In my family, holidays are usually loud, bustling affairs. My dad is one of seven siblings, and we often have four generations under one roof at the same time. My mom’s side is smaller, but compensates with high energy and big appetites. I’m used to massive turkeys, vats of mashed potatoes and endless sheet pans of roasted vegetables. For me, Thanksgiving is associated with abundance of both food and family.
This year, though, I’m doing things a little differently. Since I’m far from my home in the Midwest, I’m opting to stay in D.C. for Thanksgiving and will fly back for Christmas instead. I get to spend this Thanksgiving with my boyfriend, who is visiting from England for the week, but the scaled-down celebration has prompted some questions. How do I capture the essence of Thanksgiving for someone who doesn’t celebrate it, and how do I accomplish that without spending days in the kitchen making far more food than two people can reasonably eat?
As I’ve planned out my menu for the big day, I’ve gathered some advice that might be helpful for others in a similar situation. If you’re having a small Thanksgiving this year, here are my tips for a meal that’s more manageable and is still every bit as delicious.