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  • Elle Sten

Thanksgiving at Home

Unlike Easter this past year, Thanksgiving was a holiday I absolutely didn't mind spending at home. I remember the fuss of last year, our first with a baby, trying to make the drive, rushing between stops, sitting in traffic, it was all overwhelming and stressful. We didn't sit and enjoy a meal or quality time with anyone and were scratched way too thin. This year, with cases spiking and a national plee to stay at home, we gladly planned a quiet Thanksgiving for just the three of us.

We kept it simple with a limited menu. Slow-cooker mac and cheese, turkey breast tenderloin, cranberry sauce and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes, and a pecan pie. It was nice to only focus on the classics and omit ones we didn't like. (Happy to cut out the sweet potatoes!)

Small and simple. Fortunately I have two ovens, so the green bean casserole and turkey could be baked at the same time. The turkey breasts turned out to be just enough for us to get our fill on the holiday and make leftover sandwiches with the following day. My husband marveled over how flavorful it turned out to be!

The pie went in first thing and had plenty of time to cool. Everything else could be done stove top, so it was really easy to keep things warm and get them on the table in a timely manner. I didn't have to double or triple any recipes the way I would for a crowd.

A quick pre-dinner post-nap pic, jus the three of us but very happy.

Thanksgiving food was Jack approved! The cranberry sauce was a bit jarring and he made a very sour face, but instantly went back for more. Food and family time was enjoyed by all.

As the year and holiday winds down, I reflect on another holiday spent apart from family in 2020. While I was very sad about missing the big family Easter, Thanksgiving couldn't be more welcome to spend at home. We avoided the traffic of last year still figuring out life with a new baby. Even more calming is we avoided the needing to rush to multiple stops and houses without offending anyone. Usually it's eat and run or run just before eating. This year, we got to sit and thoroughly enjoy one meal. Jack got to stick to his nap and bed routines. No stress of travel. We got to get comfy in our pajamas shortly after eating, enjoy the Turkey Day event in Animal crossing, and then some pie after putting Jack to sleep.

After having spent many Thanksgivings worried about rushing into work for an all-nighter with the crowds, serving crabby and disappointed shoppers their coffee, and trying to stay awake and functional, then to pulled in too many directions family Thanksgivings, this was absolutely the best ever. Feeling fortunate and blessed, I finished my oversized slice of pecan pie and went off to bed after a peek on the baby.

Stay well,


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