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Food Recreating Thanksgiving in the Time of Coronavirus

16:40  26 october  2020
16:40  26 october  2020 Source:   food52.com

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  How to navigate awkward political conversations at Thanksgiving dinner after a tense election Stress from an unprecedented year could lead to conflict during Thanksgiving. Here's how to handle a political debate at dinner.Stress from COVID-19, health care, the economy, racism and the presidential election is threatening American's mental health, according to the annual “Stress in America” survey from the American Psychological Association. Stress or feeling overwhelmed is the primary reason people cite for being rude, which has the potential to ignite conflict during the holidays, according to Christine Porath, a professor at Georgetown University and the author of "Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace.

Thanksgiving this year will be different. A lot different. It’s something we’ve anticipated all summer long, secretly hoping we’d be wrong. Some of us haven’t fully wrapped our heads around what the day will look like—or are avoiding thinking about it. “The entire holiday season feels as upended as a tarte tatin,” says Ellen Gray, chief baker at The Able Baker in Maplewood, N.J.

a plate of food on a table © Provided by Food52

For an occasion that’s rich with the ideal of togetherness, the irony is that many of us will be cut off from family and friends. So, how will we gather? Safely, for one, with each family evaluating their own risk-benefit of gathering. Our tables will likely look a lot more snug. They might be outdoors. (Friendsgiving picnic with deconstructed stuffing, anyone?) And with fewer seats taken, we might even skip the emotional tumult that is political chatter and focus on the cranberry sauce—and that’s the silver lining.

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What’s on the table might look different, too. Some of us will hold on to what’s familiar a little tighter, determined to make of it a delicious, cozy holiday. Others will break with tradition (prime rib? A turkey…salad?) Meals might look lighter—for some, that translates to anything that does not involve cooking all day. Anita's Yogurt founder Anita Shepherd said in a recent taping of The Genius Recipe Tapes, that she'll likely “make a bowl of popcorn, add poultry seasoning, make a cocktail...and be done."

There's also a concerted effort to want to break bread with others—not just family and friends, but neighbors and community members that are alone, or cannot cook.

So yes, Thanksgiving this year will look different. But how will it feel? Nostalgic? Lonesome? Grateful? Hopeful? We asked a cross-section of people—from our staff and community to chefs, farmers, and business owners—for their sentiments about the holiday in a year like no other, and how they’re making the most of things.

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a group of fruit and vegetables: What Food Was *Actually* Served at the First Thanksgiving © Provided by Food52 What Food Was *Actually* Served at the First Thanksgiving What Food Was *Actually* Served at the First Thanksgiving

"Making it to the other side of 2020 has been a titanic undertaking for people in the restaurant industry, and when the pandemic hit, our mantra was: "The only way out is through". Now that the holidays are in sight, we are looking at not only how to make it through, but how to make it better. The holidays will be our chance to express how grateful we are to our community for helping to keep us in business. We won't travel this year, but we will be making food at the restaurant to donate to a local soup kitchen."—Unmi Abkin and Roger Taylor, chef-owners, Coco & The Cellar Bar

"What I’m looking forward to most this Thanksgiving is being able to celebrate the holiday with family, friends, and our restaurant staff. As a person who is now six months in recovering from COVID-19 with unrelenting symptoms, opening two restaurants at this time has tested every part of my being. Neither restaurant could have been opened without the support of all; so giving back to them well beyond thank yous, love, and paychecks will be my testament to their loving, kind souls."Todd Richards, chef, owner, Lake and Oak BBQ and author, Soul: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes

This bourbon-brined turkey will give you the best gravy ever

  This bourbon-brined turkey will give you the best gravy ever Thanksgiving is a little over a week away, but there's no need to panic. If you haven't figured out how you're going to prepare your bird this year, there is one techinique that trumps the rest: brining. This year, try out this bourbon-brined turkey recipe. Not only will it leave you with a moist turkey, it'll also give you the fixings for the best pan gravy ever. The Best Thanksgiving Recipes It doesn't matter if you deep-fry, roast or air-fry your turkey, the best way to start the process is to brine it. Keep in mind that brining takes time, so you'll need to prepare your turkey the night before Thanksgiving. .

a plate of food on a table: Hot Water Cornbread From Todd Richards © Provided by Food52 Hot Water Cornbread From Todd Richards Hot Water Cornbread From Todd Richards

"We don’t usually see family for Thanksgiving, but this year, because we’ve been so deprived of family, we’re planning to create a “pod” with my mom so that we can see her for the holiday—the first time in more than a year. It will probably involve us getting tested and figuring out the best way to travel to her in Florida. I’ve never had Thanksgiving in a warm climate before, so I’m curious how I’ll feel about all the hefty comfort foods that the holiday brings. When we’re home in Brooklyn, we don’t always have turkey for Thanksgiving so we might have to dare my mom to consider Gulf shrimp!"Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO, Food52 and devoted fan of Meta Given's pumpkin pie

a slice of cake on a plate: Meta Given's Pumpkin Pie © Provided by Food52 Meta Given's Pumpkin Pie Meta Given's Pumpkin Pie

