There’s no way around it – Thanksgiving and the holidays beyond are going to be different this year. And we're up to the challenge.
Maybe you’re planning feast-of-a-smaller-scale with your household members, or going virtual with extended family and hosting a dessert contest over Zoom (bonus - you don’t have to share your pie with anyone). Either way, we’re looking at the silver lining: you get to curate the menu, play around with new recipes and, if you’re not usually the cook, you get to put your chef’s hat on for a culinary adventure.
No matter what your plans look like, it’s 1000% possible to have a day full of joy and gratitude for the people, creative pursuits and Zoom happy hours that have gotten you through 2020. If you’re still not sure how to plan the day, we've got a few tips detailed below.
(p.s. you may know that we live and work on the ancestral lands of the Duwamish Tribe. We are Real Renters and would encourage everyone to learn more about the program and join us if you're able.)
The first step is to get your supplies lined up (mise en place!). Up your kitchen game by having tools that enhance your cooking experience. Whether you’re a newbie looking to acquire the basics or a bona fide chef ready for some kitchen upgrades, there are a couple key tools you should have.
Chances are you’re going be doing a fair amount of slicing, dicing and chopping. This means your cutting board will be your best friend. We love these wood fiber cutting boards because they're easy on your knives, have grippy rubber pads at the corners and are (bonus!) dishwasher friendly. They come in different sizes and finishes so you can easily designate one for fruits and veggies and another for meats or fish. The routed grooves catch the juices from meats and fruits, keeping your countertops nice and clean. Pro-tip for deciding on which size of cutting board to use – it should be large enough to lay your knife on diagonally and still have at least a couple inches on either end.
A kitchen scale is another good tool to have and will make your baking easy breezy, particularly if you have a recipe that calls for measuring things by weight instead of volume (like the pros do!). Not to worry about this scale taking up too much space on the counter or in your drawers – it folds up for easy storage and can fit almost anywhere. If you don’t already use a scale, try one! It’ll ensure that those pies come out *chef’s kiss* perfect.
What you’re cooking with is also a smart and easy upgrade to consider. This spoon and saute tool are made of the same wood fiber as the cutting boards and are as stylish and functional as traditional wood kitchen tools while being easier to clean (dishwasher safe!). They won’t crack or split and are safe for non-stick pans.
Round out your essentials with this handy garlic rocker for mincing and crushing quickly; a compact grater to make quick work of the perfect ginger or garlic paste; and finally, we are totally in love with this adorable colander that is perfect for rinsing berries and veggies and is so cute you can display it on your counter.
And just like that, your kitchen is ready!
Plan Your Menu
Here comes the fun part! This has been a nontraditional year (to say the least), so why not have an nontraditional menu? No need to worry about sticking with the usual if it doesn’t feel right this time around, and all the better to make something fun and fresh. We’ve collected some recipes from our cookbook selection (1 - Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy, 2 - Anti-Inflammatory Eating for a Happy, Healthy Brain, 3 - PNW Veg, 4 - Simple Beautiful Food, 5 - Plant Power Bowls) to create a delightfully delicious menu and inspire you to do the same.
First thing in the morning, warm up with something sweet, like an Overnight Brioche French Toast with Caramelized Bananas . If night-before-prepping doesn't happen, enjoy some seasonal fall crops with a PNW twist and cook up a Yam and Brussels Sprout Hash with Smoked Salmon .
For a light lunch, we're digging Roasted Squash Toast with Spiced Nut Dust  along with a Sweet Corn and Red Lentil Soup  to nosh on while watching an autumnal movie.
Sides and Main
Cooking a whole turkey this year may be a tall order, especially if your Thanksgiving table is going to be a bit smaller than usual. Why not think outside of the box (and bird)? For example, try a Roast Chicken with Fried Capers and Lemon  for a just as delicious as turkey dish. And for sides, can you really go wrong with a Potato and Roasted Green Bean Salad with Silvered Almonds  and Oven-Roasted Beets with Sautéed Greens ? We didn’t think so.
Pumpkin pie is a must for many families at this time of year, but to mix it up a bit, we think making a Pumpkin Coconut Pie with an Almond Crust  would be just as mouth-wateringly good. While you’re at it whip up some Chocolate and Tahini Fudge Ice Cream  because two desserts are always better than one.
Set Your Table
Remember: just because you won’t be setting the table for a large group, doesn’t mean it can’t look cute.
Start with your placemats. We love these silicone placemats which are perfect for those with kids because they are thick and easy to clean, and don’t wear or tear. Or you could go with our Chilewich placemats which add an unexpected, tactile dimension to your table. Their woven texture makes them perfect for styling as part of your centerpiece too.
Now for the big dishes. These locally made laser cut wood trivets make a lovely statement piece with thier gorgeous designs. They also have a felt backing to ensure your surfaces stay protected. This expandable oak trivet is both practical and fun. Not only does it accommodate different sized cookware, but it also doubles as a wall hanging when not in use, meaning storing it is simple.
If you want the look of pretty glassware but don’t want to worry about damaging it over the years (we’ve definitely been there), then a set of shatterproof glasses are perfect for you. They are made of acrylic, come in either wine or champagne sizes, and are great for everyday use if you want to feel a little fancy drinking your water (don’t we all), or for special occasions and socially distanced outings.
Finally, for the finishing touch - the centerpiece. This locally handmade tea light and tray set will look right at home on your table, and can also be used as an air plant holder or as small bud vases. Either way, it makes for a great year-round décor piece and is sure you give you those warm, cozy feelings we all want to create this holiday season. Pair with these lovely Finnish soapstone pieces to round out that hygge feel.
We hope this guide will help make your Thanksgiving a memorable one no matter how it different it looks this year. And we are so thankful for you, Click! friends, because you make all of this possible and totally worth it. <3