Perhaps at some point this year during social distancing, you were making good use of the extra time spent at home, gearing up for your first ever go at a Thanksgiving Meal from scratch. There is no doubt that the traditional dish line up remains the same each year – turkey, stuffing and all the sides – but preparing for the biggest meal of the year can be intimidating, even for experienced cooks or connoisseurs!
During challenging times, we tend to rely most on the comfort of our friends and family. However, this year, it’s clear that when it comes to upcoming celebrations traditionally spent with loved ones, things are going to be very different. As America’s biggest holiday, Thanksgiving, is usually the perfect time to bring together far-fung family members and lesser seen friends. However, the pandemic has put to rest most people’s best-laid plans. Encouraged by authorities to keep gatherings among people to a minimum in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, family gatherings will most likely be limited to small nuclei, rather than large affairs with extended families.
MySubscriptionAddiction, the leading review site for subscription boxes, carried out a survey (3,000) revealing that nearly half of Maryland families (45%) say they will forgo a large, traditional Thanksgiving meal this year with friends and relatives, and instead opt for something far more low key, such as a takeout meal or meal kit instead.
The survey also found that more than 1 in 3 (34%) Marylanders plan to video call their extended family this Thanksgiving, rather than risk seeing them in person. This is particularly sensible when it comes to Grandma and Grandpa, and any other elderly members.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – for those still planning on cooking, almost 1 in 10 say they will use the celebration to experiment with their meals. So, it may be, bye-bye turkey and hello tofurky, as some try cooking a vegan feast for the first time! And proof that many have used lockdown as a glass-half-full opportunity is that 70% of respondents say their culinary skills have actually improved this year since the start of the pandemic. Indeed, Nielsen recently reported that yeast sales were up by 647% at the end of March – for some, the obsession with bread during lockdown was a fine-tuning of an already established hobby, while for others, bread therapy presented a new form of coping mechanism.
For those of us who still intend on going big this Thanksgiving, 43% say they’ll consider hosting it outdoors, in order to reduce the risk of infection. When asked about Christmas, almost one-third (31%) expect to forgo the traditional meal this year too.
“At the end of the day, Thanksgiving might look a little different this year – who is there, what we cook, and if we prepare it with a meal kit or otherwise”, says Simran Dua, CEO of MySubscriptionAddiction. “But the core of this holiday remains unchanged. It is still a time to reflect about gratitude and connect with loved ones, even if it may happen virtually by video this year.”