This recipe collection is a thought experiment.
What would a Thanksgiving meal look like if you never took off your mask?
There is “no more important time than now for each and every American to redouble our efforts to watch our distance, wash our hands and, most importantly, wear a mask.” – Dr. Henry Walke, CDC COVID-19 Incident Manager
For Thanksgiving 2021, my family is going with the Zoom version. No masks are required with this plan!
A Masked Meal Would Look Like
Masks with flaps and liquified … everything. Below is a combination of suck-worthy recipes along with edible straw pairings.
Masks with Flaps
Eco-Friendly, Edible Straws
Make edible straws to match your meal course. Example: Beacon straw with soup, cookie straw for desserts or candy straw with Loaded Punch.
*Modification for the cookie straw (to serve with vegetable courses) – leave out sugar and vanilla.
Liquified Meal Recipes
Once your meal course is complete as the directions indicate, add the last step of throwing everything in a blender. Blend until it’s smooth enough to make it through a straw.
Edible Straw Pairing Recommendation: Candy or Cookie
Loaded Cranberry Citrus Punch
1/4 cup cranberry juice
Juice & zest of one lime or lemon
4 oz lt. rum
2 oz. vodka
1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups ice cubes (if using frozen cranberries) or 1 cup water (if using fresh cranberries)
1 tsp. white sugar, if you wish to rim your edible straw with it. (Dip straw tip into water, then into sugar.)
Edible Straw Pairing Recommendation: Cookie, without the sugar or vanilla
Main Course – Meat & Veg Options
Edible Straw Pairing Recommendation: Cookie, without the sugar or vanilla or Beacon
Edible Straw Pairing Recommendation: Cookie, Candy, or Chocolate with sprinkles
Kiwi Fruit Pie Modify this recipe by leaving out corn starch, cooked kiwis, and pie shell.
Pumpkin Pudding (don’t refrigerate, so it is straw suck-upable)
Rose Peach Soup or Pudding (don’t refrigerate so it stays liquid)
Get your blender motor running! If you have blender recipes you’d like to share, send it along with a creative straw photo (if you have one) and I’ll add them here (through November 30th, 2020).
Humor and Foreboding
A meal that sucks says it all. Twenty-twenty was a sucky year!
While it was entertaining to re-imagine how a traditional shared Thanksgiving meal might look during COVID times, I’m already cringing at the headlines that will begin around December 12th. For the COVID spread, the suffering caused by a medical system unable to care for the sick, and for the friends and family members who will be lost, my heart is constricting with sadness, and tissues are filling with tears.
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip Dick, from Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire
References & Resources:
This is A Year to Do a Zoom Thanksgiving – Possible Medical System Overwhelm
Risk Assessment Map, updated regularly, calculates the odds of encountering infectious people. Enter your group size and location.
Example: In Nevada County today, for a group of 10 there’s a 1 in 7 chance of an infectious person being part of my group. If I lived in South Dakota, there’s a 7 out of 10 chance of an infectious person being part of my group. (The safest way to think about group interactions is to assume everyone is infected, including yourself, even though people aren’t acting sick.)
Bubble & Virus Exposure Visualization
Event Organizers have a Community Responsibility
Back in spring 2020, for a work function, I organized a gathering of ten people from four households. Once we’d gone beyond selecting the date and equipment needs, I realized COVID community responsibility was a factor that needed its own detailed plan.
As the hostess, it was my responsibility to keep everyone safe, informed, and ensure that we didn’t increase the community caseload.
Our activity was outside, with greater than six feet distance between families. Masks were on consistently, except for when we were drinking water, and we did not share food. Back then, active cases in my county were low. Hospital ICU bed capacity wasn’t a concern and we weren’t worried about sick people, exposed from our event, being unable to access emergency medical care three weeks in the future.
The following section and the PDF you can print-out and fill-in for your event are what I created to reduce gathering risks. It includes contact tracing elements that are part of the John Hopkins Contact Tracing online course.
Minimize Social Awkwardness with a COVID Behavior Plan
Before people come together, outline a detailed movement and behavior plan. Send it to each household. Request a response so you, and everyone else can verify universal understanding and agreement.
Include a contingency for the unknown. If there’s a major change, if an attendee isn’t behaving as agreed, or something unexpected happens, create a word or hand signal anyone can use to pause the action.
Assess what needs to happen next, ask attendees if they are comfortable with the change. Make an easy, guilt-free out if someone becomes uncomfortable or feels unsafe.
SARS-CoV-2 Gathering Plan Outline PDF
The host or hostess should remain in contact with attendees, checking for symptoms for fourteen days after the gathering. If anyone becomes sick, the host or hostess should notify other bubble contacts of an exposure and make gathering information available to County Health Department contact tracers.