This year like every holiday, things are most likely much smaller than normal. If you celebrate Thanksgiving and are doing something smaller, here are some ideas on how to not have two large meals, but size down for your immediate family.
Order from a Restaurant or Caterer
This might be a great way to support small businesses. It might be too late to place an order, but you should check. You might also decide to order for Shabbat and cook for Thanksgiving.
Just Do Appetizers
An idea from Busy in Brooklyn, is to do a Thanksgiving Grazing Board. This seems like a fun idea to minimize the feast but still have a festive meal. Think about all of the appetizers you just love and have a fun meal based on that.
Meal Planning Ideas
Simple Menu Plan
Here are a couple of simple menu plans.
Menu Plan #1
- Turkey Breast
- Cranberry Sauce
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
Menu Plan #2
- Turkey Roast
- Cranberry Apple Crisp
- Green Beans
- Mashed Potatoes
- Fruit Salad
You might want to consider not doing a whole bird, but doing a Turkey breast.
Squash / Pumpkin
Bread Machine Challah
6 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup veg oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
Braid challah. Add Wash and then cook on 350 Degrees
Pretzel Variation: Take a low, wide pot or skillet and fill it with water. Add about 1/8-1/4 cup of baking soda. Once it’s a low boil, put the challah in the water for 30 seconds. Bathe the Challah. Lift out carefully with two slotted spoons or spatulas and put on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with an everything bagel spice and bake at 350 for approx 27-30 minutes. Tent the challah for 10 minutes and then cook for another 18-20 minutes.
This is a recipe from our one of the administrators at our synagogue, it’s delicious and I make it on weeks that I am not making 5lbs.
5lb Egg Challah
4 tbsp yeast or 4 (1/2 oz) packages of active dry yeast.
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
5 lbs bread flour + extra flour depending on climate if it is too sticky
2 tbsp & 2 tsp salt (I definitely have used only 2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
4 cups warm water
3 tbsp Vanilla (I don’t measure and just squeeze until it looks right)
Egg wash for challah: 1 – 2 eggs, vanilla (during RH, I add a squirt of Honey)
Proof the yeast:
I use a 4 cup measure cup and place 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, 1 tbsp sugar. I wisk everything together, which is a tip I learned just recently and the yeast proofs so much better.
- In a large mixing bowl, oil the sides of the bowl.
- Then add all of the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Then add all the liquid ingredients.
- Knead until smooth ball. Put in very large bowl & let rise until it is double. Put it near a warm place
- Punch down.
- Take a small piece of dough the size of an egg & recite the blessing for challah. Wrap it in aluminum foil & burn in oven. It should not be in the oven at the same time as the rest of the challot you will eat. Keep it wrapped & discard when burned.
Let is rise a 2nd time.
Wash with egg wash
Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Times vary depending on the size of your challot.
Heavenly Challah (Vegan/Water)
7 Cups flour
2 tbs dry yeast
5-8 Tbs sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
2 ½ cups warm water
½ cup oil
1 tbs salt
1 egg beaten (sub maple syrup if you want it vegan)
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds
- Place all ingredients except the salt in a large bowl. Begin kneading. When a ball of dough is formed, add the salt. Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft, but not sticky
- Brush the dough and bowl with a bit of oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, until the dough doubles in volume.
- After the dough has risen, knead it for a few minutes. Roll pieces of dough into strands to be braided. To make more airy Challahs, roll out each strand into strips, approximately ¼ inch (about ½ centimeter) thick. Roll each strip Jellyroll fashion to form a tube and use these to braid the Challah.
- Place the Challah in a pan. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired. Cover and let them rise again in a warm place for approximately 40 minutes. In the meantime preheat the over to 350 degrees.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the Challahs turn golden brown. Remove the Challah from the oven and from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
This recipe is from the kitchen of Alina Spaulding. I usually fill with chocolate chips and roll out long strip and flatten with a rolling pin and spread filling and the roll together before I braid.
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