How to Celebrate Thanksgiving This Year With Andrew Zimmern

This week, we were joined by chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern, four-time Emmy and James Bird winner, as he tells us how to celebrate Thanksgiving this year of the pandemic … if you decide to do so at all. Hear Andrew lays out strategies for cutting back on your Thanksgiving meal, talks about the safest ways to eat outdoors, and argue for skipping this year’s holiday altogether.

Andrew is known in the culinary world for hosting shows such as Bizarre Foods and The Zimmern List. His latest series, What’s Eating America, is on MSNBC.

Listen to The Upgrade above, or find us in all the usual podcast locations including Apple Podcasts , Google Play , Spotify , iHeartRadio, and NPR One.

Highlights from this week’s series

From an interview with Andrew Zimmern:

On the one hand, he is considering “holding” Thanksgiving this year:

So, I have this thing that keeps the temperature in the garage at about fifty-five degrees. So if I get it all out and open the garage window, the side door … and the front, I can bring two or three people at the same time, taking turns to eat a piece of cake and a cup of coffee, sit 15 feet away. and tell them that I love them and that I am grateful that they are in my life. And I think the spirit of the holiday is not about 20 people gathering in a room on the ground floor, giving each other a Covid, watching football games and complaining that they ate too much turkey. I think the spirit of the holiday is to tell people that we love them and are grateful for them in our life.

On how to plan if you’re still hoping to host a small group this year:

So let’s say you’re going to spend Thanksgiving with what you consider to be your safe group. So there are many things you can do: cook the turkey in a different way, take a small one. They sell birds between 12 and 16 pounds. You can take off the dark quarters and do something with them later in the week and just toast the so-called airline breast, full breast on both sides. You can save the frame and actually stuff it to make the breast cook much faster. You can do this on a wire rack, you can cut off the breasts, legs and thighs from the turkey frame, or have the butcher do this and grill and fill them in a smaller container, then eat this roasted turkey for a few days afterward. You can’t grill it and just roast a little poultry, but don’t forget to shop for turkey soup, turkey tetrazzini, turkey king. These are things that you can put in containers and freeze. So planning your menu a little is smart.

On why you should think twice before continuing your Thanksgiving meeting:

You know, we are obliged to society as people to act in accordance with what is best for everyone. This is part of the dedication we need more in America. You cannot come up with your own path to doing the right thing, but you can do it your way to achieve the right thinking. It’s about treating other people with kindness, dignity and respect, and taking care of your fellows as much as you do yourself … I just think we need to do some things differently to get different the result, because what we were doing is not working. And I would just advise people at this time of year when we tend to be a little more other-oriented, to really take it to heart.

For more advice from Andrew on how to safely spend Thanksgiving this year, listen to the entire episode.

Any feedback or ideas for future episodes? Do you want to participate in the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send a voicemail to upgrade@lifehacker.com.

Episode transcript

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