Turkey. Gravy. Mashed Potatoes. Fresh bread baking in the oven. Family recipes coming into fruition as everyone gathers around a table to enjoy a meal while being thankful for various things in their lives. Sounds picture perfect to me. However, I live too far from my family to be able to go home and visit and have often spent this holiday alone. I know that I am not alone on this either. I don’t let celebrating a holiday alone deter me from having a turkey dinner – and one with very little clean up. You see, I’ve kind of become a pro at the whole making a holiday dinner for one without having to go out and buy too many things, having a big mess to clean up after and cooking a meal that has more leftovers than I know what to do with.

Although it is not ideal or convenient – lets be real being alone on any holiday isn’t the easiest – I try to make myself a holiday dinner that would still resemble one if I went to a family gathering – just without the over abundance of food. Plus, I’m a picky eater so the easier/simple the better for me. You shouldn’t have to miss out on traditions or a traditional meal just because you’re by yourself.

Side note: I used to pick up a turkey sandwich lunchable for myself every year because it was still turkey, it was still a meal and there was no clean up required. Over the last couple years, I’ve decided to treat myself to something a little bit more…substantial and traditional. I have made a list of items I typically pick up each November.

Shopping List:

  • Deli Turkey Meat
  • Easy Mac / Shells N Cheese (Single serve or boxed)
  • Individual Microwaveable Green Beans/Corn
  • Single Serve Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes (The family size also works well if you put them in a nice bowl and take them to a group dinner – they’re so good no one will know you microwaved them).
  • Rolls from the bakery – there are some great smaller take and bake if you really like to bake.
  • Single slice of your favorite cake or pie from the bakery.

The key to it all is to plate it nicely on a dish rather than a paper plate. It helps you forget that a majority of your meal was not home-made by yourself. Sit down at a dinner table and enjoy your meal.

Don’t worry, Checotah (my corgi), gets in on the holiday festivities as well. Every year I pick her up a little treat, this year it will be from Three Dog Bakery in Mt Juliet and get her a doggy soft food turkey dinner.

After our bellies are full we turn on a good movie (usually Christmas) or put on a Christmas vinyl and begin our decorating for the next holiday!

I hope that no matter what you traditions are, if you are alone or surrounded by friends and family that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your bellies be full and your hearts be grateful, thankful and blessed.