I know I’m not the only one. I’m sure there are others like me who absolutely enjoy Thanksgiving dinner but make it only once a year. Part of it is all the work it requires. Another part of it is the amount of food it involves. An additional part is the vast amount of dishes it creates. So, although I enjoy the turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and other assorted sides, I usually only make it at Thanksgiving.
As May rolled around this year, I began to think about that fall holiday. Our spring has been cold and gray, much like a November afternoon, so I guess that brought Thanksgiving to mind. Without a big crowd I didn’t want to venture into the area of a full turkey dinner, but I did have some inspiration for a pared down, tapas-style meal. The recipes for that dinner will be shared throughout the next two weeks.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve tinkered with the idea of Thanksgiving in May. Just last year I created a Thanksgiving style burger. That year we were gifted with warmth earlier in the season, which inspired outdoor cooking. This year our spring has been slow to start with a few really warm days infused, almost as a tease, which led me to make an oven-based meal.
There are numerous ways to bring about the flavors of Thanksgiving without all the effort of a full meal. A few tasty shortcuts:
- Replace ground beef with ground turkey when making meatloaf. Use gravy instead of ketchup to simulate the taste of Thanksgiving.
- Go really simple and purchase lunchmeat turkey and jarred gravy for some quick hot turkey sandwiches.
- Opt for turkey cutlets. Sauté in a frying pan and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.
If you have lovely weather on hand, you can’t beat my Thanksgiving in a Burger. For full Thanksgiving flavor be sure to use some cranberry-infused mayonnaise or cranberry sauce on the burger. For a complete twist on Thanksgiving serve it with french fries in place of mashed potatoes and a three bean salad in lieu of the classic green bean bake. There will be a lot fewer dishes to wash but just as much flavor!