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What Do You Eat on Thanksgiving Eve?

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The Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving dinner: The calm before the storm.

Photo by James Ransom

AntoniaJames took to the Hotline to ask—what does everyone eat on Thanksgiving Eve? Surprisingly, a few themes stood out—Here’s what the Food52 community eats the night before their Thanksgiving feasts:

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To Order In or to Take Out? That is the Question

  • Monica_m speaks from experience: “I used to work in the call center for a local pizza chain—let me tell you, lots and lots of folks make a call for dinner the night before Thanksgiving.”
  • Nicole Otis agrees, calling takeout pizza “a break before the chaos begins.” Bevi agrees, ordering pizza and Indian food.
  • Some favorite pizza joints may not deliver, but AntoniaJames doesn't mind, she picks up a half-baked pizza from a favorite local spot, saying it's "totally worth any inconvenience."
  • Sometimes it's not even for the benefit of the Thanksgiving cook, but for those who are visiting. Inpatskitchen's son comes to visit for the holidays, and the whole family orders his favorite pizza and salad—"He can't find the same pizza in SF!"
  • Sdebrango prefers grabbing Chinese food before the big day.
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Under the Sea

  • Susan W's brother has their family covered, serving abalone (that he dove for!), steamed clams, and nice crusty bread.
  • Rachel's dad's seafood stew is a crowdpleaser—"My niece asked if she could take some with her to work the next day, but it was so good, there was none left!"
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Keep it Simple​ or Chill with Chili

  • Pasta is jamcook's go-to, served with a basic mixed salad.
  • Soup just works for many Food52ers. TobiT likes it because it's easy to freeze, "both to make ahead and to freeze leftovers." Aargersi agrees, and is "not ashamed to say that packaged ramen or Campbell's tomato are viable options."
  • Drbabs and Megan are both looking forward to some delicious chili this year.
  • Calendargirl is thinking of serving lentil soup this year, but adds: "one year I served bagels with sable and chopped liver (both procured from a favorite deli) along with a huge salad. Casual to be sure, but everyone served up just what he or she wanted, there were not a lot of dishes to deal with, and growling stomachs were quieted."
Photo by Alpha Smoot

Straight to Dessert

  • C Sangueza’s family goes right for the sweet stuff: “...my family has a many-generation tradition of trying out the pies on Wednesday evening. We don't eat dinner—just pie—sometimes pot pies as well as sweet ones. Then we cook together on Thursday morning and eat the big meal in the evening.” Gotta wonder if they're taking applications for new family members...

Do you have any traditions for the dinner before Thanksgiving? Or do you just nibble on leaves to save precious belly space for the following day? We want to know!


Did someone say "Thanksgiving"? Our menu genie is here to help.