The first year after college, I couldn’t afford to take days off work or to fly home. With my Real Simple magazine full of recipes in hand, I tried to mask being homesick by cooking a proper Thanksgiving meal…for only three people. We have rarely gotten to spend Thanksgiving with family in south Louisiana since then, but I have refined my Thanksgiving prep.
We still have a few weeks until the big day, but now is the time to figure out your food plans. Do you want a complete Thanksgiving meal prepared by a store or entirely home-cooked? Only order a turkey or dessert? Do you want to make dinner reservations and eat out? Here are some local options available for you.
Hyvee Order online, Options from complete meal for 20 to a la carte items (and non-traditional meals like lasagna)
Bread Garden Call 319-351-9119 to order, Dinner for six, Option to pick up Nov. 27th and bake ($119) or carryout on Thanksgiving ($139)
Pioneer Co-op Order online by Nov. 20th, Options from complete meal for 10 to vegan plates and a la carte items
Natural Grocers Order online by Nov. 15th, Various turkey options
Be sure to have room in your fridge–most of these options require pick-up in advance. Also read the instructions before Thanksgiving day…even though you may not have to brine a turkey, it could still take a few hours to cook.
Leave all of the prep and clean-up for someone else! Here are the restaurants that we know will be open (so far!):
Ox Yoke Inn: 11 am to 3 pm, call 319-622-3441 for reservations
Iowa River Power Restaurant: Limited hours, call 319.351.1904
Twelve01 Kitchen and Tap: 11 am to 2 pm, call 319-338-1201 or 319-351-5049 for reservations
ReUnion Brewery: 10 am to 4 pm, 319.337.3000
When it’s just us now, I opt to do a mix of ordering ahead of time and cooking. I’m a vegetarian so we will certainly be getting a turkey from a store. I’ll probably order a dessert and rolls too. Here are the recipes I’m eyeing this year:
And maybe I’ll even dig out that Real Simple stuffing my 22 year-old self made in a cramped kitchen years ago.
Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes and tips?
Check out posts from last year’s guide, and other delicious recipes that are tried and true:
No-Stress Turkey Recipes
Egg-Free Pumpkin Spice Cake
Destressing Thanksgiving Dinner
Almond Vanilla Bean Apple Crisp
Carb Fest! Cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, potatoes, and stuffing
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies and Pumpkin Surprise Muffins
Spicy Pumpkin Pie and Amazing Apple Pie