One of the biggest shopping weeks is upon us, and like many people today…it begins now. Sales ads are out and coming, so get your lists ready. Preparing a list before arriving at the store can save you money and hopefully a bit of time. One question being asked frequently this year is…”So, are you and your family having Turkey?” Normally, this doesn’t come into question, but with shortages abroad this year it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve heard from some people that they are embracing something different this year; Thanksgiving traditions will always be around, but this years’ empty store shelves have many looking for a variety of meal options.

While Thanksgiving traditionally is with turkey, it can be also be done with whole chickens…stuffed of course. One could use the standard side dishes; cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and dinner rolls. However, I do believe that this particular holiday will be different for many households. So let’s look at other meal options.

If looking to cook a bird (not turkey), there’s always Roast Duck (with plums of course), and this bird doesn’t dry out like turkey or chicken. But if you still want that turkey, you could possibly go with a capon (young rooster); similar to turkey and weighs between 10-20 lbs.

More options are Leg of Lamb, Goose, Bacon wrapped Pork Loin or stuffed Roast Pork Belly, Crown Roast of Pork or Lamb, Garlic & Rosemary Prime Rib Roast, Slow cooker Beef Braised Brisket or Apple Cider Pork and last but not least…Seafood; a whole roasted Salmon with an Orange Butter Glaze. There are plenty of main dish options for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Putting a different spin on side dishes this year might be a welcomed one, especially if you’re NOT doing Turkey. One recipe I found inviting was Stuffed Squash. You can stuff this with whatever ‘trips your trigger’ but I like the idea of using wild rice, vegetables, and sweet onion as well as a few cranberries. Greens are usually a part of Thanksgiving dinner as well as any other time, but there are easy, healthy ways to prepare sides using casserole dishes; Brussel sprouts casserole, twice baked potato casserole, zucchini and squash casseroles, not to mention there are plenty of (Breakfast) brunch recipes for easy casseroles which can be done one day prior to Thanksgiving Day.

For those of you interested in easier recipes and, or alternatives this year, I recommend checking out one of my favorite website; https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/casseroles/ and endless sides; https://www.loveandlemons.com/thanksgiving-side-dishes/ . More recently I discovered this one; https://themodernproper.com/40-best-thanksgiving-side-dishes , and there are plenty of photos to see what these dishes look like. So…for what it’s worth, don’t stress over this year’s Turkey dinner; embrace something new this year and just go with it! Let us be thankful we made it through another year, and all that matters…Family and Friends.

Make your week count.

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