Let’s face it, now more than ever we are longing to be in the presence of family and friends during the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. The pandemic has isolated so many of us from family traditions and celebrations over the past 7 months, which in turn has created an atmosphere of craving interaction, love and comfort for all of us. But if you’re unsure if you want to “skip” Thanksgiving this year and are feeling very anxious about the decision, you’re likely not alone. One part of the pain and tragedy of the pandemic is that even a simple family gathering requires a thought out plan of keeping everyone in attendance safe.
First off it’s important to think long and hard about what really matters most….”What need am I attempting to fulfill” and “can I live with not having a traditional Thanksgiving?” Everyone’s situation is different/unique and has its own pros & cons.
A small family of young, healthy people eating a picnic style dinner vs. a large one where multiple generations mingle and are in an indoor setting for multiple hours could very well be the perfect recipe for Covid. It’s different for a person who has been painfully isolated for months than it is for someone who has had contact with work associates and or family. It’s different for someone wondering if this might be the last Thanksgiving they have with a beloved family member than it is for someone whose relatives will all likely be around next year.
So what can we do? Well I’m downsizing my Thanksgiving this year to a party of one. At the same time relishing the memories and recipes of past Turkey Days. My suggestion is that if you are planning to distance yourself from friends and family this year that you immediately arrange a “recipe swap” with your loved ones. The idea is that you prepare someone else’s cherished holiday favorite while at the same time sharing yours. The fun in this will occur when you pop on a zoom call or traditional call the day of Thanksgiving and be able to share stories of your experience preparing the recipe and how you enjoyed it. And don’t forget to snap a couple photos so that next year you may once again be inspired to challenge yourself to a new recipe. However you decide to celebrate this year it is my hope that your day is filled with laughter and love even if your flying solo.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed, Healthy and Delicious Holiday Season.
Roasted Autumn Brussels
5 Pounds fresh Brussels Sprouts
1 Cup Blended oil
4 Tbsp each Cracked Black Pepper and Kosher Salt
Trim Brussels and cut in half thru the core. Place in medium size bowl and toss with oil, salt and pepper, and set aside. In a medium size sauce pot combine the following ingredients:
1 cup Golden Raisins
1 cup Dark Raisins
1 cup pitted prunes
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 cups Apple Juice
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp each Cracked Black Pepper and Kosher Salt
1 cup Pistachios, reserve for garnish
On a low heat, simmer the above ingredients (not the pistachios) until the fruit is extremely soft, approx. 90 minutes. If liquid evaporates before fruit is tender add in 1 cup of water and continue to simmer. Place compote in a food processor and pulse to a slightly chunky consistency. Transfer to a small bowl and place in refrigerator uncovered.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place Brussels on a baking sheet and roast in oven 45-50 minutes until they begin to slightly brown. Remove from oven and place in a medium bowl, add in 1 cup of the prepared compote and 1 cup pistachios. Place in a serving bowl and enjoy immediately.
Note: Remaining compote can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to one week and used as a garnish for a grilled Pork Chop or Tenderloin, or as an accompaniment to your favorite cheeses.