Staff Columnist

2020 Thanksgiving tips you don't need

First lady Melania Trump watches as President Donald Trump pardons Butter, the national Thanksgiving turkey, in the Rose
First lady Melania Trump watches as President Donald Trump pardons Butter, the national Thanksgiving turkey, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

So you’ve made it to Thanksgiving 2020. Congratulations.

The festivities will be pared down this year, as we seek to avoid infecting friends and relatives with a deadly disease. It’s the least we can do. Also, turkey and dressing will be a nice change from all the (beep) sandwiches we’ve been served all year.

Still you might be uncertain how to approach this unusual holiday. Lucky for you I’ve got tips.

Resist the temptation to drink before noon, or at least make an effort. An “effort,” by the way, is a drink made by surreptitiously mixing whiskey with your coffee.

Many Thanksgiving dishes can be made days ahead of time. But you didn’t do that, because it’s 2020, so welcome to a culinary hell ride. You’ll need to make a much larger effort.

Forget something? That’s OK just make a quick run to the store. Then quarantine for 14 days.

Don’t slather your turkey with hand sanitizer or stuff the cavity with Clorox wipes. It won’t make your turkey any safer, it will only make it inedible. It may also catch fire. Instead, try brining the bird with tears of anger, exhaustion and frustration.

Consider grilling your turkey outdoors. It’s delicious and will make it possible to socially distance from the immediate family you’ve been unable to get away from for months. Check the bird from noon to 4 p.m.

Always remember, it’s called stuffing if you cook it inside the bird and dressing if you serve it separately. If you stuff it into the face of a person who reminds you of this tedious fact, it’s also stuffing.

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Mashing potatoes can be a chore, unless you have inspiration. Grab a masher, think about how Gov. Kim Reynolds has handled the pandemic and go to work. Look, no lumps! You’ll need a new masher.

Canned “pumpkin” is really a variety of squash, often with no pumpkin. What else is the government hiding from us? Q forever!

A nice green salad is always a good choice. A modern variation is the South Dakota Superspreader Salad. Guests grab handfuls of lettuce and throw it all over each other. Freedom!

Drop food on the floor? Don’t worry. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, it will remain safe for 15 minutes. It’s science!

Create a welcoming table for dinner. Clear away your home workspace, computer, monitors, notebooks, files, newspapers, candy wrappers, dirty dishes and the energy light your wife bought you to nudge you away from the dark abyss of despair. It’s totally working.

Encourage the kids to get involved in decorating. Have them turn a shoe box into a small dumpster and place several candles inside for a festive centerpiece that really captures 2020.

Dress for dinner. Seriously, get dressed. Even if it’s a Zoom meal, put on some pants.

Also, worn properly, masks are great for catching gravy drips from your chin.

Eat promptly, two hours later than planned.

Don’t skip the prayer. Not this year. Don’t even think it.

Select a wine that pairs well with the rich, savory flavors of Thanksgiving, preferably a variety sold in a very large jug or box and delivered.

Most of all, count your blessings. Can’t think of very many? Make an effort.

(319) 398-8262; todd.dorman@thegazette.com

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