Maybe you're not purchasing your items just yet but the thoughts of butterballs and gravy are probably rolling around in your head.

With social distancing in mind, my family is sticking to creating a delicious meal and then dishing up plates to drop off to those we love.

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I've been cooking turkeys for Thanksgiving since college, all drunk and happy, those holidays were a blur but the bird always managed to turn out juicy and on point. I was never the one picking up the bird, I was just tasked with cooking it correctly so we didn't die. There were nerves but a margarita and determination works wonders. It's been a while since I've put together a full Thanksgiving meal but now that I have a kitchen with actual counter space, it's on!

Xochimilco makes a mean margarita

Now I'm realizing there are some methods to making sure you've got enough meat for everyone to stuff themselves and still enjoy left-overs.

For 9 people, that's about a pound a half of meat per person so this year I'm searching for a 13 to 14-pound bird.

moodboard

My husband and I are freaks for mashed potatoes so that was another thought, how many pounds of potatoes? Five, that seems like a lot but dang it if we were to run low, heads would roll. :)

More butter than I think I'll need for sure and I will even be fancy and create a stock from the turkey bones and skin. You can carve that pretty lady all up and then just throw the carcass in a large pot with onion, carrots celery, and any other greens you've been saving in the freezer. If you didn't know tops of all kinds of veggies do great. Boil it up and store for soups. Wham, bam, now that's a plan.

Pro Tip Time

While I’m prepping for Thanksgiving, I prep for the stock as well. I put a gallon-sized zip-top bag in the fridge; throw a few ribs of chopped celery in there when I make stuffing; chop an extra carrot while making grazed carrots; put the neck bone in there after I prep the turkey; and then when we’re done eating turkey, when the bird is picked clean, I already have a pre-made kit for turkey stock requiring nothing more than water, a hot pot, and patience.

You've gotta have stuffing for days and for some reason I went years thinking green bean casserole wasn't the **** but now I load up, even more, to make up for years of missing out. Sweet potatoes for sure with marshmallows on top and this year I'll try my hand at homemade cranberries instead of canned due to my Pacific Northwest Fresh Box and glazed carrots too.

Fresh green beans

Hawaiian roles are so flipping good, tip for you. Buy them early due to the popularity if you wait until the last minute, your selection could be non-existent, especially this year.

John Riggs, Townsquare Media

For appetizers there will be deviled eggs and shrimp on top of a bed of cream cheese and cocktail sauce, it's light and full of flavor, perfect with club crackers, maybe some melon balls wrapped in prosciutto and a bit of goat cheese but we shall see.

Yes, there are calories, loads of them and I will eat them all. I'm working on making better choices leading up to this day so I don't have an ounce of guilt 🙃 Insert a bowl of cheerios a day to keep the doctor away.

Whether it's a Friendsgiving or a socially distanced food drop-off. I hope your November is a very special one. Moving away from the traditions of the past during Covid-19 has changed my mindset and it's important to give back so if you find you just have too much food, pack it up and drop it off at a local shelter or homeless camp with plates, forks, and cups for cider. Volunteer if your heart is pulling you there and reach out to those you love via snail mail. Who wouldn't want a legit handwritten holiday card from you?

I'm pumped to wear big sweaters and beanies, once I figure out where I packed the winter clothes, and excited to sort through what I want to keep and what I want to donate this season. It's the time for giving as well so let's make the most of this time of year, even if it looks so different from years past.