Like most families, they all plan to scale down their celebrations.

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Thanksgiving usually means gathering with extended family and friends for a fabulous feast and plenty of football. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, things will likely look a little different this year. That may mean avoiding travel and keeping things local or scaling down your Thanksgiving dinner to just immediate family or those in your social bubble. While our food editors plan to keep things small and simple, that doesn't mean they'll be letting go of tradition altogether.

Assistant food editor Riley Wofford usually travels to her hometown of Dallas, Texas, but this year she'll be staying in Brooklyn and having dinner with her brother and sister-in-law. "In an effort to make it feel as cozy and normal as possible, I'll probably make roast chicken, a green salad, and cornbread stuffing, since that's always on the table at Thanksgiving," she says. Editor-at-large Shira Bocar also plans to roast a chicken rather than a turkey for her husband and two young kids this year. To round out the meal, she'll enjoy a simple a bowl of mashed potatoes and a bottle of natural red wine with dinner.

roasted turkey on wooden dish with garnished with oranges and greenery
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

While this year will certainly be far from the norm for most families, deputy dood editor Greg Lofts has long championed a nontraditional approach to the Thanksgiving menu. "One year I braised rabbit, another made a roasted capon. A few years ago, I did a whole Middle Eastern-inspired Thanksgiving with spiced rack of lamb with a garlicky yogurt-cucumber sauce to cool down the spicy meat, baba ganoush made from whole campfire-grilled eggplant for authentic smokey flavor, and a proper tabouli salad with a ratio of about 80 percent parsley and 20 percent bulgur," he says.

Senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell normally heads to Miami for Thanksgiving with her family. They dine at their favorite Cuban restaurant on a casual feast of roast pork and ropa vieja. While she may recreate decide to create that experience from the comfort of their Brooklyn home, she's also tempted by the idea of making some childhood classics this year: "I like to make my grandmother's Greek-style dressing with a mix of rice, ground lamb, herbs, and chestnuts. I tend to find [a traditional Thanksgiving menu] overly heavy, so I veer towards brighter fresh sides like Shredded Brussels-Sprout Salad with Hazelnut Crunch or some simple carrots with lemon and olive oil," she says.

Of course, it's not a proper Thanksgiving celebration without pie. Riley plans to bake this stunning Apple Rose Tart. Both editorial director of food Sarah Carey and Shira plan to make traditional pumpkin pie for their families who love all things pumpkin. And even Greg's family follows Thanksgiving tradition for dessert: "We always make my mom's apple pie with streusel topping served a la mode and a pecan or pumpkin pie as the backup dessert. We all go for the apple first!"

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