So after a lot of back and forth, an official family zoom call, and a consultation with our Thanksgiving secretary, we have a plan. There will be no sit-down feast this year, but the 13 of us will still all be cooking for each other in our separate homes. Everyone is assigned a dish or two or three and is charged with making enough for the rest of the family. There will be a socially distanced dish swap at my sister’s centrally located house — then we will all go back home, warm up our dishes, and toast each other from afar.
The nieces and nephews are ready to revolt, I can tell. Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday because of all the rituals, the quality cousin time, and of course the food. It’s mine, too, because I get to spend the whole day in the kitchen with my mom. No one is happy with this turn of events, but what can we do? Next year, we keep telling ourselves. Next year we’ll do it right.
So for anyone interested, here is the Thanksgiving 2020 Menu:
Gin & Tonics
Shrimp Cocktail or Oysters if we can find good ones
Confit Turkey (My mom is also giving us the breast from the turkey she is roasting, but we are also making this)
Sausage and Apple Stuffing (a riff on Sam Sifton’s “Fresh Bread Dressing” in Thanksgiving)
Mashed Potatoes with Parm and Horseradish (from How to Celebrate Everything) or Mashed Potatoes Casserole (warning: paywall)
Honey-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Cranberry-Orange Relish (from How to Celebrate Everything)
Black Bottom Chocolate Pecan Pie
Chocolate Pudding Pie
Fresh whipped cream
You’ll note there are four pies this year, that is not a mistake. In keeping with tradition, we’re trying out a new one — Erin McDowell’s Black-Bottom Chocolate Pecan Pie. It’s from her pie magnum opus, The Book on Pie…
…and it’s a revelation. You probably know Erin Jeanne McDowell even if you think you don’t. Her recipes are everywhere — from Food52 to the NY Times — and when I look at the “saved” tab in my instagram, half of the food photos tag her. This book is perfect for someone like me because it is a full-on drill-down on every aspect of baking a pie, but never manages to veer into the dense and wonky. Take Exhibit A up there with the crimping section. (I’m definitely going Chevron this week.) I love that so much.
Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow with a few things, but would love to hear what everyone’s plan is for this very oddball Thanksgiving.
Stay safe, wear a mask