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Chef Andrew Zimmern shares tips for a downsized Thanksgiving | Food & Cooking

“I’ve spent 25 years in magazines, newspapers, TV, websites, everything, telling people here’s how you take that green bean casserole recipe and make it for 16 people. And now we’re doing the reverse,” he said.

Most Thanksgivings, you can find Zimmern busy in the kitchen, preparing a feast for two dozen guests and another dozen or so people who stop by. This year, he’ll be cooking just for two. “This might be the Thanksgiving where we all regain our culinary sanity somewhat,” he said.

That extra time is something he wants viewers to channel into thanking caregivers. In addition to helping raise his own child, Zimmern took care of his three parents during the last 10 years of their life and knows the value of checking in on and connecting.

“This caregiver’s Thanksgiving is a way to say thank you and just show support to the literally millions of caregivers who have looked after family members and friends throughout the pandemic,” he said. “They are truly special people and they often are left out of that conversation when it comes to first responders.”

This Thanksgiving comes as more than 240,000 Americans have died and millions have been laid off. A survey by AARP found that more than half of family caregivers reported feeling sadder about the holiday season. “This is the first holiday where we are celebrating family where many families have lost a loved one,” Zimmern noted.