Sometimes the best-laid family Thanksgiving plans do not entirely pan out. Due to various circumstances or issues, your family is left with just a small gathering. With the help of my mother, I have a few great ideas to make sure the house is still warm, and the cooking is still delicious for your holiday meal, despite only having a limited number of guests.
Try cooking up a smaller meal, a turkey roast, beef roast, pot roast, or pork roast. All of the meals come mostly prepared if you purchase them from the store, sans various fixins, or spices.
These options drastically cut cooking time, but also allow for a great small family meal with plenty of left overs. Using simple preparations, this meal can easily be made in the oven in a short period of time.
Better, if you combine a couple together, you allow for plenty of options in the meal. Just as with a full thanksgiving turkey, stuffing or cranberries can go very well with meal, and of course dessert pies are always a good option, no matter what is on the table!
There are a couple of options for improving the taste of this meal, such as try slow-cooking method at lower temperature or try out various ways to marinate the roast. This can really tenderize the meal, or make them full various juices to really bring out the roast taste.
Stuart Stein explores the virtues of a slow cooked roast in his blog Love Me Tender.
Best of all with this meal, if made in a large enough servings, there will still be plenty of left-overs! I have a few great left-over meal ideas if a classic thanksgiving meal is getting somehow stale. Turkey salad is always a great next day meal option, as a good roasted bird tastes fantastic with lettuce! Another one of my favorites involves dinner roles, small pieces of turkey, butter and mashed potatoes. Put those three ingredients together for a fantastic next day snack (I couldn’t get enough of that little delicacy this year!).
Divine Caroline shares a few more great left-over ideas in one of my favorite blog posts nicknamed Recycling Grub.
So if you are completely unprepared to handle a traditional turkey thanksgiving dinner, there is at least a few options that should make life just a bit easier.