2020 Thanksgiving: Cornish hens and take-out meals


Shoppers were out in large numbers the night before the holiday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Grocery stores across the Portland metro area were busy Wednesday night as shoppers prepared for a holiday traditionally celebrated with large gatherings.

Thanksgiving will look very different this year. State leaders have limited private gatherings to just six people, or no more than two households, as Oregon continues to see record outbreaks of COVID-19.

“It’s been a long year — and one that has been exceptionally challenging for Oregonians,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Not only have we been dealing with this pandemic, we also suffered through a heartbreaking and historic wildfire season. So many families have lost so much this year. Unfortunately, now, more than ever, is the time we must double down on our efforts to stop COVID from spreading.

“When people don’t respect how serious this virus is, and when they act against the recommendations of doctors and public health experts, not only are they putting themselves at risk, they’re putting all of us at risk. Making smart choices — to wear a mask, to limit your social gatherings, to stay home when sick — will get us out of this horrible situation faster, and bring us closer to normal life, closer to reopening our businesses and keeping them open, and closer to getting our kids back in the classroom.”

But grocery store parking lots were packed on Wednesday evening despite the statewide freeze.

At the Fred Meyer in Portland’s Hollywood district, one couple told KOIN 6 News they planned on connecting with their relatives using Zoom and Skype. With only themselves to cook for, they decided to buy a Cornish hen instead of a full-sized turkey and said they’d be dropping off some food for their kids and grandkids.

“It was pretty frantic in there,” Aqiylah Collins said of the shopping experience inside Fred Meyer. “There were a lot of people getting last-minute things but we were able to find everything we needed and they were plenty stocked.”

This year, Tabor Tavern on East Burnside decided to start offering take-out turkey dinners, which included turkey breasts smoked in-house, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and glazed carrots.

“It’s a good opportunity this year because of the situation we are all in so figured it was a good time to try it out,” said Aaron Kerschen with Tabor Tavern. “I think it’s a good way for us to make a difference in the community — it may not be the most important thing. I just personally think it’s important for people to be able to enjoy and have a nice meal for Thanksgiving.”

Tabor Tavern and Portland icon Huber’s Cafe had already sold out of their turkey dinners by Wednesday evening but both restaurants still had other takeout options.

“Starting Friday, we are starting lunch takeout,” said Kerschen. “It’s a sack lunch sort of idea where we are doing burgers, sandwiches, fries which are hopefully be accessible to the local community.”

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