Once our kids were grown, Glen and I liberated ourselves from the family silver and white damask and celebrated the national feast day in our “canned ham,” a 1956 Shasta trailer. The original Princess oven and three burners are plenty of equipment to cook Thanksgiving for two, not counting the cat. Here’s the almost traditional, but miniaturized, menu. Because we’re camping, a lot of it involves advance prep, which is handy at home, too.
Romaine Heart with Grapefruit and Avocado
I wash and dry the romaine heart leaves at home and pack them in damp paper towels in a Ziploc. I section red grapefruit at home and pack it in a plastic container. I slice the avocado at the last minute and mix some olive oil into the remaining grapefruit juice with a few flakes of red chili for a dressing.
Roast Cornish Game Hen
The hens thaw on the drive to Zion or Arches or wherever.
Vegetable Sage Stuffing
Mix chopped onion, celery, squash and toasted bread cubes. Add chopped fresh sage, black pepper, thyme. Mix together and moisten with vegetable broth until you can almost squish a handful into a ball. I stuff the hens, then put the rest in a pan, cover it and bake until vegetables are cooked. Uncover and let brown.
Sweet Potato Cylinders
My favorite way to cook sweet potatoes, ever. Choose shapely ones, peel and cut crosswise into thick chunks (about 2 inches tall). Line a cookie sheet with foil, oil or butter it, and arrange the sweet potato cylinders on it. Bake at 350 or 400 until you can tell they’re done. (If you squeeze them lightly, they’ll be soft.) Serve them as is with a pat of butter, or cut a small X in the top of each one, insert a dab of brown sugar mixed with butter and allspice, or a mini-marshmallow, and return to the oven until the sweet stuff oozes.
Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnuts
Pre-toast the nuts. Blanch the beans, cool and store in a Ziploc. Before serving, heat butter until foamy and toss beans and nuts until hot.