Ah the holidays. They're the best for a lot of reasons: family, celebration, great food, gifts, decorations, light heartedness, and an excuse to have endless amounts of fun. However, the holidays can be a bit of a pain. They're expensive, sometimes complicated, and some people don't like their families, or can't be with them during the holidays. No matter what gravy boat you seem to find yourself in, this is a little tutorial guide as to how you can celebrate Thanksgiving all by yourself, with one special someone, or when you're far away from your family.
-Utilize allrecipe's serving size function.
This allows you to adjust recipes to fit the serving size you want! It's such a pain to follow and shop for a recipe that will make enough to feed a small village, when you really only need enough for yourself.
-Surf the internet for perfect recipes that fit your taste (and budget).
Make sure you cover all your bases from Pinterest to Buzzfeed for fun ideas for recipes from turkey, stuffing, desserts to drinks. Personalizing your dinner will be key to making cooking worth it.
-Just buy it.
Seriously. Just buy the food at your local grocery store or restaurant. If you're doing dinner for one or two, don't sweat the details too much. Buy a dinner that you know you will enjoy gorging yourself with. A rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and some instant mashed potatoes, and a premade pie from the bakery. Boom!
-Share and swap traditions and recipes
If you and your SO or best friend or roommate are spending the holiday just the two of you; or you're traveling and will be away from your family, trade recipes and traditions. This will allow for a touch of familiarity at your little dinner and make you and your dining partner feel at home.
Lists are incredibly important. List everything out to make life easier. Start with a menu. What do you want at your dinner? (Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, vegetables, pie, etc.) When you're done making that list, consult (parents, dining partner, the internet) for which items to scrap, improve, or hack for an easier and yummier dinner. Make a shopping list! Grocery stores are absolute hell holes the last two weeks of November. Please be careful and plan accordingly. Finally, make a list of how you want the day to play out in order to keep yourself on schedule.
-Keep it simple.
Keep everything as simple as possible. Last year I had my first Thanksgiving on my own. My fiancé and I had just started living together and we were across the country from both of our families. We kept the budget at $50 and dishes to a minimum (both food and clean up wise). Make things disposable. The clean up was super easy because all we had to do was throw stuff out--much easier to clean up on a full stomach when all the clean up is is garbage!
-Take lots of photos
Document the day to share with the family and friends you won't get to see this year.