When Is Thanksgiving in 2020?
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Think it's too early to prepare for Thanksgiving? Think again
Simplify your Thanksgiving planning by starting early and using The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving.
The same thing happens every year: you find yourself at the end of July starting to think about back-to-school supplies, then all of a sudden it’s Labor Day, then Columbus Day, then Halloween, and before you know it, Thanksgiving and the holiday season have crept up on you out of nowhere.
But apparently, Americans have started thinking about Thanksgiving earlier than ever, according to a Google search trends report. And why shouldn’t they? With the hoards of aunts, uncles, and grandparents that descend upon households during that week in November, planning ahead easily makes what could potentially be a very stressful few days worry-free.
In 2020, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 26, leaving you plenty of time to prepare for your best Thanksgiving yet. Start thinking about sweet potatoes, stuffing, and — of course — turkey, as you count down the days toward entering one of the biggest food comas of the year.
Here at The Daily Meal, planning ahead is on the brain with our Guide to Thanksgiving, which outlines all the recipes, advice, and entertaining tips you could possibly need to prepare yourself far in advance. While thinking about fall holidays in this sweltering July heat may seem strange, you’ll thank yourself later once you’ve hosted a stress-free Thanksgiving gathering. It’s never too early to plan ahead.
For Thanksgiving 2020, throw tradition out the window
Most people look forward to Thanksgiving because it offers a taste of the familiar: the time at home with family we’ve been missing all year long. By now, though, most of us will likely have had a little too much of being at home, so why serve food that keeps us in that frame of mind? If ever there’s a time to throw tradition out the window — renouncing the expected in favor of something unusual and intriguing — it’s this year. And as someone who’s always preferred to buck tradition in favor of trying something new, it seems my time has finally come.
For this year’s holiday menu, I decided to give you the classic flavors you want but in new forms that will hopefully excite you enough to make them a part of your Thanksgiving table in years to come.
Roasting a turkey can’t get much different, but stuffing an enormous amount of butter under the skin to keep it moist as it cooks can make it a whole lot easier than all that brining and endless basting. And instead of a leaden stuffing, I offer up my roasted bread salad, which takes all the aromatics of the classic and tosses them with crunchy chunks of sourdough bread that have been fried in the turkey pan drippings. As for the gravy, give up the complicated flavorings and umami hacks and flavor it with the turkey’s offal and nothing else — simplicity is often the boldest move of all.
When it comes to sides, green beans and mushrooms are dry-fried until blistered and tender, then topped with caramelized onions in a Sichuan spin on the iconic casserole. Yams are roasted so low and slow they transform into cheesecake-textured orbs that you simply mash in their pan and top with either rosemary-maple walnuts for the sweet-toothed guests or a cold, creamy herb sauce for those who prefer their yams on the savory side. Mashed potatoes are made ahead and baked to order and topped with their skins, fried to a crisp and perfumed with sage leaves. Finally, yeast rolls get a hearty dose of fresh bay leaves — their essence infused in butter for the dough and to brush on top, and the leaves themselves baked between the rolls — while cranberry sauce transforms into a thick, spreadable paste that mimics membrillo.
“Pavochon, both the word and the dish, is one of Puerto Rico’s many Spanglish creations,” says writer illyanna Maisonet. “A mash-up of pavo for turkey and chon for lechón, it’s become the centerpiece of a Puerto Rican Thanksgiving. Come November, supermarket shelves across Puerto Rico hold all the classic components: cranberry sauce, stuffing, dinner rolls. The diaspora became accustomed to these items Stateside and brought them back to the island—which could be how pavochon was born.” Serve it with Maisonet’s Cornbread and Salami Dressing.
Thanksgiving Salad Recipes
Salads are an all-time favorite, everyone loves salads – even for holiday dinners. They are healthy, delicious, and easy to make. We have brought some popular Thanksgiving salad recipes for you.
This recipe for winter spinach salad has plenty of flavors. Loaded with fruits, cheese, and nuts, it is not only healthy but tasty as well. Check out the recipe at Your Homebased Mom.
This salad uses seaweed pasta along with a perfect combination of vegetables such as sweet potatoes, brussels sprout, and broccoli with cranberries, bacon, and pecans. Try this Thanksgiving salad recipe from Easy Cooking with Molly.
Image: Easy Cooking with Molly
Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Dressing
This good fruit salad with cinnamon Greek yogurt dressing features apples, pears, and grapes and is sprinkled with a few chopped pecans for crunch. Get the recipe at Kitchen Treaty.
This refreshingly verdant creamed spinach dish from Pierre Franey allows spinach to shine by opting for a high ratio of greens to dairy. The blanched greens are blended, then stirred into a simple béchamel sauce, which complements their flavor without dominating.
What to Cook Right Now
Sam Sifton has menu suggestions for the coming days. There are thousands of ideas for what to cook waiting for you on New York Times Cooking.
- Do not miss Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible soba noodles with ginger broth and crunchy ginger. for fungi is a treat, and it pairs beautifully with fried snapper with Creole sauce.
- Try Ali Slagle’s salad pizza with white beans, arugula and pickled peppers, inspired by a California Pizza Kitchen classic.
- Alexa Weibel’s modern take on macaroni salad, enlivened by lemon and herbs, pairs really nicely with oven-fried chicken.
