Thanksgiving meal tips whether you’re cooking, carrying out or just want to eat out

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:20 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The CDC is urging people not to travel this Thanksgiving. Health officials are also encouraging you to stay within your own home for the holiday to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It comes as numbers across the country and right here in Kansas reach new heights and the number of hospitalizations grows, in some places overwhelming hospitals.

So, what can you do to scale down your celebration?

Chef Alex Michael is the Chair of Culinary Arts at Butler Community College. She says first start with the bird. She says you don’t always need a turkey for your Thanksgiving feast.

“Find different sorts of birds in the grocery store they carry ducks, guinea fowl, quail sometimes, so maybe finding just a smaller piece of poultry in the grocery store so you don’t have those leftovers,” she says.

But if you’re stuck on tradition, Michael says you might try different cuts and not the entire turkey.

“You can also find sometimes just turkey breasts with the legs not included so just a smaller butchered piece of turkey if you’re still wanting to have turkey,” she says.

Chef Michael says when it comes to the sides and dessert, try half portions of your favorites. Or, try something new.

“Maybe instead of making a whole pumpkin pie, maybe making little tartlets that you can free some of them,” she says.

It may not be what you’re used to, but ultimately, it’s about keeping everyone safe.

“Remember those good days. We’ll be back here again and someday we can come back together and have those big meals,” says Michael.

Of course, not everyone wants to cook or eat at home. The website Wichita On The Cheap has compiled an extensive list of restaurants offering carryout meals or staying open with special Thanksgiving meals planned.

There are also several places offering free Thanksgiving meals for those in need:

  • Newton’s Grace Community Church is offering free meals on Thanksgiving. Find more details here: Newton Community Thanksgiving
  • Bethel Life Center will have a drive-thru distribution of to-go Thanksgiving meals at 3777 S. Meridian Avenue from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Thursday while supplies last. Learn more about that here:
  • First Presbyterian Church will offer to-go Thanksgiving meals at no charge from noon until 1:00 p.m. at 324 N. Baltimore in Derby. You must RSVP for this by calling (316) 788-2831 before Wednesday.
  • The Lord’s Diner is serving to-go meals until further notice, and that includes Thanksgiving. Those meals will be available at both of the Lord’s Diner locations, 520 N. Broadway and 2825 S. Hillside from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.
  • To go meals will also be available through The Lord’s Diner food trucks at the following locations: Atwood Neighborhood Resource Center (2755 E. 19th) from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m., Evergreen Neighborhood Resource Center (2700 N. Woodland, near 27th and Arkansas) 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., and Hilltop Community Center (1329 S. Terrace) from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. You can call (316) 266-4966 for more information on The Lord’s Diner offerings for Thanksgiving.

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