Thanksgiving is my personal favorite holiday of the year. I look forward to bringing on that pumpkin pie and roasted turkey for months before the festivities. The traditionally rich & soul satisfying dishes are filled with memories for me. Shared in the amazing company of family and friends, this celebration is food for my soul just as much as my belly!
I usually cook for 12-14 guests, a mix of family and friends. In between courses, there’s wine to be enjoyed by the fire, little nibbles off of the charcuterie plates, and boisterous laughter floating through the house. You’ll catch kids sneaking bits of pie crust off of the dessert table, and the hustle & bustle of a hot & steamy kitchen full of delicious food. I just love it!
Together Through Technology…
I’ve had to accept that Thanksgiving 2020 will be different. I’m shaving off a few recipes from my menu plan. There will be less noise and clattering and hustle. Thanksgiving supper will be a bit more reserved since it’s just the five of us at home. But… BUT… I will not let myself focus on the negative here: Instead, it’s going to be our first Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner Menu that can be enjoyed with our friends & families across the country!
I’ve chosen several traditionally inspired dishes that you can create in your own kitchen with ease! No need to get super fussy this year! But, I also don’t sacrifice the elegance of a traditional meal. This is a time to embrace our connections over food and drink, put the family on your video chat of choice, and have your dinner together, apart.
A Traditional Menu for a Smaller Virtual Setting…
For me, this Virtual Thanksgiving will still include cranberries and stuffing, an apple crisp and turkey. A pretty bouquet will grace the table, even if there aren’t as many place settings at my 2020 Thanksgiving Tablescape. My handy laptop will play an even greater role in the kitchen than it already does; going from a recipe resource to a focal point of connection to our out of state (and sometimes international!) family members, as we cook up a storm in the kitchen!
My advice; focus on two to three recipes that bring you the most joy at the table, and pare down the rest. If the idea of basting a full bird for hours isn’t in the cards for your family of four, go with a sous-vide turkey breast instead. Simplify desserts from the usual overflowing dessert table to a lovely blueberry tart, or a delicious Autumn inspired bundt cake.
Whether you’re cooking for your family, or a Thanksgiving Dinner for two, let flavor & the joy of cooking lead the way!
Focus on the Flavors…
My key piece of advice for this Thanksgiving would be to focus on delicious recipes, and leave out the stress! We are already living through a hectic time, so be sure to grant yourself some leeway in the kitchen… along with a glass of wine!
Some giggles will be sure to happen over a steamed up FaceTime video and my rule of ‘no screen time at the table’ will be most definitely broken. But, this non traditional ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving will be full of the flavors of memory, while creating new ones during this unusual time in our history.
A Traditional Thanksgiving Menu for Five
A small collection of my favorite delicious recipes for a smaller Thanksgiving Meal.
Sous Vide Turkey Breast~ Vacuum seal a whole turkey breast with fresh thyme and sage, and then sous vide for 4 hours at 145F. Finish with a few minutes in the broiler for a crispy skin!
Homemade Gravy~ Use a Turkey demi-glace or turkey stock, port, a bit of white flour, and herbs. Salt and pepper to season. I like to add a few tablespoons of apple cider to my gravy too!