By Katie Houdek
Thanksgiving is virtually always seen as a gigantic get together. That’s not always the case for everyone though. For those of you duos out there don’t despair! We’ve got some great ways to taylor your holiday meal with just the right amount of leftovers to get you through the weekend without feeling like you’re swimming in gravy. Ain’t nobody got time for leftovers til Christmas.
The Bird’s the Word
Turkey lovers should stick with the bird of the day. There’s plenty of small turkeys out there; it’s only a matter of finding the right one for you. The trick with a small bird is making sure not to let it get dried out when cooking. Brining helps cut down on this but let’s be honest… who wants to deal with the hassle? Many stores now carry pre-brined, organic turkeys that are pretty amazing. If you’re able to find a pre-brined bird then you’re halfway there. When preparing the turkey stuff the cavity with halved onions and lemons, celery stalks, and fresh herbs. This combo of aromatics will not only flavor your bird but it’ll help keep it from drying out. Make a compound butter of fresh herb (Sage, rosemary, thyme, chives…) and work it in under the skin, especially the breast. Use the rest of the butter to coat the rest of the turkey. This goes a long way to ensuring that your turkey will be moist and incredibly flavorful. You’ll have more than enough for dinner and leftovers. You might even have enough to make some delicious turkey soup!
If you’re not down with the idea of a whole turkey there’s plenty of options for you to consider. Most grocery stores sell turkeys that have been cut into particular pieces. If you love turkey breast but don’t like the dark meat then feel free to simply buy the breast. If you like to get down with the legs but you’d be content leaving the rest behind you can do that too!
If turkey’s not your thing at all then bid a farewell to that gobbler and reinvent your Thanksgiving altogether! Maybe a couple of cornish game hens are the perfect substitute. Maybe you find fowl, foul. Nobody says you can’t be thankful for a nice beef roast! The best thing about a scaled down Thanksgiving is that you’re not shackled to a bunch of traditions. Be creative, shake things up!
Not only is the main dish a big deal on Thanksgiving but so are your sides. As much as you may be open to eschewing traditions there are simply some recipes you can’t do without at Fall’s favorite feast. Choose your sides. Some have been with you since childhood and they’ll be there until you eat your last Thanksgiving dinner. However, there’s some of those “old favorites” that are really just Aunt Karen’s favorites and nobody really likes Aunt Karen’s English Pea and Onion Salad.
Explore your options; explore your country! Make new traditions that embrace how you want to experience this holiday. Maybe you’re a Houston native but your significant other is from the west coast. Turn your Thanksgiving into the culinary adventure it was meant to be. Check out these amazing recipes showing proper rep for all of our 50 fine states! Maybe your new tradition is trying our something new from somewhere else each year.
PS ya Later!
Pumpkin. It’s almost over. The Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the pumpkin bars, pumpkin parfaits, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin scones. Pumpkin in the morning, pumpkin in the evening, pumpkin at supper time… This is it, this is pumpkins last hurrah! Live in a pumpkin wonderland because Friday brings peppermint.
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Are you skilled in the ways of a Thanksgiving for Two? How do you celebrate the holiday? Are you ready to put pumpkin to bed for the year or are you already hoarding all things pumpkin spice?