It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving
is just a few weeks away, but the biggest fall holiday
is fast approaching and this year you don’t have to celebrate it in the usual way. You can make your Thanksgiving feast a bit more creative and really give everyone something to enjoy by shaking up tradition a bit.
If you’re usually a Thanksgiving dinner kind of family, this is your year to really shake things up and try something new. For example, you can eat earlier. To get ready for a Thanksgiving brunch, you’ll have to put the turkey on very early in the morning, or perhaps even in the middle of night, but it’s possible to do it if it makes the actual day more fun. Then, when the turkey’s ready at 10 am, you can enjoy the turkey with an entirely new range of food items that are more suitable to brunch then dinner.
That way, the family gathering can all enjoy the food the rest of the day – not just the evening. This will help prevent leftovers and get the biggest preparation and clean up of the day over with before noon – leaving you plenty of time to just play and have fun again. After all, isn’t that the main point of Thanksgiving? Time with family and plenty of leftovers you can enjoy for days? You might even be able to have different family members “host” the different meals throughout the day – bringing out new dishes as you go along.
Who said the turkey has to be roasted? Give the oven a break this year and invest in a giant collection of turkey legs instead. Put the leg on the grill and prepare more casual sides like potato wedges, corn on the cob and any other slew of yummy items that would be perfect for a casual Thanksgiving feast. If your weather is warm enough, you can even set up card tables outside, ala Charlie Brown, and let everyone enjoy the feast in the more natural elements – just the way our ancestors did.
The Neighborhood Thanksgiving
If you have a bunch of neighbors coming home with leftovers in the evening, start a new tradition of having everyone over for a big second Thanksgiving feast that evening or the next day. Put on the football game – any game will do, usually – and then have everyone heat up all the leftovers. Throw them on a card table and have a second helping of everything available.
This is a great way to help use up leftovers and it’s also a nice way to visit with neighbors on a day when everyone is usually off work and out of school. If your neighbors aren’t interested in playing along, you can always invite your group of friends over to spend the afternoon lunching on leftovers and watching the game. Who knows, maybe your little party will even expand into a real fiesta of all your friends. The only rule, of course, will be that everyone who comes to play will have to bring in a dish of leftovers for admission.