A Different Thanksgiving

Covid Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year certainly isn’t like last.  At my house, just my husband and I will sit down at the table together because of COVID restrictions and safety. But as we did for the Passover seder, birthdays, and anniversaries this year, we will Zoom with our daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren and granddog in Nutley and in Lille, France.

So what to do when you suddenly are planning a Thanksgiving for 2 rather than 22? Here are some fairly easy last minute suggestions from previous Shomrei Week recipe columns. Everything can be easily adjusted for changes in your guest list.

Cranberry-squash noodle kugel (For Busy Cooks, 11/12/2020)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Dried Cranberries (It’s Hanukkah Tonight, 12/26/2019)

Dessert can always be fruit or the easiest chocolate cookies ever (As the Nights Grow Longer, 10/22/20) or chocolate mug cake (Chocolate Magic, 4/8/2020). Trader Joe’s also makes an excellent Cranberry Pie to serve with non-dairy ice cream.

For an entree, try one of the following recipes.

turkey marsalaTurkey Cutlets Marsala via the New York Times  (serves 2)

1 1/4 lb turkey cutlets or tenderloin, pounded to an even thickness
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
Flour for dusting
4 tablespoons olive oil or margarine
1/4 c dry Marsala wine
1/4/ c chicken stock


  1. Season turkey generously with salt and pepper. Lightly dust with flour.
  2. Heat oil or margarine in a large pan over medium high heat. Add cutlets to the pan. Turn heat down to medium and cook gently 3 minutes per side.
  3. When one side is done, pour Marsala over cutlets. Let it combine with the oil or margarine. Add the stock and combine. Cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the turkey is cooked.

NOTES Remove the turkey to a platter.  Sauté some sliced mushrooms, shallots and ground sage in the same pan.

Garnish the finished dish with parsley.

The following preparations makes a delicious gravy, perfect for pouring over mashed potatoes or stuffing. The turkey is tender and moist.

baked turkey wingsBaked Turkey Wings  (serves 4)

2.5 pounds turkey wings, cut into sections
1 large lemon, tested and quartered
2 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon union powder
2 teaspoons seasoning salt or salt free seasoning
Ground pepper
1 teaspoon minced onion (dried)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth or water


  1. Clean wings if needed and rub all over with the lemon wedges. Place wings in a large bowl and drizzle with oil.
  2. Mix the seasonings together and sprinkle over the wings. Rub the mix into the wings
  3. Remove wings from the bowl and place in an oiled baking dish or roasting pan.
  4. Pour broth or water into the bowl with the seasonings and then into the pan.
  5. Cover the baking dish with heavy foil and cook at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, basting periodically.
  6. Remove cover during last 1/2 hour for browning.
  7. Save with gravy. Boil down if desired.

For a change of pace, do what we are going this year and forget the turkey. I’m serving  salmon seasoned with traditional Thanksgiving flavors. It should go well with the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

rosemary-salmon-Rosemary Salmon with Orange Zest (serves 2)

1 garlic clove
1 or 2 small rosemary sprigs chopped or 1 tablespoon  dried rosemary
12-16 oz salmon filets
Dash of sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon  Orange peel or grated Orange zest
Balsamic glaze (optional)
Olive Oil for cooking


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Next chop garlic and rosemary and mix together with orange zest.
  3. Place salmon in foil covered or oiled baking dish. Drizzle each filet with olive oil and sprinkle with the rest of the herbs/seasoning including the salt and pepper.
  4. You can also drizzle a little balsamic glaze over each filet if you’d like.
  5. Place baking dish in oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the salmon flesh is flaky. 

NOTE    You can also grill this in foil for about 10 minutes . Garnish with orange slices, if desired.

Finally, relax and toast yourself with a relaxing cocktail.

pomegranate drinkRosemary Pomegranate Royale (serves 4)

¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 cups Champagne or sparkling wine such as cava or prosecco


  1. Combine 1/4 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat. Add rosemary; let stand 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice and 1 tablespoon rosemary syrup into 4 Champagne glasses. Top each serving with 1/2 cup Champagne. Serve immediately.

Remember, the key to a calm Thanksgiving is to plan ahead, have your ingredients already cut and measured, and do as much as possible ahead of time. That’s why microwaves and warming trays were invented. Who remembers Salton trays from back when? They still work their hostessing magic today. 



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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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