Thanksgiving Corona-Style

So here come the holidays. Heaven help us.

Baked Apples stuffed with Sweet Potatoes

As the pandemic rips across the planet, this will be a tradition-bashing year. I’ve friends who are delighted with the excuse not to have to drive six hours to eat an overcooked turkey and canned green bean casserole. I know others who, come hell or high water, are keeping a modified version of their holiday tradition.

I read an excellent article in the Times, which introduced suggestions on how to manage families getting together (or not) over the holidays in these unprecedented times.

Root Vegetable Gratin

Products of second marriages, Richard and I have a combined family that includes five children (with partners) and twelve grandchildren. Richard and I have been together thirteen years and have created new traditions that incorporate all of the expected shoulder-to-shoulder hoop-la, celebratory food and trimmings.

Since February, we’ve managed visits with individual families when all parties had previously quarantined.  But with five families to think about, combined with record-breaking Covid numbers, this year’s holiday get-togethers…well folks, they ain’t gonna happen.

Acorn Squash stuffed with Fruity Wild Rice

Prior to our marriage, we each had shared custody and are accustomed to spending holidays alone. It became my tradition, in fact, to declare other days Thanksgiving. The promise of effective vaccines gives hope. Perhaps Thanksgiving 2020 will be celebrating during the summer of 2021.

In the meantime, I’ve been perusing menu idea for the two of us. On the right column of this page, just beneath the Find Your Favorite Recipe, you’ll see a Gold Holiday Ball.

Poached Pears and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

Tap on that, the Holiday Cookbook, and you’ll find a slide show (including the pictured dishes) with dozens of well-tested holiday favorites, all just waiting for downsizing. For a scaled-down bird, perhaps a Cornish game hen or turkey breast? Roast Turkey Breast with Cranberry Jus is the featured image on this page.  Baked Apples Stuffed with Sweet Potatoes might be all the accompaniment you’d need.

For kicks, I’m going to try making a couple of new recipes. One, Crusty Baked Cauliflower and Farro, is adapted from Ina Garten and come’s from Deb’s Smitten Kitchen. The other is for Spatchcocked Buttermilk Brined Turkey. I’ll have leftovers, which will be made into soup for the freezer.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Pie

It will be a long winter, and nothing soothes my soul like soup.

I’d love hearing how Thanksgiving will look to you this year. However you intend to paint your Thursday––be it broad strokes or scribble-scrabble––it may look and feel like solitude, but poetically speaking, you’ve never found yourself in such an expansive community (-:

More Recipes Filed Under "All Seasonal & Holiday Favorites"

15 Responses to Thanksgiving Corona-Style

  1. Janet Nacu says:


    Great edition, just what I needed as my family continues to “figure out” the holidays. Nice to know we are not alone. There are four recipes here I will try… Now to prioritize!



    • “Figure out” are the operative words these days, for sure! At least we can look forward to making season-appropriate dishes, even if they’re radically scaled down. We made it this far–I feel as if we’ve one final stretch to the finish! Thanks for the comment and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  2. Michele Waite says:

    Hello Peggy,

    We are spending our holiday together at home. My kids have asked if a couple of their friends that are in their “group” could come over for dessert and games. I’m hesitant as I do know their friends have family members coming from afar and that makes me nervous. Still in debate over this one.

    I do plan to make a yummy turkey dinner and we will also dig out the Christmas decor.

    Happy holidays,

    • Hey Michele! Decisions such as this seem tortuous these days. Good luck! I guess I’d have to know more about their “contacts” and would take precautions. Geez Louise. However, I wish my kids still lived at home during these crazy times. Holidays would be far more normal. Thanks for the comment and you have a wonderful holiday season, yourself!

  3. Debbie Swartz says:

    That sweet potato pecan pie looks fabulous–just trying to find a way to justify making it for the two of us to indulge in. . . .

  4. Marion Kling says:

    We are not going to our annual Mississippi Thanksgiving. I just might have to make something with a can so my husband does not have withdrawals!!! Lol but in their defense the youngsters have started cooking and some! Of the recipes have moved on!!
    We also have kept away from large groups but I have been able to see my children and grands
    Luckily we’ve met at some of their families homes that have large outdoor space! Plus weather was warm!!
    Thanks for the post and the recipes. I am going to do a turkey, having it split in two , roasting one half smoking other half! I want that dark meat ! Have a blessed thanksgiving , Marion

    • Love your comment–esp. about the canned products. At this point, I say us celebratory food lovers just try to have a sense of humor for whatever we can manage. Getting through the days safely is enough of a challenge. You’re lucky you live in warm climes. I do have the gear and can comfortably eat outdoors in cold weather as long as it’s not windy. Great idea on the half and half! We will have LOTS of leftovers. Happy happpy, Marion!

  5. Susan OC says:

    We are having Thanksgiving at home, just the two of us. We are roasting a big turkey, and have ordered a large smoked ham. I am going to turkey white bean chili, and ham and split pea soup, and take it to neighbors who are elderly or immune compromised, and so mostly staying home if they can. It will keep us busy over the holiday weekend, and with any luck make life a little easier for some of the people we care about.

    • That, Susan, is celebrating Thanksgiving in the ultimate gesture of giving! You’re neighbors will be so appreciative of your generosity of spirit, especially now. You get twice what you give so you certainly will have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for the comment. Peggy

  6. wendy says:

    Those baked apples look insane! I have ditched the turkey this year for pheasants stuffed with leeks and pecans (silver palette cookbook). I am also making my favorite scalloped oysters…which is the holiday food I crave when I wake up the day after thanksgiving. I roasted off a pumpkin and froze it about a month ago and am debating the merits of flan, cheesecake or pie…haven’t decided yet.

    • Hi Wendy! I’d take pheasant over turkey, any day. I love the old SP cookbooks–so many timeless recipes I’ve loved making through the years. I, too, crave oysters at this time of the year and am an oyster fiend, in general. I have a recipe for Pumpkin Flan with Caramel Sauce on this site that is to die for. OMG. So many dishes, so fewer mouths to feed! Have a marvelous holiday–I might have to make some scalloped oysters next week!

  7. Leeza says:

    Just me and hubby this year. We’re still debating whether to do a downsized traditional meal or chuck it and do something different. He’s pulling for traditional, but even a turkey breast is a lot for two. We don’t plan on seeing our kid until summer when we can hang outside. You’re right. It’s going to be a very long winter.

    • Good to hear from you, Leeza. This year all rules are down the toilet! It’s a good time to play and have fun with whatever our taste buds are yearning for. I’ve never frozen cooked turkey meat but plan to do so this year. Maybe freezing it in a bit of gravy will help retain moisture. If I were in a warmer climate I’d consider an outdoor distanced affair so Thanksgiving with my family, as mentioned, may be this summer :/ Stay healthy!!!

  8. RainMachinenxq says:

    Preserved about 300 thousand.

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