How To Survive Thanksgiving: Tips and Ideas

A digitized Thanksgiving dinner and desert on the table. Photo Credit: Drewski Northman via Flickr

By Jessica Defreitas

It seems as though just yesterday we excitedly welcomed summer but we blinked and it’s November. November and December are very festive, joyful times despite the cold weather. 

As we say goodbye to fall and Halloween, we can start looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many of us love Thanksgiving and who wouldn’t? There is an abundance of great food and desserts and a sentimental time for families. 

Not everyone may have a family this year to spend it with but there are always little things in life to be grateful for.

With food being the center of this holiday, everyone is going to be anticipating a delicious turkey and for our vegans out there, a tasty caramelized butternut squash. In our tech savvy society we no longer use cookbooks but look for inspiration online. I always vouch for ‘’ because it truly is a great website whether you want to go all out for your family and cook a huge dinner or if you are alone or with a friend and want to make something simple but special. 

An important tip to remember is to roast your turkey according to its size. A 10 to 18 pound turkey will need to be roasted for about 3 to 4 hours, a 22 to 24 pounder will require about 4 to 5 hours and for a 24-29 pounder, 5 to 6 hours. 

Some of us prefer to stuff our turkey while others may not and this will also have varying roasting times because an unstuffed turkey requires a little less time. Believe it or not, tofu turkey is a hit. Many vegans out there will know this and they truly do not miss out. 

Instead of turkey they substitute with tofu and wallah, a vegan Thanksgiving banger that will have your taste buds tingling. All you have to do is press the tofu overnight, then hollow it out and add stuffing. After stuffing, refrigerate it again for a few hours, that way it firms nicely. A key essential is to keep it covered with foil and keep marinating it often and cook at low heat. 

The main course is not the only center of attention. There are endless Thanksgiving sides, drinks and desserts to be thrilled about. During this season we are all engrossed in everything cinnamon, pumpkin, caramel and apple and why not celebrate that by adding it to our own drink menu. Starbucks does not need to be our only source of enticing drinks this time of year. 

A few great cocktails/mocktails for your Thanksgiving feast are salted caramel apple martinis, apple pie sangria and cinnamon maple whiskey sour. Just the names of these drinks make my mouth water and their main ingredients do not include alcohol so you have the option of making mocktails for your younger guests as well. 

The cinnamon maple whiskey sour is so simple that all you need is a bourbon of your choice (if you decide to add alcohol), lemon juice, maple syrup and ground cinnamon. Some of these ingredients are already in your kitchen. 

We cannot forget desserts. Thanksgiving desserts are one of the best holiday desserts ever, with all of the delightful pies, cranberry sauce and whip cream, you cannot go wrong. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, sweet potato pie, pumpkin rolls, salted caramel cheesecake and carrot cake are just a few of the many desserts for this holiday. 

Many of these desserts can be found at the supermarket or your local bakery which is a great option for those on a timeline. 

There are also many simple recipes to follow online. Be sure to check out YouTube for in-depth and step by step instructions if you need that extra help. 

Last but not least and the most important thing to remember is to be grateful. Life is not perfect, things may go wrong, your circumstances may not be where you want them to be and all in all you may feel like giving up. A tip that may sound minuscule but is impactful is to take time from your day, even if it is five minutes, to reflect on one thing to be thankful for.

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