Thanksgiving brings eclectic revelry
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which for many means a trip away from USC to feast and to revel in the comforts of home and family.
For others, though, the Thanksgiving holiday brings only a quiet couple of days on or around campus, deprived of the traditional festivities of Turkey Day.
Being stuck at USC for the weekend doesnât have to equate to a lackluster Thursday night of ramen noodles and pro football on TV. If you own a car, the alternatives are obvious: The entire City of Angels will be yours to explore.
But for those of you who donât have your own transportation and donât want to rent a car â fear not. There are plenty of ways to fill your Thanksgiving weekend this year in Los Angeles.
The first matter of business regarding Thanksgiving should always be the food. The holiday is a great opportunity to pass up the usual microwave-friendly choices or takeout fare â this time, you can say no to more pasta deliveries.
Thanksgiving Restaurant EditionÂ
Though many restaurants close for Thanksgiving weekend, a short bus or cab ride up Figueroa Street will land you at the doorstep of the Original Pantry Cafe, which will offer a traditional turkey dinner with all the accoutrements for less than $20. There, you can chat over a pile of the Pantryâs classic sourdough bread â ask for it toasted â and soak in the history and energy of an 87-year-old eatery.
There are more modern takes on the holiday available, too. Conveniently, LA Live features some intriguing eats, including LA Market by Kerry Simonâs take on seasonal food (including a swank $52-per-person Thanksgiving dinner, if youâre willing to splurge).
At-Home Holiday Recipes
But letâs say you want to cook up a Thanksgiving dinner yourself. Thereâs no need to worry about the logistics of roasting a whole bird â instead, pick up some turkey breasts. You can adjust the seasonings based on what you have â just pat the breasts dry, and season them generously with coarse salt and black pepper, and go from there.
Sage is the classic Thanksgiving herb, but thyme and rosemary are go-to flavors as well. You can go even further with a sage-citrus butter. Get some orange and lemon zest (a vegetable peeler is ideal), mince very finely and mix with some softened unsalted butter. Add chopped sage, combine and then carefully insert spoonfuls of the mixture under the skin of the turkey breast, using your fingers to even it out across the meat.
Place the seasoned breast in a roasting pan. Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit or until the skin is browned and crisp and the meatâs juices run clear.
Stuffing is easy: Dice some bread (stale French bread works great) into small half-inch inch squares, and fine-dice (1/8 inches) some onion, celery and carrot. No need for measuring cups here â a serving will be roughly a handful of bread cubes and a handful of the chopped vegetables.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat and drop in a tablespoon or so of butter. Then add the bread cubes and toss, toasting the cubes evenly for a few minutes.
Lower the heat to about medium and add the vegetables along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables soften and the onions look translucent â make sure the mix isnât browning.
All you need to do to complete the dish is crank the heat up to high, add in a splash of chicken stock/broth and mix. Enjoy.
Long Weekend Events â Raging to RelaxingÂ
There is more to the holiday weekend than just Thanksgiving dinner, of course. On Friday evening, The Shrine will host the Dayglow Tour, which bills itself as the âworldâs largest paint party.â With a paint-splattering crew and the raving sounds of R3HAB and Sidney Samson pumping you up, this might be a good chance to work off some of that Thanksgiving dinner.
If youâd rather go for a little relaxation, take advantage of the long weekend â there are plenty of places just a short distance away that will cater to your needs. Emperory in Downtown Los Angeles, for instance, offers massages of various sorts in a casual and hassle-free setting where you donât have to disrobe. Best of all, itâs affordable, especially during happy hour â 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. â when an hour-long massage is only $20.
Being stuck at school for Thanksgiving can be the perfect opportunity to try some new things around the city. Though consuming copious amounts of turkey and indulging your gratuitous craving for naps isnât a bad way to spend the weekend, this yearâs Thanksgiving might be the perfect time to get out a little.