For those of us who remain hunkered down in the pandemic and are beginning to consider Thanksgiving for two or three or similar small numbers instead of twenty what are you thoughts? How much food? How many dishes? How much leftovers?
Give context. Movies? Breakfast in bed? Naps? Candles? Fireplaces? Video calls with friends and family? Coordinated menu planning?
For those of us who continue to be careful about CV-19 transmission risk what are you going to do? How will you do it?
We will be home, dinner for 2. Dark meat turkey potpie from Bob’s Turkey Farm in Lancaster, MA. We’ll drive up and buy 10 of them like we do every year. We just get dark meat and gravy frozen in a single crust pie. Along with baked acorn squash, peas with pearl onions and homemade cranberry sauce. A small pumpkin pie from the Cottage Street Bakery in Orleans, and yeasty squash rolls from Nauset Farms.
Ugh . . .we skipped Easter, Mothers Day and all of the summer holidays. We won’t even open for Halloween (though we are filling a plastic pumpkin with candy and pretzels for the neighbors who moved in at the start of the pandemic with their four kids).
I’m not sure what we’ll do for Thanksgiving and Christmas. On the one hand I trust my family to follow guidelines and we all laugh about the “wash your hands” directives . . . those who obviously didn’t have my parents. On the other hand, my 91-y-o mom lives with me and my family interacts with many others out of necessity.
Thanksgiving has always been a call back to our house for the family. Not this year.
Christmas has always been a call back to DD#1s home. Not this year.
Easter has always been a pricey buffet lunch for all the family–inlaws and outlaws included. Not next Spring.
For us, this is the “new normal”. And I despise it.
I don’t even want to think about the “Holidays” this year. Dad passed away three years ago, and grandma on my mom’s side (the only grandparent I ever really knew) passed just a few weeks ago. Though not really in the mood the last few years, we have done the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, almost forcibly, but it was a small affair. Me, mom, grandma, and my BF if he was not working. Finally, last Christmas, just totally not in the mood for a big deal, I suggested, “Can we just do Chinese takeout this year?” It was practically met with applause, and everyone ended up loving it. We did apps in the afternoon and then called our order in. Done. Perfect. Minimal mess. And grandma loved Chinese. Even if she was still around this Thanksgiving/Christmas, she would have been 92 and a huge risk to have an unmasked dinner with just the three of us for a few hours. But that decision has been taken out of our hands, unfortunately.
This Thanksgiving, if I have the option to work, I will work. My BF will likely be working. Even my mom who works at a park will take the option to work if asked. My, how the holidays have changed. We may end up with Chinese again! I am glad I have so many happy memories from my childhood, because I don’t think there will be many for a while, at least not holiday-related.
Christmas is currently unconscionable. I need to survive November first.
As for Halloween, it has always been my favorite holiday. I volunteer at a haunted museum with some friends and we are all into paranormal investigating (like you see on TV). So we usually gather there to eat, drink, and look for ghosts on Halloween or some night the week prior. We are doing it again this year but with a very small group. That’s my Christmas.
Sorry for the depressing post, but these are depressing times. As I said in another thread, my daily visits to HO are a true joy in my life.
No Halloween here at all. I feel bad for the kids, but I just can’t take the risk. Also I don’t think trick or treating should be encouraged this year. A big no, according to the CDC, as well.
T-Day and X-mas will be at our house per usual; the DD’s and SIL will have updated Covid tests, same at Christmas. I may have a hard time mustering up a festive spirit, but will try. The food will be good though.
Today is Cdn Thanksgiving Monday. We had a roasted turkey thigh, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, salad and biscuits yesterday,
then the 2nd roasted turkey thigh, leftovers, tomato pie and pumpkin pie today . 3 of us for dinner both nights.
Where I live in Ontario, Canada, we are at the beginning of a 2nd wave.
As of 12:01 am Sept 10th, no indoor dining at restaurants in Toronto or Ottawa is allowed, for at least 28 days, so any restaurant Thanksgiving dinners in Toronto or Ottawa were either takeout or on a patio. Smaller cities where numbers are less severe still allow indoor dining, but I’m too anxious to dine inside a restaurant now.
People in Ontario have been encouraged strongly to only socialize with the people who live in the same dwelling. University students were told to stay put and not return home for Thanksgiving.
