As much as I will miss the crowd at Thanksgiving this year, I may be even more wistful for the long, colorful parade of food at our usual Thanksgiving buffet. I always make the traditional basics – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc – and over the years family and friends have brought all kinds of fun contributions: stir-fried noodles, corn souffle, sushi, ham, lasagna, cinnamon rolls, homemade soft pretzels. It’s a crazy cafeteria, and we love it.
It’s not a year for potlucks, and a blowout Thanksgiving isn’t the vibe of 2020. Home cooks are a bit burned out from months of preparing meal after meal. Non-cooks may be nervously taking charge of Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. Either way, a simple Thanksgiving seems like the way to go.
I’m giving myself a pep talk about the benefits of our pared-down Thanksgiving – an extra-special but regular-sized family dinner, less prep, less cleanup, and a rare Thanksgiving meal at which I may actually sit at the same time as everyone else. For once I will not miss out on giving thanks around the table. I am looking forward to it.
Thanksgiving dinner without a crowd can be mellow. It’s essentially a traditional meat-and-three. You don’t need a turkey for a few people – roast a turkey breast or a whole chicken, or just buy a good rotisserie bird. To me, it’s the sides that make the meal. Any plate with stuffing and cranberry sauce on it feels like Thanksgiving. …