Thanksgiving away from home, with friends

Thanksgiving is next Thursday, and while many students plan to go home for the holiday, others may have no other choice but to stay at school. Furthermore, some may chose to stay at school in order to avoid travels and stay on top of things. Either way, Thanksgiving should not be left un-celebrated. This does not mean everyone has to be with their immediate family, sitting at a dinner table with a huge turkey and fancy napkins. All Thanksgiving needs is good company, possibly some good food, and being thankful. This sounds cheesey, but making sure to recognize what you are grateful for – at least once a year – is very important.

This can be done by yourself, but the reason Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday is because we get to celebrate not just our own, but others’ blessings as well. The process of making food with other people, whether it be friends or family, and sitting down to a meal together sets the perfect stage for this conversation. Sharing with each other the highs and lows surrounding our current lives and the year past is something that is not a priority 99 percent of the year. So how should you go about celebrating this day of thanks if you are planning on staying at school? The solution could look something like this: First, invite any other friends you know staying in town to a Friends-giving! This is a fun way to get together and either cook with each other or have a pot-luck of sorts. Recognizing the day and again, what you are thankful for, is a meaningful experience. Furthermore, finding Thanksgiving recipes to cook for most likely the first time in your life could turn out delicious, or at least comedic, among friends.

Here are some ideas for easy recipes to try:

Easiest-Ever Pumpkin Pie (Pilsbury)

Ingredients: 3/4 cup white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 can pupmkin puree 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk 2 eggs, beaten 1 Pilsbury Pet-Ritz frozen deep-dish pie crust. Directions: 1. Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mix filling ingredients. Pour into pie crust. 2. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake 40 to 50 minutes longer or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 2 hours. Serve or refrigerate until serving time. Store in refrigerator.

Basic Mashed Potatoes

( Ingredients: 2 pounds baking potatoes 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup milk salt and pepper to taste Directions: 1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain. 2. In a small saucepan heat butter and milk over low heat until butter is melted. Using a potato masher or electric beater, slowly blend milk mixture into potatoes until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you hate cooking or are short on time, Meijer has many options for gathering together a lovely Thanksgiving meal. Instead of a huge turkey, just grab one of the rotisserie chickens that has already been cooked. Next, find some canned cranberry sauce, microwave mashed potatoes and boxed stuffing, and your meal is well on its way. The food doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as you have good people surrounding you and quality conversations.

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