I haven’t seen any friends in person (from 6+ feet away) in close to 3 weeks.
That’s in part a result of your earlier Thanksgiving. My niece’s college is sending everyone home at Thanksgiving and finishing the semester remotely, because that’s only one more week of classes, and then exam week. The winter term (six weeks) is remote, as is the first week of spring term. The rest of the year is still undetermined.
It does mean that nuclear families will be spending Thanksgiving together, as well as all the rest of the time until early March.
I’m trying to figure out what to cook for the two of us. Clearly a whole turkey is out. I’m hoping restaurants and stores will have prepared Thanksgiving meals for small families. (Up until this year, they were really big on “a full Thanksgiving dinner for eight”–not what we’re looking for!)
@eleeper the government here is also trying to discourage unnecessary travel. The University towns that are outside the Greater Toronto Area have low numbers, and most kids at these schools are from the Greater TO Area- so they could bring COVID back to the less affected towns after Cdn Thanksgiving. A lot of classes are remote already, at the university in the city where I’m currently staying.
On the topic of turkey, the skin on, boneless turkey thighs worked well for us this year!
I know celebrations pick me up and with the family and friends we lost in the last months due to covid, they would be the first to say celebrate. But there still is the comfort to gather and the options available to enjoy the traditions. With respect to all of us going through difficulty, I am planning a small gathering in NJ, PA and CA because we need a way to lean on each other albeit carefully. Frankly, the meal plays second.
Halloween I’ve promised to play with the band, in our garage, like we always do.
But I have had a full belly for 8 plus months against a broken heart of loss. People I care about, want to be together.
Thanksgiving is normally a busy time of year for me with auditions, so we rarely travel. We often host friends, but a Tday for Two isn’t unusual for us either so this year will feel relatively normal but for the complete lack of musical activity. I haven’t thought about the menu yet but I did duck two ways last year (confit leg quarters and sous vide breasts) - it went over very well and the leftovers were manageable, so that will probably be our main again. I think I still have leftover stuffing in the freezer from last year so clearly I need to make a smaller quantity this time around!
Dave, thanks for starting this useful topic. Unfortunately I have practice at distanced Thanksgivings. In the past we’ve needed to hunker down multiple times due to different family members being seriously ill around that holiday.
That means I have a time-tested solution to offer you: roast a big chicken, preferably sourced from a local farm. With mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing (I call it “stuffing” but prepare it in a baking dish), and your veggies of choice you probably won’t even miss turkey.
Also you need a soul-satisfying dessert for after. We like apple pie because then I get to declare that pie for breakfast the next day is perfectly suitable.
If you have your timing down and also have things like your cranberry relish and pie prepared ahead of time, you’ll even have time to watch The National Dog Show as we do during our hunkered down Thanksgivings.
If you share your house with a dog, I promise you the aroma of the roasting chicken will be EVERYTHING to them. The joy! The wagging!
That said, said pup will also then insist on a taste of your chicken and mashed potatoes. Vigorously. So stick to a straightforward mash without garlic.
Bonus is that afterward you’ll have excellent leftovers and amazing makings for chicken stock.
If I could source canning jars at a reasonable price I’d be all over the chicken, and I love stuffing.
I’ve recently branched into pies and have made a couple of apple pies so that is a possibility.
The National Dog Show is not my cup of tea. I’d wander off. Another Dave story: a few years ago (five? six?) we had a big family Thanksgiving - about twenty. Good meal, good times, ended up in front of the TV watching football. People wandered off and many ended up out on the deck talking and drinking. Looking around the room we realized none of those left cared a whit about football, so we switched to something else. My wife’s father came in took on look, said “What the f… is this?” So we switched back to football. He wandered off and we changed back. grin
Also I ought to second the option of any takeout meal that suits you.
Haven’t done takeout yet for Thanksgiving, but have done for Christmas Eve. Growing up, Christmas Eve was traditionally the emphasis rather than Christmas Day. My husband also took to the notion after we married. But until recently we traveled to out of state family nearly every year, so I had zero time to prepare dinner let alone a holiday menu. For many years our pre-trip holiday meal was either Indian or Thai food, depending on the quality of the local restaurant.
I’m a big believer in doing whatever works for you and fits the circumstances of the year.