It’s official, the holidays are here. A season typically filled with lots of food, friends, family, and gatherings, unfortunately, this year, we’ve found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. While emotions are already at an all-time high, now with the holidays near, not being able to see loved ones, missing out on typical dinner parties, or celebrating in smaller groups has multiplied anxiety. Although celebrations may look and feel different during social distancing, we’ve put together a roundup of mouthwatering pandemic thanksgiving approved cooking ideas and recipes to fill your holiday with joy and cheer.
Love a good potato?
For many of us, a big pot of mashed potatoes is a Thanksgiving feast must-have. Great for large groups of people, not so perfect for one or two, this year, say hello to loaded and twice-baked potatoes. We’re in love with this creamy and fluffy, individual-sized, potato of your dreams from Simple Recipes. Try it and tell us what you think!
For the bird fans.
Does the thought of cooking a 20-pound turkey for a group of four people sound ridiculous? Instead of the all-day, massive bird, pandemic Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try cheffing up a smaller, just as succulent duck, pheasant, or even goose. Hello juicy, otherworldly flavor. On the plus side, smaller birds take a lot less time to cook. Take a look at this gorgeous hour and a half duck recipe.
Side dish it out.
Okay, so, if you are the kind of person that doesn’t love the turkey but looks forward to the side dishes, this is your year, ditch the bird altogether and fill your holiday with side dishes. There is no grumpy uncle or picky sister-in-law to tell you otherwise. To help you get inspired here is a list of 80 best side dishes and recipes!
Also, for some socially distanced Thanksgiving fun, set up a side dish swap. You make the sweet potato casserole, have your bestie make the green beans, a co-worker rock-out the stuffing, and then everyone trades. In the end, your plate is full of side dishes and you only have to cook your fav!
Charcuterie? Yes, please.
What’s better to cure the missing friends and family blues than a board full of cheese, meat, crackers, vegetables, spreads, nuts, and more? Not much. The hottest food trend of the year, charcuterie comes in all shapes and sizes. Also, you can tailor it to your exact tastes. Perfect to fill up on and jam-packed with flavor, if you are new to the art of charcuterie, here is a beginner’s guide.
Pies in mini size.
The fact of the matter is, Thanksgiving is not complete without dessert. Eh hem, to be exact pie. Now, as delicious as a full-blown pie is, chances are, with smaller table settings this year, making or buying the apple, pumpkin, cranberry, and pecan pie is not in the works. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Ever heard of mini, cupcake tin pies? Yes, that is right. Individual sized pies that pack all the home-cooked goodness. The best part is, these minis are also very easy to share. Make a bunch and give them to the neighbors.
Sharing is caring.
Speaking of giving pies away, let's not forget the foundation of Thanksgiving. Although we are called to be away from loved ones this year, we can still spread the joy and share the holiday. On top of pies, share cookies. Making a cookie kit and giving it to friends, co-workers, and family to make at home is a great way to stay connected while social distancing. Or, decorating cookies and donating them to local shelters or homes allows you to give back to the community. This list of ‘65 Cookies You’ll Be Grateful For This Season is full of baking ideas.
Are you cooking anything special or unique this year? Share your pandemic Thanksgiving ideas with us below!