Tina at Building a Family asks:
I’d love advice on how to cut down the traditional family thanksgiving dinner so it serves two without sacrificing the quality of the food. most one or two person thank giving recipes have turned out pretty pathetic taste wise. Reasonable amounts of left overs are acceptable but I don’t want to eat that dinner – no matter how fab for a month.
I am about to suggest something, Tina, that sort of makes me want to stab myself in the face. The reason I have this case of the stabbies is simple: I got this idea from Rachel Ray. Rachel Freaking Ray. You know how I feel about Ray Ray.
But here it is: just roast a turkey breast. Of course, if you are in to dark meat, you will miss out, but this seems like a perfect solution. It is smaller, yet still has skin to stuff herbs, some lemon zest, and butter under. There will still be some leftovers, but a manageable amount.
If you aren’t in to the turkey breast idea, how about cornish game hens? I know to many people that Thanksgiving means turkey, but truth be told, I feel like half the people I know don’t even like it. Buck tradition a little, roast everyone a hen, and be done with it.
As far as the other stuff goes, I say be brutal and make cuts as to what you are going to have for side dishes. For me, the mashed potatoes are always the first to find their way to the chopping block; I can eat those any time. But a Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce or cornbread stuffing? Unthinkable. Unclutter your table and make some tough choices.
Lastly, get out of the mindset that you need to make huge portions. Dice up and roast two sweet potatoes instead of making an elaborate casserole with 6. Make a quick stuffing with a few pieces of bread. Purchase a few rolls, loose, at the bakery instead of a whole package. Throw together a small, simple apple crisp with a crumble topping instead of a huge pie. It seems obvious, but us gluttonous Americans have a tendency to think more is more and we are not satisfied unless our bowls are overflowing. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
The next few weeks are going to be filled with Thanksgiving posts, so if you have questions pipe up.