If 2020 has taught me anything, it's that planning anything, is futile. Apart from our shear stroke of luck at the end of August when we were able to not only go on holiday, but also not need to self-isolate upon returning, was amazing. I for one am normally a very thankful person. This time of the year is my favourite, and for those of you who have followed me a while know that no matter where I have lived in the world, Thanksgiving has always been celebrated in our home. It is just such a beautiful and meaningful holiday.
This year, unfortunately large family and friend gatherings will not be possible. Maybe your area has imposed a local lockdown, maybe you live alone...just you and your fur babies, point is, most of us will probably be doing a household only Thanksgiving this year. As our Prime Minister has just announced a mini-lockdown until the 2nd of December, there goes my Thanksgiving hope of an extended family and friend gathering.
I know what you are thinking. Why go through all the trouble?
Do you really need to be the, hostess with the mostess, this year when all bets are off? The simple answer my friends is, why not?
You do not need to cook an entire turkey if it is just the two of you, in fact you can probably order everything you need online and get it delivered straight to your door.
You do not need a "bird" to make it Thanksgiving.
Appreciate the day. Pamper yourself, give thanks for this year. Reflect on those who have lost and smile you're still here.
Facetime or Zoom, and host a virtual Thanksgiving.
Make your table simple but elegant.
This year my Thanksgiving table will be all white.
Pure, simple and reflective of my feeling of hope for the future.
So here are my top 10 tips and some recipes for a smaller, fuss free, but still special Thanksgiving.
Stay well and safe my friends.
1. Who says it has to be turkey. If it's a bird, it counts right?
Make my delicious Portuguese Duck Rice, it's a casserole. Could it get any simpler than this. Of course you could always make a smaller turkey or even a large chicken. Why not a turkey crown or even turkey meatballs? Whichever you choose my recipe for Perfect Roast Turkey can be halved for a smaller bird. And do not forget the gravy. My Best Easy Turkey Stock will be sure to please.
2. Make delicious, but elegant starters.
My Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Brie and Maple Syrup are to die for! Assemble them ahead of time for a super easy starter that is sooo good with Champagne. Which takes me to my next tip...
3. Don't get stuck on sides.
The bountiful season is upon us. Roast some sweet potatoes, make my Oven Roasted Green Beans ,
fabulous The Best Cornbread Stuffing with Portuguese Chicken Sausage (Alheira) Chestnuts Apples and Collard Greens. or simply just make mashed potatoes out of box (I won't tell). Flavourful sides are a breeze.
4. Let there be Champagne!!
Always toast the occasion with the ultimate tipple. Since there are less people to entertain, why not splurge on a really expensive one. After 2020, do you need a better excuse?
5. The power of simplicity.
Never underestimate the power of a simple cheese and olive board.
6. Outsource dessert.
Since baking is my least favourite thing to do in the kitchen, I am not one to hold ordering dessert against you. Feeling up to the task? My easy no bake Caramel Milk Icebox cake is all you need for a
hasslefree, make ahead, dessert.
7. Dress up is a must.
Make an effort to get out of those pjs today.
Put your hair down and paint on a red lip. After all the mask wearing this year it will be worth it.
8. Make your cocktails in a batch.
Sure individuality is fun, but so is a pitcher of Negroni ;)
This is my favourite cocktail. The colour is magnificent and perfect for Autumn.
Never heard of it? Learn it here, The Perfect Negroni Cocktail
9. Keep your table simple.
Fresh flowers and candles are really all you need. I always say bring out your rarely used plates. It is a special day, so use them. Focus on pattern and texture. This year I am going all white,stay tuned for my Thanksgiving table setting post.
10. Be genuinely thankful and set the mood.
Put on your favourite playlist, dance together. Send the kids to bed early. Date each other. Makeout. Remember that the distance between us now is temporary and remember those no longer here.That is my plan this year. After all this year has thrown at you...you deserve a break. I leave you with a picture of me, my sis and my late mother. This was my first apartment. I was 18. Dinner parties were born here and I have been at it ever since.