How I Survived My FIRST Thanksgiving ALONE!

This is my first year celebrating Thanksgiving completely alone and I have to say, it was kind of fun! I got to choose what I wanted to eat, I didn’t feel left out of the fun because I was having fun all by myself. I hope this post inspires you if you find yourself in the same position.

If you’re looking to make the same Thanksgiving dinner like me, here are the recipes. The book I use for the Cornish Hen recipe is The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl and I highly suggest it for anyone looking to cook more intricate meals.

The following are the recipes for the Bacon-Wrapped Cornish Hen with a Raspberry Balsamic Glaze, My mother’s Clapshot, and my mother’s Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes, as well as a list of “extras” I chose to add to my Thanksgiving spread.

For the Bacon-Wrapped Cornish Hens with Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

For this recipe, I just made the glaze and only cooked one Hen instead of 4. However, it’s nice to know that should I have more people at my table in the coming years I can always increase this.

Ingredients

2/3 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam

1/2 cup balsamic Vinegar

4 bacon slices (the original recipe has16 because it’s accommodating 4 hens)

salt and pepper

Instructions

1.) Combine the jam and vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until it’s reduced by half which will take about 8 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature (this will cause the sauce to thicken into a proper glaze.

2.) Put put the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

3.) Cook bacon till it’s released some fat, but it’s still translucent and flexible. Transfer to a plate lined in a paper towel to absorb some of the fat.

4.) Spatchcock (or butterfly) the hen. If you don’t know how to do that, you take cooking sheers and cut down each side of the backbone till it can be removed and then you flip it on its back and press down till it lays flat. You can also watch this very informative video HERE which is how I learned. Once you’ve Spatchcocked it, you’re going to take those same sheers and cut directly down the center of the chest making two halves of the hen.

5.) Brush the hen with your glaze and then wrap two pieces of bacon around each piece of hen, tucking the ends under, and place them in the oven.

6.) After 10 minutes in the oven, take them out, and brush them with the pan juices and the glaze and return them to the oven. After 20 minutes do the same thing again. Remove them from the oven when their juices run clear when you pierce a thigh, OR at around 30-35 minutes. Throw out any unused glaze.

My Mother’s Clapshot: a simple kind of mashed potatoes that involves a rutabaga

Ingredients:

2 small to medium-sized Russet Potatoes

1 medium-sized Rutabaga

2-3 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup of heavy cream or milk (be careful not to add too much of you could have “soupy” mashed potatoes

Instructions:

1.) Get a large pot of water on the stove to boil

2.) CAREFULLY cut the ends off the rutabaga, and using a knife, cut the skin off of it. They tend to be covered in wax which helps them stay fresh for longer, but this should be removed along with the skin. Cut into quarter-inch slices and put into boiling water 10-15 minutes BEFORE your potatoes as the rutabaga will need much longer to cook than the potatoes.

3.) Peel your potatoes and chop into quarter-inch slices and add them to the boiling water. Boil until a fork can easily pierce them and they slip off of the fork easily.

4.) Drain and mash with a potato masher. While still HOT, add your butter and milk and continue mashing until you have a fluffy consistency.

My Mother’s Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of packed brown sugar

2 tbsp butter or margarine (melted)

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 (29oz) can of sweet potatoes drained

1/3 cup of Orange Juice

1/2 teaspoon orange peel

1/4 teaspoon salt

OPTIONAL: Pecans or marshmallows to garnish

Instructions:

1.) Whisk together your brown sugar, butter, cornstarch, orange juice, orange peel and salt and set aside.

2.) In a microwave save bowl empty your can of drained sweet potatoes

3.) Pour your orange juice and brown sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes and microwave on HIGH 5-6 minutes.

4.) OPTIONAL: If you want to garnish with Marshmallows add them once you’re done microwaving the sweet potatoes and pop them back in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

EXTRAS I GOT TO FINISH MY THANKSGIVING SPREAD!!!

*Wine

*Mini Pumpkin Pie

*King’s Hawaiian Rolls

*McCormick Turkey Gravy Mix

*Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce

*1 box of Kraft Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix

I hope this helps show you that no matter who is joining or not joining you for the holidays, you are still special. You deserve to use the nice dishes. You deserve to enjoy the holiday as much as anyone else. Be thankful for yourself and live your best life for yourself. You’re wonderful and I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving.

-Heather Autumn