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Waco: Preparing the Thanksgiving feast likely to be different this year

Cooking for this Thanksgiving will probably look a little different than years past.
Cooking for this Thanksgiving will probably look a little different than years past.(KWTX)
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 11:42 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Cooking for Thanksgiving could be a very different experience this year, since health officials are recommending people celebrate in much smaller groups.

Chef Michele Brown, lead instructor at Texas State Technical College, said there are some options to still have your Thanksgiving favorites.

Brown said cooking for smaller crowds is all about cooking smaller amounts, and even if you still have leftovers, it’s important to know the best way to safely store them.

If you still want to get a turkey, Brown said you can find the smallest one possible and freeze any portions you don’t want to eat right away.

Brown also recommended cooking sides like stuffing in a muffin pan.

Since we’re expecting some warm weather this Thanksgiving, Brown said you can get outside to cook and that will help with social distancing.

“Why not grill instead, grill a chicken instead of a turkey?” Brown said.

“Or like I said, break down, cut the turkey up before you cook it, and freeze portions of that, and just grill or smoke it.”

If you do find yourself with too much food, Brown said it’s important to get your leftovers put away within four hours so bacteria doesn’t grow.

“Take those little to-go containers, stack them up, put everybody’s leftovers in there, what they’re going to eat over the week, or put them in the freezer and get them right in the refrigerator, as soon as you can,” Brown said.

This Thanksgiving Brown also recommends people avoid the traditional buffet service.

Instead, one person can make plates for everyone in the kitchen, and bring them to everyone else.

That way, there aren’t too many people gathering in one area.

“In buffet style, people are lined up, and they’re all picking up the same utensils and they’re all putting things down, and breathing over,” Brown said.

“You don’t want any of that to happen, you want everything to be contained. so wearing a mask, wearing gloves, very helpful.”

Of course, another way to make it easier to cook this Thanksgiving is to not cook at all.

Restaurants around Central Texas will be open on Thanksgiving, and some are also offering take-out Thanksgiving meals.

OPEN ON THANKSGIVING:

· Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill – 614 North Valley Mills Drive – (254) 751-9084. Open 10:30 am – 2 pm

· Cracker Barrel – 4275 N. I-35 – (254) 799-4729. Open 7 am – 9 pm

· Cracker Barrel – 221 Enterprise Blvd – (254) 420-3505. Open 7 am – 9 pm

· Denny’s – 709 N. IH 35 – (254) 867-1000. Open 24 hours

· Denny’s at Flying J – 2409 S. New Road – (254) 752-0743. Open 24 hours

· Golden Corral – 618 N. Valley Mills Drive – (254) 751-9088. Open 10:30 am to 7 pm

· I-Hop – 1705 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd – (254) 420-8388. Open 6 am – 10 pm

· I-Hop – 4109 S. IH 35 – (254) 757-1133. Open 6 am – 10 pm

· La Madeline – 2816 Marketplace Drive (Central Texas Marketplace) – (254) 262-3171. Open 8 am – 5 pm

· Luby’s – 951 N. Loop 340 – (254) 799-2851. Open 11 am – 7 pm

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