Tonawanda News


November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving for two

Tonawanda News — When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner — the dinner of all dinners — most folks think of a huge spread that will be consumed by many people, often over the course of a few days or more. 

Large, 30-pound birds accompanied by huge dishes filled with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mountains of rolls and any number of other assorted sides. Top the whole thing of with “just a little sliver of each” of a handful of pies and Thanksgiving dinner can truly feed an army.

But what if your family is small? What if family is out of town for the holiday, or you can’t travel to see them if you’re the one that lives far away? What if, like me, you have just a small immediate family? 

I’ve personally learned a few tricks of the trade after about a decade of being the only child of a single mother, and then another 15 years of only a slightly larger family when my step-dad came along. Top that off with several years of cooking for one and you’ve got the makings of a great column about preparing small Thanksgiving dinners. 

(Or a rather sad column about how I’ve had to learn to adapt recipes meant for larger families.) Moving on.

Don’t be afraid

to use shortcuts

With fewer people to feed, you’ll also have fewer helpers in the kitchen. Even if you’re cooking in smaller quantities, keeping track of a roasting turkey, peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes and rolling out the perfect pie crust — along with preparing all the other dishes on the menu — can be a bit daunting for one (or two people if you’re lucky enough to convince your dining partner to help.)

Go ahead and use that pre-made pie crust. Heck, if you have a bakery you like, buy dessert from them and forgo the trouble altogether. And there’s nothing wrong with using those already-cut-up vegetables from the grocery store. 

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