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These 3 Thanksgiving recipes offer a stress-free menu for your holiday gathering – NPR


Families and friends are gathering this year after a notably different Thanksgiving in 2020. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images hide caption
Families and friends are gathering this year after a notably different Thanksgiving in 2020.
If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that being able to just gather in one spot is not something to take for granted.
So with Thanksgiving almost here, we’ve decided to ask a chef, a baker and a food journalist for their takes on recipes that allow you to socialize while you cook.
To hopefully not stress about hosting family and friends — possibly for the first time in a long time — but instead focus on the people around you.
And as we’re all rethinking pretty much everything lately, these foodies are going to help us rethink the traditional Thanksgiving meal a bit, too.
Let’s dive in.
Peanut Butter, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, was pardoned during by President Joe Biden during a Friday ceremony at the White House. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption
Peanut Butter, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, was pardoned during by President Joe Biden during a Friday ceremony at the White House.
Chef Sean Sherman is a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and founder of The Sioux Chef, an organization committed to revitalizing Native American culture. Sherman wanted his recipe to pay homage to Indigenous peoples, and he took inspiration from what he describes as their pantry.
“We cook so seasonally and so locally, so we like to utilize a little mix of the wild food around us, and looking outdoors and seeing this wealth of health, and nutrition and flavor that’s literally right outside our front door,” Sherman says.
He hopes that this Thanksgiving, we should spend time thinking about what the holiday is really about — gathering and eating with those you love.
“Why not pay homage to the land that you’re on, why not pay homage to the Indigenous peoples and the struggles that they actually had to go through and not some mythological dinner party that they had a few hundred years ago,” he says.
Sherman says brining the turkey will make it juicer and more flavorful.

Serves 10 to 12

Time: 2 hours, plus resting
Ingredients
Turkey

Turkey brine
Turkey rub
Method
Francis Lam is host of the Splendid Table podcast and editor in chief of Clarkson Potter. He first learned this recipe from Cindy Similien, a Haitian woman in Brooklyn, who learned it from her grandmother in Haiti.
“It’s something you don’t have to baby,” Lam says, adding this dish is much more forgiving than traditional mashed potatoes and gravy.
Lam says he hopes this year allows us all to think more deeply about being together. “Just kind of going in with this sort of renewed sense of why we need each other, and being thankful for that,” he says.
Haitian cornmeal porridge
Ingredients
Method
Black bean sauce
Ingredients
Method
This recipe was also published in The New York Times Magazine.
Samantha Seneviratne says her maple cream pie is very, very forgiving. Julia Gartland hide caption
Samantha Seneviratne says her maple cream pie is very, very forgiving.
Samantha Seneviratne is a baker and cookbook author. She chose this pie because it is very, very forgiving.
“It’s very easy to make. You can make all the parts ahead of time,” she says.
The center is a cooked maple pudding that you make on the stove. “So you don’t have to worry about any cracking or overcooking or undercooking or anything like that.”
In terms of how Seneviratne will be thinking about this Thanksgiving differently, given the past few years?
“For me, thanksgiving is about travel,” she says with a laugh. “I feel extremely grateful to have gotten my vaccine and to have the ability to travel again. I will never take that for granted, ever again.”
Serves 8 to 10
Pastry
Filling
To Finish
Method
The recipe comes from The Joys of Baking/Running Press.
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