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Old 11-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
Tiggeroo
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small thanksgiving dinner

This year will be very small thanksgiving dinner, which I'm not used to. Normally my siblings, parents and kids all get together. However, nephew has been fighting serious illness and is immune compromised. One whole chunk of the family can't participate. Other sister is a vegan but humors us all on the holidays. No point in doing that if much of the family can't attend. My dd is engaged and has a rare chance to visit with her fiance's grandmother. My one son is out of state and may fly in but we won't know til the last minute. Other son is working a new job and won't be home til at least 6pm.
Daughter and fiance will be here around 4ish to visit, have a small second meal and dessert. Until then it will be dh and I.
We plan on going out to breakfast and focusing on snacks most of the day and having a latish meal. I'm really not sure how to schedule all of this. I also have no idea how to do a small thanksgiving. DH and I could eat early and serve a second meal when everybody else strolls in and we could all do dessert and drinks together???
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggeroo View Post
This year will be very small thanksgiving dinner, which I'm not used to. Normally my siblings, parents and kids all get together. However, nephew has been fighting serious illness and is immune compromised. One whole chunk of the family can't participate. Other sister is a vegan but humors us all on the holidays. No point in doing that if much of the family can't attend. My dd is engaged and has a rare chance to visit with her fiance's grandmother. My one son is out of state and may fly in but we won't know til the last minute. Other son is working a new job and won't be home til at least 6pm.
Daughter and fiance will be here around 4ish to visit, have a small second meal and dessert. Until then it will be dh and I.
We plan on going out to breakfast and focusing on snacks most of the day and having a latish meal. I'm really not sure how to schedule all of this. I also have no idea how to do a small thanksgiving. DH and I could eat early and serve a second meal when everybody else strolls in and we could all do dessert and drinks together???
After my grandmother passed away I downsized Thanksgiving, too. Honestly, and I am sure I'll be flamed for this, because I really don't care to deal with most of my extended family, and since my grandmother was the one that really wanted us all together (all her grands and great grands) I really saw no point in it.

It's just a matter of learning to cook for a smaller amount of people. Smaller portion sizes. I buy a smaller bird, make less rolls, only 1 pie, etc. Actually I found I really like the scaled down, more relaxed dinners. ...and there was a LOT less clean up.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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No flames here. I've been doing small dinners for years and I agree on the less mess to clean up! Just grab a smaller bird, do maybe a couple sides and a pie. This year my DH just wants a bird for sandwiches so instead of sides I'll be getting buns.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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What about just getting a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey? It will cook up quicker, and if no-one eats the dark meat, it saves on waste, also.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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We have had a couple very small Thanksgivings over the past 10 years. We ended up not cooking altogether! The Marriott here does a very nice family style Thanksgiving dinner. They also pack up extra leftovers so you can have turkey sandwiches later. Not a cheap alternative, but it was nice not cooking for three people.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Rachael Ray has done several of her shows on preparing smaller Thanksgiving meals. There may be some ideas at her website.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
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I did a smaller thanksgiving once when it was just us. I made a turkey breast using Ina Garten's recipe. It was the best bird I had ever tasted. The. Only problem was no legs, and I have a leg guy.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/i...ipe/index.html