- A dollop of burrata does the heavy lifting in Sarah Copeland’s simple recipe for spaghetti with garlic-chile oil.
Is Thanksgiving 2020 the year for gobbling outside the box?
Celebrating with family might mean something a little different this year, but we can still create holiday warmth with familiar flavors and aromas from shared recipes to spark memories old and new.
And if you're ever going to shop local, it's in the midst of a pandemic on the heels of an ice storm that devastated local power grids, plunging homes and businesses without power and Internet capabilities for up to two weeks.
Using products from local companies purchased from locally owned grocers would be a pretty cool way to give thanks for community support everyone eventually needs.
Bird is the word when it comes to Thanksgiving. If ever there was a year to break tradition, it is 2020. The MIO has a recipe using Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea for the brine to produce a turkey so golden brown from the oven folks will swear it's from the smoker.
No Thanksgiving feast is complete without mashed potatoes. The venerable bland potato never plays without friends like butter, cream, salt and pepper. Why couldn't Braum’s buttermilk step in for cream this year? Add a little nutmeg and browned butter? The MIO Coalition kitchen is so sure about it they've shared the recipe to prove it. And they guarantee it'll render gravy optional.
Of course, there are those who believe the true flavors we come for on Thanksgiving begin at dessert. You won't get by without pie whether you make them from scratch or buy them ready to eat, local companies like Shawnee Mills flour and Field's Pecan Pie await your call.
We'll have recipes for more side dishes and desserts in The Oklahoman's food pages leading up to Thanksgiving.
Sweet Tea Turkey Brine
•1 gallon Milo's Famous Sweet Tea
•3 large yellow onions, quartered
In a large stock pot, combine Milo's Famous Sweet Tea and kosher salt. Heat just to boiling, stirring frequently until salt is dissolved. Add onion, lemon, garlic and rosemary. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
When the broth mixture has cooled, pour it into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Stir in the ice.
Wash and dry your turkey. Making sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, cavity side up, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Cover and place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the turkey, carefully draining off the excess brine, and pat dry. Discard excess brine and pat dry.
Place turkey breast side up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan, 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep for about 20 minutes per pound or until the bird reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
Reserve drippings for gravy.
Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
•1/2 pound Braum's Salted Butter
Peel and cube the potatoes. Place in a large pot and fill with water to cover. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain and allow the steam to escape. Return to the pan, adding the buttermilk, salt, pepper and nutmeg using a hand-mixer or potato masher.
While the potatoes are cooking, place the butter in a saute pan on medium heat. Watch and stir consistently until the butter begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. This will happen quickly once the liquid has simmered off, leaving the butterfat and milk solids. When butter begins to turn golden brown, immediately remove pan from heat.
Transfer potatoes to a serving dish. Pour browned butter over potatoes before serving.
Slow Cooker Biscuit Berry CobblerChop Happy
This recipe comes to us from Food Network Star finalist and “Food Influencer” of Chop Happy, Jason Goldstein. Not only is it a gorgeous blend of sweet and tart berry flavor, but it’s also an insanely easy recipe that you can toss in the slow cooker.
- 6 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 5 sprays oil spray
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint strawberries (cut in fourths)
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 can biscuits (cut in fourths)
- First, spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. This is to prevent the cobbler from sticking.
- Next, add blueberries, strawberries, cinnamon, maple syrup, and cornstarch. Mix well.
- Now top the berries with biscuit pieces. Try to cover as much of the top as possible.
- Next, close the lid and cook on high for 2 hours.
- Finally, top with ice cream and enjoy!
It seems that the warnings have been mounting: Stay home. Don’t gather in big groups. Don’t travel. For many of us, that means Thanksgiving will be very different this year. But as we have throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ll adapt. As we contemplated the people we will miss this holiday, we also thought about how the dishes on the table reflect the specialness of the people who make them. Why not conjure those family members and friends by preparing their signature recipes? From clam chowder to mashed potatoes to mixed berry cheesecake, these dishes bring our loved ones home.
There will be leftovers, maybe more than ever. “I suspect that’s the case for most families in this year of the pandemic,” writes Dinner at Home columnist JeanMarie Brownson. “Especially when cooking a whole turkey and a sheet pan full of vegetables.” Make a plan for that: Here’s her strategy to create a turkey and roasted vegetable pot pie.
1. Simple Roast Turkey
Melissa Clark’s recipe for simple roast turkey will not steer you wrong. So many readers say this is the best turkey they’ve ever made. If you want an organic, farm-raised bird, be sure to place your order a few weeks in advance, and invest in oven and meat thermometers. (Accurate oven temperature is one of the keys to success here.)
View our collections ofThanksgiving Turkey Recipes andThanksgiving Gravy Recipes, and ourHow to Cook Turkey guide,How to Make Gravy guide andHow to Carve a Turkey video.
23 Southern Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Serve This Year
With social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions in place, Thanksgiving will look a lot different this year. But even if your Thanksgiving table is a bit smaller than usual, you can still enjoy a down-home meal with plenty of delicious recipes.
Whether you're in the South or you're just in the mood for some homestyle cooking, we have you covered. These Southern Thanksgiving recipes are sure to please everyone at your table, even if that's not a huge crowd.
Watch the video: Thanksgiving in 2020