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A Culinary Guide To Thanksgiving 2020

Three ways to make all the Thanksgiving staples, local dinners to go, and libations to make it festive

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November 13, 2020
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Courtesy of the Wild Thyme Company

This year has been interesting but it’s still Thanksgiving and we’re attempting to make the most of it.  

For those that are still cooking a big (or tiny) feast, we collected three different recipes for each classic turkey day (or tofurkey day) dish from our archives and favorites from our Edible Communities network around the country. 

We also realize that even with smaller guest lists this Thanksgiving, the effort to cook a full spread is a time-intensive task you might not be up for during a global pandemic. Thankfully—many San Diego restaurants are offering Thanksgiving Dinners to go. 


So, whether you want a traditional turkey dinner or a gourmet, farm-to-table spread, this roundup of holiday menus offers plenty of options.

Turkey

From a traditional herb roast to a Middle Eastern-spice blend, your turkey will steal the show with one of these recipes. Looking for a local bird? Check out the holiday turkeys from Da-Le Ranch.


Gravy 

Whether you prefer traditional giblet or a wild mushroom, gravy is a vital key to blanket each Thanksgiving staple with deliciousness.

Photo by Chris Rov Costa

Alternative Vegetarian Main Entrees

Skipping turkey this holiday? We have you covered. The two vegetarian options can be made vegan with a few easy swaps using plant-based cheese and coconut milk in lieu of cream.


Cranberry Sauce

Whether you love them or not, cranberries are a staple on the table. Skip the can this season and try a fresh version.


Stuffing

If you don’t have stuffing on the table, is it even Thanksgiving? We love these fun versions of this traditional dish. 


Green Beans 

But without the casserole. From a simple roasted batch to green beans with an Indian twist, you can still enjoy these classic veggies even if you don’t want the typical heavy casserole version.

Photo by Lindsay Kreighbaum
Photo by Olivia Hayo

Bread

Three words: carbs, carbs, carbs. What else is going to mop up the gravy or be the vessel for your leftover Thanksgiving sandwich? 


Potatoes

The “healthier” carbs. We had to include a classic mashed version but feel free to mix it up with cheesy gratins or Thai-spiced sweet potatoes.


Dessert

Last, but definitely not least. We recommend making all three because who just has one dessert at Thanksgiving?

Photo by Olivia Hayo
Photo Courtesy of Rusticucina

San Diego Restaurants Offering To-Go Menus

  • If you are looking to splurge on Turkey Day, Rancho Valencia’s stunning Thanksgiving To-Go is the answer. They offer the whole package as well as gourmet hors d'oeuvres and starters.
  • Rusticucina is serving a three-course menu with three different choices for each dish; think traditional meets farm-to-table.

  • Cardellino in Mission Hills will be serving up family favorites from chef Brad Wise with oven roasted turkey, smashed red potatoes, Italian sausage stuffing, truffled macaroni and cheese, winter green salad, and more with caramel apple crisp ice cream from Mr. Trustee Creamery, and a loaf of apple bread. Place your order by November 19.
  • SPLIT Bakehouse released their all-vegan November pastry box which includes savory and sweet pastries. We might skip the Thanksgiving dinner and just get this spread.


Too many amazing choices? We love this Chefsgiving at Home concept. Seven incredible local chefs designed a Thanksgiving feast for four, which also includes a bottle of wine. Plus, $50 of each meal is donated to the San Diego Food Bank. Now that’s eating for a good cause.


Suggestions For Spirits This Thanksgiving


We propose stocking the home bar with bottles from locally owned businesses like San Diego’s historic Til Two Club. Owner Delanie “Dottie” Gomes shared a few suggestions to lift spirits this Thanksgiving (pun intended—we had to). Grab any of these bottles to-go from Til Two Club.


Western Grace Brandy

According to Gomes, this is some of the best Brandy. Drink it straight, in a mule, or drop a splash into that morning mug of coffee. 


Empress Gin

This is a wet gin, perfect in anything. Made with butterfly pea blossoms, the color changes due to the PH balance. At Til Two Club, they muddle it with lemon and cranberries, and top it off with soda water. 


Two James Catcher’s Rye Whiskey with Glögg

Mixing the two serves surprisingly well as an old fashioned. The Glögg replaces the sugar and bitters and adds more holiday spices with slight sweetness. 


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