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I made a downsized Thanksgiving feast for 2: Thanksgiving recipes

  • With family gatherings limited this year in efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people will be making Thanksgiving dinner for smaller groups. 
  • I tried to downsize my usual holiday table-for-10 and make a full feast for just two people. 
  • I made a small boneless turkey breast and just one vegetable this year. Usually, we’ll have a full turkey plus red meat and multiple veggie options to choose from. 
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I’ve never made a full Thanksgiving dinner by myself. Knowing that this year will be many people’s first time attempting the meal due to restrictions aimed at helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I wanted to give it a shot.

If your current quarantine pod consists of you and just one other person you live with, as mine does, then you may want to scale back on the food — making an entire turkey or a full-sized sweet potato casserole seems unnecessary and wasteful. Plus, you can only accommodate so many leftovers in a New York City apartment-sized freezer.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still go all out in the kitchen cooking everything from scratch.

I thought of some foods that are on a typical Thanksgiving table — turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and mashed or baked potatoes — and came up with a miniaturized menu for myself and my roommate.  

Instead of a whole turkey, or even a whole turkey breast, I made a one-pound piece of turkey breast. Rather than using the whole bag of cranberries for my sauce, I only used half. One sweet potato cut in half made two marshmallow-topped portions. I chose to make one green vegetable rather than a variety. And baked potato chips were a great alternative to having another soft potato on the plate. 

The only dish I couldn’t bring myself to downsize was stuffing. It’s simply too good and makes amazing leftovers for the days after your meal. Speaking of leftovers, I believe they’re the best part of any holiday meal. So even if you make a little too much of a couple of dishes, know that you’ll be eating well the day after (and maybe even the day after that).