Is a micro meal more difficult to cook than a huge Thanksgiving feast?

Freddie Prinze, Jr turkey recipe using Butterball Turkey, photo provided by Butterball
Freddie Prinze, Jr turkey recipe using Butterball Turkey, photo provided by Butterball /

The huge Thanksgiving feast or micro meal, which is harder to cook?

Has your huge Thanksgiving feast been replaced by a micro meal? While the current climate has caused the guest list to shrink, the Thanksgiving dinner has changed as well. From smaller turkeys to fewer sides, the holiday dinner is a fraction of previous years. Does that mean the micro meal is a harder to cook?

From experienced chefs to novice cooks, the Thanksgiving meal is a huge undertaking. Usually it involves hours (or days) in the kitchen. From a 20lb turkey to more Thanksgiving sides than table space, the Thanksgiving feast is a food bounty unlike any other.

Over the years, many people have perfected the idea of expanding recipes. That classic recipe for just the immediate family grew to feed more than double. While it wasn’t necessarily a math equation, those recipes adapted.

Even with more food on the table, those bigger recipes lead to leftovers, guest takeaways and more. Although it seems counter intuitive, adapting a recipe to feed more people just seems easy.

This year, the micro meal has taken over the holiday table. Beyond smaller sized turkeys, chefs are making turkey breast or just turkey legs. Instead of six side dishes, there might be just three. While these ideas might seem easy, why are so many people struggling with the idea of a micro meal?

Beyond breaking the tradition, smaller sized meals seem to add pressure to the cook. Just like a recipe with a few ingredients, there is less room for error. If the mashed potatoes are lumpy, there isn’t a plate of Brussel sprouts as an alternative.

Additionally, scaling back a recipe is not as easy as increasing one. Seasonings and flavors need to be adjusted in new ways. Creating that composed bite takes some additional thought.

Whether or not the micro meal is more difficult to cook than a huge Thanksgiving feast shouldn’t be the focus of the Thanksgiving dinner. In the end, the time spent around the table is the most important part. Thanksgiving is about gratitude and any size meal on the table is a reason to celebrate.

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How is your Thanksgiving dinner adapting this year?