Get your turkeys in a row this Thanksgiving
Carving a turkey doesn’t have to be intimidating. Take it from SAIT instructor Chef Jan Hansen, who breaks down the process in this one-minute video.
Thanksgiving 2020 is one for the books. Instead of your usual turkey day routine, you might be celebrating quietly with your cohort, connecting with loved ones over Zoom or spending time outdoors, larch hunting and leaf crunching.
However you plan to mark the occasion, find time to relax and give thanks.
Make the most of your long weekend with these holiday hacks from SAIT experts. They’re easy as (pumpkin) pie.
Slay the stuffing
Stuffing is turkey’s ride or die — you can’t have one without the other. For SAIT alumnus Jack Christensen (PCK ’16), it’s the main event.
“I look forward to mom’s stuffing most at Thanksgiving and Christmas — even more than the turkey and mashed potatoes!” says Christensen.
Christensen knows a thing or two about making good food — he won medals at the 20th Food Hotel China International Culinary Arts Competition in Shanghai in 2018, and coaches SAIT culinary students preparing for their own competitions.
Here’s his mom’s stuffing recipe — with a touch of his own flavouring in the Chef’s notes — for a Thanksgiving feast you won’t forget.
Momma Christensen’s Stuffing
Makes enough stuffing for a 12-15 lb. (5.4-6.8 kg) bird
Yields: 2.5 L
|Lightly roasted squash, medium dice||½ cup||120 ml|
|Lightly roasted carrot, medium dice||½ cup||120 ml|
|Celery, medium dice||¼ cup||60 ml|
|Bacon, medium dice||½ cup||120 ml|
|Dry bread crumbs||5 cups||1.25 L|
|Dry onion flakes||¼ cup||60 ml|
|Parsley flakes||1 Tbsp||15 ml|
|Poultry seasoning||2 tsp||10 ml|
|Black pepper, ground||¼ tsp||1 ml|
|Salt||¾ tsp||7 ml|
|Turkey stock||1 ¾ cups||425 ml|
|Butter, soft||¼ cup||60 ml|
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and butter a casserole dish generously. Set aside.
- Cook bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat until a little crispy.
- Add celery and cook for a minute. Add the roasted squash and carrots and cook for another minute. Cool lightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, dry onion flakes, poultry seasoning, black pepper and salt. Toss gently until ingredients are well mixed.
- Add the rest of the vegetables to the bowl and toss gently to fully combine with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the turkey stock a little at a time, tossing to moisten evenly but not make it soggy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Place the stuffing in the buttered casserole dish. Pour a little more turkey stock around the outside edge, no more than ¾ cup (175 ml).
- Bake in the preheated oven at 350 F (180 C) covered with aluminum foil for about 30 – 45 minutes until steaming hot. Halfway through cooking, stir lightly and add more stock if needed. Remove cover to brown stuffing for the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking time.
- Try onion instead of dry onion flakes.
- Substitute toasted diced old bread tossed in butter for bread crumbs.
- Try using garlic herb butter instead of regular butter.
- You can also add dried cranberries, dried apricots, pecans, walnuts or sausage.
Put the “e” in entertaining
Just because we can’t be together in person doesn’t mean we can’t be together. SAIT Hospitality Management Instructor Alita Brown can help you reimagine your Thanksgiving e-gathering.
With these tips for hosting the perfect online event, you’ll be asking grandpa to unmute himself in no time!
Take care of yourself
Sure, the Thanksgiving puns are (horn of) plenty, but holiday stress is no joke. Now more than ever, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself.
Here are some tips from Melissa Gray, a counsellor with SAIT’s Student Development and Counselling.
You may be hesitant to turn down an event — virtual or otherwise — but it’s best to be upfront if you’re strapped for time or energy.
Focus on what you can control.
It’s important to manage your expectations. Whether playing host or guest, recognize you can’t please everyone and that’s ok.
Set time boundaries.
Quality trumps quantity when it comes to spending time with loved ones. There’s no shame in setting limits on how long you’d like to socialize.
Make time for yourself.
Grant yourself permission to swap FOMO (fear of missing out) for JOMO (joy of missing out). Carve out time for self-care.
Happy Thanksgiving from SAIT.