By Michele E. Buttelman
Your Thanksgiving table might look slightly different this year. The cost of a traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner has increased significantly from 2021.
The cost of the turkey itself has increased by an average of 23% over fourth quarter prices in 2021.
Supplies of turkeys have been affected due to impacts of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.
In addition, Thanksgiving staples such as potatoes and cranberries will be in low supply and high demand.
According to a recent Wells Fargo report, “Is This the Year to Dine Out for Thanksgiving?” the cost of staples from poultry to fruits will outpace the Consumer Price Index.
Some economists suggest that eating out might make more sense economically for Thanksgiving 2022.
2022 Thanksgiving Tips
What’s a Thanksgiving traditionalist to do?
Chose a budget-friendly frozen turkey instead of fresh.
Most people enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers and many think that day-after turkey sandwiches are the best part of Thanksgiving. For most families the Thanksgiving tradition of a bountiful table of wonderful food also leaves a plethora of leftovers. However, you don’t need so many leftovers your family won’t consume the food.
To avoid wasted food make sure your guests go home with leftovers.
Consider buying a smaller turkey. Try a 14lb. turkey instead of a 20lb turkey.
Try a new side dish this year if you can’t find some items you regularly serve. For example, try a side dish using sweet potatoes, which are in surplus this year.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
A perfect fall dish and a star at the Thanksgiving table.
4 cups of peeled, chopped sweet potatoes.
1 sweet onion cut into wedges
2 cloves thinly sliced fresh garlic
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic in olive oil and roast in a shallow roasting pan, turning frequently. When the sweet potatoes are soft and golden brown, remove them from the oven and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake 30 minutes or until fork tender.
Removed from oven.
Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper.
The First Thanksgiving
If you are looking for a recipe that harkens back to the very first Thanksgiving which most likely featured venison, seafood and seasonal squash and corn, try this interpretation of corn porridge.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups coconut milk
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, halved
2 15-ounce cans white hominy corn, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
In a large sauté pan over medium heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and caramelize for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and ginger and simmer for five minutes. Remove ginger and add hominy. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Add nutmeg and chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes.
Thanksgiving Signature Cocktails
Every family has a “bartender.” Task your home bartender with crafting a “signature” Thanksgiving cocktail. Don’t forget to make a mocktail version available for those under 21.
Have everyone give a Thanksgiving “toast” to those who have made an impact on their life in the past year.
For inspiration try a Pecan Pie Martini
6 oz. rumchata
6 oz. creme de cocoa
3 oz. bourbon
Combine rumchata, creme de cocoa, and bourbon in a large cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold, 30 seconds. Pour into martini glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream, a whole pecan, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
For an extra festive touch, melt a few caramels and dip the rim of the glass into the caramel and then into finely crushed pecans.
Thanksgiving Recipe Book
Make sure your Thanksgiving traditions are preserved and can be handed down to future generations by creating a Thanksgiving recipe book. Ask relatives who always bring their favorite side dish for a copy of the recipe in advance. Compile all the recipes into a “book” that can be emailed, or printed out, for every family member to take home.
Tablecloths of rich autumn colors with cloth napkins of contrasting shades of gold, orange, sable or deep brown will make for a striking table. Add a tablescape of white candles in silver candlesticks and some casually placed fresh pears for a stunning Thanksgiving Day table.
Crumpled silver and white tissue paper with fall gourds and mini pumpkins make for a casually elegant Thanksgiving tablescape, leaving plenty of space for the star attraction, the turkey and sides.
Don’t Forget the Gratitude
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for everything we have. After the last few years gratitude has a deeper and more intense meaning.
Consider starting a new Thanksgiving tradition by donating food, or volunteering, at a Santa Clarita Valley food bank.
SCV Food Pantry,
24133 Railroad Ave.,
Newhall, CA 91321
The Church of Hope
17866 Sierra Highway
Canyon Country, CA 91351
Help the Children
25030 Ave Tibbitts,
Valencia, CA 91355