What a Crock!: Adapt menu for down-sized Thanksgiving _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Cran-Raspberry Cornish Hens

What happens when, for whatever reason, Thanksgiving has to downsize?

Perhaps there’s been an illness and the family cook is out of commission, or relatives are moving and it’s all hands on deck.

Maybe the family is simply now too small for the large celebrations of old.

Life happens and family meals adapt. It’s the nature of change. So, adapt with it.

Turkey can become Cornish hens or a large ham can give way to a smaller, half ham. I have close friends who always throw steaks on the grill for their holiday meals. Others pick up seafood and have a regular Louisiana feast.

For my friends battling life-threatening illnesses, this Thanksgiving won’t be about the meal. It’s about the gift of time and the love of close friends and relatives.

As one ill friend is fond of saying, “Great fellowship and good food! Doesn’t get much better.”

This particular recipe uses Cornish hens. How many hens you choose to use really depends on the size of your cooker. I fit two easily into a 3½- to 4-quart cooker, although you might have to lay them on their sides.

You can easily fit three into the larger-sized cooker.

Put frozen hens into refrigerator for overnight thawing. They will still be semifrozen, but set slow cooker on high for the first hour to bring temperature up fairly quickly.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.