanksgiving-inspired recipe, or combine your turkey and stuffing into one savory baked dish.
Not a fan of turkey? Pick up a spiral cut ham that just needs to be heated in the oven before serving. Any leftovers can be frozen, eaten on sandwiches or used in homemade soups.
When cooking from recipes, feel free to cut the ingredients in half to make the portions more manageable, especially for side dishes. Narrowing down the menu can also alleviate some of the pressure in the kitchen. Choose four to five of your favorite dishes and enlist family members to help.
If the family chef won’t be present this year, local businesses like Weaver Street Market and The Root Cellar have your back. You can preorder a Thanksgiving dinner and customize your meal based on your headcount—leaving all the cooking to them.
Dessert is a course that can easily be outsourced too. Mama Dips has an amazing selection of mouth-watering pies, including pecan and sweet potato. For families who can’t agree on just one pie flavor, pick up an assortment of mini pies or tartlets at specialty grocers like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
With just your immediate family gathering around the table, take the opportunity to completely depart from your annual traditions and host a Thanksgiving brunch instead. Incorporate Thanksgiving-infused twists on brunch staples like pumpkin pancakes, ham omelets, maple bacon, mashed potato cakes and cranberry fruit salad. Not only is this menu memorable, you’ll be done cooking by noon!
Try as we might, it’s virtually impossible to take down an entire Thanksgiving buffet with just a handful of people. Before you serve your Thanksgiving meal, be sure to clear out some freezer space and have Tupperware on standby to save the leftovers for later.
Thanksgiving is all about counting our blessings and being with loved ones. We hope these tips help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the day’s festivities with your family. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Glen Lennox!