Modern Thanksgiving

Covid-19 Thanksgiving

Modern Thanksgiving

Kayla Ducey

Introduction

The year 2020 has been an interesting one for many community members in Tumwater and more widely, the world. Due to the circumstances of Covid-19, many families are far apart and unable to come together and celebrate the holidays. Many people are afraid to get on planes and travel to see their loved ones, and for others the trek of driving is too far and dangerous, because of the upcoming winter weather. Although there are many  setbacks to this holiday season, there are still ways to come together and share gratitude. 

Celebrations from Afar

A few ways to celebrate with your family abroad and across the country is to call them and have dinner together at the same time. Before the Coronavirus, many people have used several different applications to talk to their families. Tuấn Dương, a local community member, phones his family in Vietnam often to see how they are doing.  He is also using a social media platform to share with him his many different experiences while living in America. Although we aren’t together in real life, we can always feel connected through our online services.

Celebrations at Home

 This year those who wish to protect themselves and loved ones are having either their immediate family over for dinner or just a few family members. To shorten the waste of food and avoid forcing left overs on guests, there are modern recipes to help with the condensed portions. 

Recipe: Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Instead of using a full-sized turkey for a small get together, reduce possible waste by using Cornish game hens. They are small and flavorful!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, quartered, to stuff in hens
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, to stuff in hens
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Herb Seasoning Blend
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 16 cloves garlic

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Rub chickens with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Lightly season chickens with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  • Place 1 lemon wedge, 4 garlic cloves, and 1 sprig rosemary in the cavity of each hen.
  • Arrange chickens in a large, heavy roasting pan or on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • Roast in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear – and chicken’s internal temperature is 170°F degrees.
  • Remove hens from the oven when they reach 170°F degrees with an instant read digital thermometer.
  • Tent hens with aluminum foil as hens carryover cook, do not carve for at least 10 minutes.
  • Serve individual chickens on diners plates, and encourage them to carve tableside for a fun dinner!

Cite: The Best Roasted Cornish Game Hens Recipe – Sweet Cs Designs

Recipe: Tofurky Roast

Veganism and Vegetarianism is one of the fastest growing diets! Tofurky is the perfect item for those family members who do not consume meat!

Tofurky is a pre-made item that you can buy from the store (Available at the following stores: Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Safeway, and some Costco locations!)

Although the item comes pre-made, you can still spruce it up!

This is the packaging for Tofurky!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 TOFURKY ROAST, THAWED IN FRIDGE FOR 24 HOURS

If needed, refer to the Tofurky tips  to cook from frozen.

FOR THE BASTE:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons each of fresh chopped thyme, oregano, sage, and rosemary (for dried herbs, use ½ teaspoon each or substitute with 2 teaspoons dried poultry or Italian seasoning – rubbed not ground)
  • VEGETABLES (OPTIONAL):
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6-10 Creamer potatoes, halved

*When chopping the vegetables, keep the pieces in large and uniform pieces as they’re going to cook for over an hour.

*Other vegetable options: onion, parsnips, large broccoli florets, halved Brussels sprouts.

FOR THE GRAVY (OPTIONAL):

  • Tofurky “drippings” 
  • 3 tablespoons (35 grams) flour
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable broth
  • “Drippings” is the gravy that is already on the tofurky!

Cite: How to Cook a Tofurky Roast » I LOVE VEGAN

Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Cauliflower heads that are grey-ish in color are spoiled.

This recipe is not vegan, but it can be with substitution items! This is a healthy alternative and diabetic friendly option!

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower*
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 2.5 ounces by weight)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped chives optional

Instructions: 

  • Cut the cauliflower heads down into florets, then steam or boil for about 8-10 minutes, until completely fork tender and soft.
  • You can also cook the florets in an Instant Pot, by adding 1/2 cup of water to the bottom, and placing the cauliflower florets on the steamer insert. Using low pressure, steam for 8 minutes.  
  • Let the cauliflower drain and cool, then squeeze in a kitchen towel to remove the majority of the water in the cauliflower. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve had success with using tongs or rubber gloves to squeeze the cauliflower while it’s still hot, just don’t use your bare hands!
  • For a chunkier cauliflower mash, mix the cauliflower with the remaining ingredients by hand.
  • For a smoother texture, puree the squeezed cauliflower in a food processor with everything but the chives, for about one minutes, until smooth.
  • Mix in the chives if desired, or simply sprinkle on top to garnish. Enjoy! 

Cite: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes – Mashed Cauliflower

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Muffin

This year is all about trying new things, so let’s try turning cranberry sauce into something the entire family will enjoy.

Oat streusel topping!

MUFFINS:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/4 cups leftover homemade cranberry sauce

OAT STREUSEL TOPPING:

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 12-cup muffin tray with muffin liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the milk, egg and vanilla and stir to combine. This mixture will be lumpy.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and give it a couple stirs. Do not fully combine.
  • Add in the cranberry sauce and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Divide batter evenly among the muffin liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the oat streusel topping ingredients until combined and crumbly. Sprinkle a spoonful on top of each muffin.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.

Cite: Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins with Oat Streusel Topping

Conclusion

After discussing with several vegetarian and vegan Tumwater students, many of them do not have compensation for their diet restrictions. Many just eat whatever is available to them and avoid eating meat or any non-vegan foods. Sadie Hill, a senior at Tumwater, says her favorite Thanksgiving foods to eat are “stuffing and green beans”. She also shared that her aunt cooks vegan food and that she enjoys it a lot. To get more answers, an interview was conducted with a Tumwater mother. Many of her children have moved out and gone to college, and because of the traveling restrictions and difficulties caused by COVID-19, she is not able to have them over this year. To accommodate for the mouths she is going to feed, she shared that she will be using Cornish Game hens. She explains that she actually prefers them to turkey because they are “not as dry” and hold flavor extremely well.