"I've hosted Friendsgiving nearly every year for the past 16 years and my philosophy has always been 'the more, the merrier.' This year, that's the opposite of what we want! But, I'm trying to be flexible and focus on the other aspects of the holiday—besides the company—that makes it feel like Thanksgiving. For me they're: spending all day cooking, eating pie, and taking it extremely easy for the long weekend after. I'm trying to get excited about doing those things—and if a handful of friends decide we're comfortable eating outside (being in Southern California will make that a lot more likely), or get tested and quarantine, then great!"— Emily Stephenson, recipe developer and author, The Friendsgiving Handbook

Don't like turkey? Make this orange clove ham for Thanksgiving instead

  Don't like turkey? Make this orange clove ham for Thanksgiving instead The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Thanksgiving is probably turkey. But for every turkey recipe out there and every turkey fan, there are some people who just plain don't like the stuff. If that's you, this orange clove ham is a great alternative to turkey, especially if you plan to scale down your Thanksgiving dinner this year. The Best Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes Ham is an often overlooked protein, relegated to easy weeknight dinners with a side of scalloped potatoes. The orange glaze on this easy to prep dish gives a slightly sweet and deeply aromatic note to the baked ham.


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"My family is vegetarian, so Thanksgiving is usually all about the sides—we’ll make a big pot of koftas, or a pan of lasagna, or even a tofurkey (that happened just once and was an epic failure) for posterity's sake, but too many leftovers inevitably remain. This year, like many others, I won’t be traveling anywhere, so I plan to invite a couple friends over for an all-sides meal in smaller portions than normal.

"We’re talking mac & cheese, stuffing, greens gratin, mushroom gravy, cranberry sauce, and at least two types of pie. These can all be made in advance, so I can spend actual Thanksgiving day drinking mulled cider and watching scary movies with my small-but-mighty invite list."—Brinda Ayer, editorial lead, Food52

a pizza sitting on top of a pan: Broccoli Rabe Gratin © Provided by Food52 Broccoli Rabe Gratin Broccoli Rabe Gratin

"This Thanksgiving is decidedly different, and this certainly shows at my butcher counter. With such uncertainty, this holiday season we will be stocking birds for the smaller occasions we are anticipating. If you were ever curious as to what a cornish hen, guinea fowl, or squab tastes like...this is your year! My own family of three will be indulging in a roast duck with roasted grapes and definitely a persimmon salad. I haven't figured out the rest though I'm excited for us to have this opportunity as I have long advocated something other than turkey to my extended family."—Lena Diaz, head butcher at Greene Grape Provisions (aka, the "meat mayor" of Brooklyn)

How to make stuffing ahead of time and freeze it

  How to make stuffing ahead of time and freeze it Preparing your Thanksgiving dinner takes time. Like, a lot of time. One of the top mistakes holiday hosts make is trying to cook everything on that food-filled Thursday. So, the question arises: What Thanksgiving dishes can you make ahead of time? Stuffing is a necessity but it does take up room. So can you cook your stuffing before turkey day? The Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes for Turkey, Potatoes and More Luckily, the comforting dish can be made early and stored in the freezer.But before diving into the stuffing-making process a few days early, it’s important to first know how to safely prepare the iconic Thanksgiving side dish.

a pan of food on a table: Melissa Clark's Really Easy Duck Confit © Provided by Food52 Melissa Clark's Really Easy Duck Confit Melissa Clark's Really Easy Duck Confit

"This year, it'll likely just be my immediate family of four at our table. Thanksgiving is my husband's and my favorite holiday, so we're planning to cook a traditional dinner with turkey (albeit a smaller bird!) and our favorite trimmings (like these Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes). We'll likely do Zoom calls with family and friends, play lots of board games, and spend the day in the kitchen with the kids. It won't be the same as our gatherings with loved ones from past years, but we're determined to make the day feel special."—Emily Connor, Food52 community member (and mastermind of this delicious autumnal sweet potato stew)

"Most years, there are at least a dozen guests at my home for Thanksgiving, but this year will be different. Instead of having family over, I am making Thanksgiving dinner and delivering it to neighbors and friends who are alone and do not—or cannot—cook. It is all about happy memories and food prepared with love and shared with friends and family."—Suzanne DeBrango, Food52 community member and recipe blogger

a plate of food on a table: Butter & Herb Roast Turkey © Provided by Food52 Butter & Herb Roast Turkey Butter & Herb Roast Turkey

"As a professional pie baker who discreetly waves good-bye to each pie that leaves the bakery, I take my job seriously. Most years, more than 600 pies cross the baker’s bench on the day before Thanksgiving. My guess is that pie sales will be brisk despite the uncertainty of gathering, because one thing remains constant: Pie always makes us feel better."—Ellen Gray, chief pie baker at The Able Baker