I also did twice baked potatoes, I could make just 2. Treat it like a regular dinner just with thanksgivingy food.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bigredbill View Post
We have had a couple very small Thanksgivings over the past 10 years. We ended up not cooking altogether! The Marriott here does a very nice family style Thanksgiving dinner. They also pack up extra leftovers so you can have turkey sandwiches later. Not a cheap alternative, but it was nice not cooking for three people.
That is what we do- there are only 3 of us and I hate leftovers so cooking a turkey is a giant waste when I just toss out the leftovers. We make a reservation and go out and let someone else do the cooking and cleaning. I always remember growing up my mom being in the kitchen the whole holiday cooking and cleaning and never getting to sit down with the company- women in the kitchen helping and men in the rec room sitting around the bar-- there is no way that I am going to be working my butt off on a holiday just to cook, we go out!
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggeroo View Post
This year will be very small thanksgiving dinner, which I'm not used to. Normally my siblings, parents and kids all get together. However, nephew has been fighting serious illness and is immune compromised. One whole chunk of the family can't participate. Other sister is a vegan but humors us all on the holidays. No point in doing that if much of the family can't attend. My dd is engaged and has a rare chance to visit with her fiance's grandmother. My one son is out of state and may fly in but we won't know til the last minute. Other son is working a new job and won't be home til at least 6pm.
Daughter and fiance will be here around 4ish to visit, have a small second meal and dessert. Until then it will be dh and I.
We plan on going out to breakfast and focusing on snacks most of the day and having a latish meal. I'm really not sure how to schedule all of this. I also have no idea how to do a small thanksgiving. DH and I could eat early and serve a second meal when everybody else strolls in and we could all do dessert and drinks together???
Here is what you do...you and your dh eat whenever you want. People can have leftovers and fix a plate if they want to when they come over.

Problem solved.

I made "Thanksgiving" last night for the 4 of us. I bought a small fresh turkey, made mashed potatoes, box stuffing, turkey gravy, done....

We eat leftovers so for us, not a waste, since it will be what we have for dinner tonight.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:39 AM   #10
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Thanksgiving is just DH and I. We do it on Black Friday because we have to go out to Thanksgiving dinner with his mom, grandfather and uncle on Thursday. DH likes leftovers and there is something homey and comforting about a T-Day dinner at home. So we bought a turkey breast and then small premade tubs of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (both Bob evans brand), and then a bag of stuffing that I will make along with fresh broccoli and carrots. I even sprinkle marshmallows on the premade sweet potatoes. It makes for a great meal that night and plenty for leftovers over the weekend.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:51 AM   #11
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DH and I did this when we lived away from family and had perfectly lovely times! We made a turkey breast (in a roasting bag) and had our favorite sides and no others. Dressing, green bean casserole, asparagus, and sweet potato casserole, if memory serves. Dessert was either our favorite bakery cake or I whipped up a pumpkin pie (those are easy and fast). These days we'd probably just buy our favorite individual pieces of cake from our local bakeries (Total Non Sequitur: Baton Rouge has the BEST cakes and bakeries of any place I've ever lived. If they'd only steal buttermilk drops from NO, my confectionary life would be perfect.)

It was nice. We'd save up some movies that were new to DVD to unwrap and watch on the Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas). Then we'd nosh all day on our feast while we curled up against one another annd watched TV.

Of course, then, there was that one Christmas that our GSD stole and ENTIRE turkey breast. . .
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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I agree with doing whatever you want to do! If you like turkey the turkey breast is a great idea. Then focus on the side dishes you love. Or, you can make something totally different. I would plan for leftovers for you one son when he comes home from work. That would be nice for him. If the other son can make it, you can still go with the smaller dinner.

Then desserts and drinks for the later vistors sounds perfect. I would really concentrate on making this fun for you.

If you miss your extended family see if it is okay to give them a call at the hospital. They may welcome a nice chat from you.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:33 PM   #13
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We almost always do a small Turkey day. If it is just the three of us, I'll do just a breast, or last year I used breast cutlets and rolled with stuffing filling. I make a salad, sweet potato side dish we love, cranberry sauce, and some stuffing. And the pie for dessert.

If your son will be working until 6, why not do dinner once he gets home, and leave the leftovers on a warming tray or in the oven and offer to late arriving guests (if they don't want dessert)?
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by java View Post
I did a smaller thanksgiving once when it was just us. I made a turkey breast using Ina Garten's recipe. It was the best bird I had ever tasted. The. Only problem was no legs, and I have a leg guy.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/i...ipe/index.html


I also did twice baked potatoes, I could make just 2. Treat it like a regular dinner just with thanksgivingy food.
Thanks for that link!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #15
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There are just the two of us this year and I am doing a full dinner. I am modifying it, though. Turkey breast intead of a whole turkey, a few potatoes for mashing, gravy, green beans, salad, stuffing, cranberries, and a pie.

We'll have leftovers for four days! YAY!
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