Food

Holiday Helpers

A new meal plan for Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

I’m still mulling over this year’s meal plan for Thanksgiving dinner, but one thing I know is there won’t be a large-scale gathering of friends and family gathered round my table, as I’m listening to scientists’ advice about limiting the size and scope of holiday get-togethers to help stop the spread of the pandemic.

This means it’s likely it will just be me and my fella hanging out in the dining room when turkey day rolls around, and I’m not sure I want to spend an entire afternoon basting a bird and whipping up various sides and pies for a party of two. To that end, I’ve been looking into ways to outsource the cooking—either by ordering up a premade feast and attempting to pass it off as my own, or scoring various sides and sweets from local businesses.

I was too late to preorder Old World Deli’s (http://www.oldworldbellingham.com) turkey and duck dinners they’ll making for Thanksgiving, but I now know the State Street food hub will be open through Weds., Nov. 25, selling all of the high-end meats, cheeses, wines and assorted accoutrements an intimate soiree might require.

Similarly, I discovered Bantam Kitchen (http://www.bantamkitchen.com) sold out of their Thanksgiving dinners in record time, but if their chicken-focused feasts are what I desire, I’ll order a Rotisserie Chicken Family Meal in advance from the Railroad Avenue eatery and reheat the spread—which comes with biscuits, honey, slaw and a side—on Thursday.

At Evolve Chocolate + Cafe (http://www.evolvechocolatecafe.com), Shannon and Christy Fox appear to have read my mind. Through 10am Sun., Nov. 22—or while supplies last—the dynamic duo and their crew will be taking orders of holiday-focused dinners meant to feed two people (with a little left over, maybe). Having enjoyed their decidedly delicious fare on more than one occasion, I’m drooling at the menu—which includes a main dish (roast turkey or local stuffed squash), cranberry sauce, mashed taters with herb gravy, pumpkin bread stuffing, maple roasted vegetables and two slices of pie (pumpkin mousse or chocolate bourbon pecan). Reheating instructions will be included, and add-ons are also available.

It appears everything will be packaged and ready to go straight into the oven for the Thanksgiving dinners Lynden’s Burnt Ends Barbecue (http://www.eatburntends.com) are putting together, but they may be too big for us to handle. The Big Dinner—which includes a 14- to 16-pound smoked turkey, bacon mashed potatoes, roasted garlic seasonal veggies, herbed stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce—feeds approximately 14 people, and the Turkey Feed sets diners up for as many as eight guests. (That said, leftovers are one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving.)

A heat-and-serve meal can also be procured at Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant (http://www.lombardisitalian.com). The four-person dinner package includes a half-turkey on the bone, scalloped potatoes, candied yams, orange cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, green bean casserole and stuffing. Add on an antipasto platter, house-made dinner rolls, pumpkin tiramisu and more, and your repast will be complete.

From Nov. 23-25, side dishes can also be found at Great Harvest Bread Co. (http://www.bellinghamread.com). The self-described “dinner roll headquarters” in downtown Bellingham will feature honey whole wheat, white, rosemary potato, onion dill rye, cranberry orange and a limited amount of Kamut in its roll call, but that’s not all. A variety of breads, sugar and ginger cookie dough, pumpkin sweet bread and a lineup of gluten-free products will also be available. Advance orders aren’t required, but are a good idea.

For dessert, I’m strongly considering the scratch-made pumpkin cheesecake Skylark’s Hidden Cafe (http://www.skylarkshiddencafe.com) will be selling for the holiday. Thanksgiving orders of the whole cheesecakes will need to be picked up by 6pm Weds., Nov. 25 at the Fairhaven eatery, but embarking on that trek across town sounds a whole lot easier than making it myself.

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