This apple pie is the only dessert you'll need on your table this Thanksgiving

  This apple pie is the only dessert you'll need on your table this Thanksgiving Apple pie is like the dessert version of America's sweetheart. It's the quintessential Thanksgiving treat and makes appearances on holiday dinner tables in the White House and throughout the country. The sense of tradition that comes with a slice of apple pie is what makes it so great. Forge your own tradition with this perfect apple pie recipe — it'll be your go-to dessert for years to come. The Best Thanksgiving Recipes Pies are a great holiday dessert because they're relatively easy to make. For this recipe, you'll be making the crust from scratch, but even for that all you really need is a few common pantry staples.

"This Thanksgiving will be a tough one for so many of us who aren't able to travel to see family, so I'm trying to keep in mind positive ways to connect—both for myself and in the Genius Recipes I'm sharing with Food52's readers who might be in the same boat. It's a good year for all of us to try a new recipe or four (for me: a kooky, high-maintenance turkey technique, and maybe for once no green bean casserole), hop on Zoom with our families to compare notes, and text our neighbors to see if they're hungry for leftover pie."—Kristen Miglore, founding editor & creative director, Genius

a close up of a slice of pizza on a pan: Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese © Provided by Food52 Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese

"In previous years, my favorite part of Thanksgiving has been to cook alongside friends and family—the making of a meal by everyone contributing a little something. We haven’t wrapped our heads around what the day will look like for just the four of us this time, but part of the day will include video conferencing with friends and family while they are also preparing their meals. I hope this will give us a sense of being connected even if we are not in the same physical space. My hope is that the simplicity of the day will give us a chance to really be together—now more than ever I crave togetherness."—Aran Goyoaga, food blogger and author, Cannelle et Vanille

a pizza sitting on top of a metal pan: Yes, You Can Throw a Thanksgiving Feast With *Only* Sides © Provided by Food52 Yes, You Can Throw a Thanksgiving Feast With *Only* Sides Yes, You Can Throw a Thanksgiving Feast With *Only* Sides

"We are definitely cooking the same size turkey (leftovers!) and lineup as in the past: gravy, mashed potatoes, two stuffings (one GF cornbread), sweet potato soufflé, and potato rolls are always on the table, no matter the year.

Work-wise, this is always a busy time of year for building tables, and this year especially so as people are spending much more time at home. Whether gathering around the family table that’s been there for decades, or a brand new table, the focus for all of us is most definitely on the family and food around it."—Jessica Glasscoe, founder at Vermont Farm Table

Staggering map shows nearly 7,000 Thanksgiving flights as millions fly

  Staggering map shows nearly 7,000 Thanksgiving flights as millions fly Thanksgiving travel is far exceeding initial estimates, as millions of pandemic-weary Americans take to the skies, roads and rails to reunite with their families despite dire warnings.At noon on Tuesday, data from FlightRadar24 showed 6,972 planes crisscrossing the U.S., slightly down from last year but even more than at the same time and day in 2018. The U.S. flights on Tuesday accounted for 65 percent of worldwide planes in the air, up from less than half each of the last two years.

What is Thanksgiving looking like for you this year? Tell us in the comments below!

food on a table: How to Brine a Turkey for the. Juiciest. Bird. Ever. © Provided by Food52 How to Brine a Turkey for the. Juiciest. Bird. Ever. How to Brine a Turkey for the. Juiciest. Bird. Ever. a bunch of food sitting on a table: 10 Ways to Make Your Home Cozier Than an Oversized Sweater This Thanksgiving © Provided by Food52 10 Ways to Make Your Home Cozier Than an Oversized Sweater This Thanksgiving 10 Ways to Make Your Home Cozier Than an Oversized Sweate...
Five Two Adjustable Rolling Pin © Provided by Food52 Five Two Adjustable Rolling Pin Five Two Adjustable Rolling Pin a table topped with plates of food on a plate: Food52 x GreenPan Nonstick Cookware Collection © Provided by Food52 Food52 x GreenPan Nonstick Cookware Collection Food52 x GreenPan Nonstick Cookware Collection Ultimate Turkey Kit © Provided by Food52 Ultimate Turkey Kit Ultimate Turkey Kit

Staggering map shows nearly 7,000 Thanksgiving flights as millions fly .
Thanksgiving travel is far exceeding initial estimates, as millions of pandemic-weary Americans take to the skies, roads and rails to reunite with their families despite dire warnings.At noon on Tuesday, data from FlightRadar24 showed 6,972 planes crisscrossing the U.S., slightly down from last year but even more than at the same time and day in 2018. The U.S. flights on Tuesday accounted for 65 percent of worldwide planes in the air, up from less than half each of the last two years.

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