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Skip the turkey, serve pork instead

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Smaller Thanksgiving celebrations are perfect time to serve world's most consumed protein.

As I sit down to write this blog, my Thanksgiving Day plans are still up in the air. After lying in bed all weekend with a severe headache and fatigue, I went in to get tested for COVID-19 Monday. I have yet to get my test results but feel back to normal. 

If we can't go to my in-laws for the holiday, the four of us will stay home, which is fine, it is what it is. But I will be honest, I have no desire to stick a giant bird in the oven and eat leftover turkey until the new year.

I'd much rather cook a holiday ham, a stuffed pork loin, a cider-glazed pork roast, a rack of ribs or anything wrapped in bacon.

For a family of four, or maybe I should say two and a half, depending on how I feel as well as the 5-year-old's palate that day, any of the above options seems much more practical, manageable and economical this year. And with resources such as the National Pork Board's Real Pork page, you can serve pork this Thanksgiving that's as red, white and blue as apple pie, or you can shake it up and explore new flavors from around the globe.

This holiday will no doubt be far from traditional for many American families. Heck, the American Farm Bureau Federation recognized that as they added ham to their 35th annual cost survey of items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. While the turkey costs less than last year, at $19.39 for a 16-pound bird, the four-pound ham remains unchanged at $9.16.

There's also no reason to get stressed out trying to mimic Grandma's roast turkey recipe or Aunt Sally's homemade turkey gravy. You can still have your stuffing but add sausage, of course. Add some bacon to that green bean casserole or cranberry sauce. You can even add some bacon to your pumpkin or pecan pie.

Pork may take center of the plate at the breakfast table or during a tailgate, but it's also the perfect comfort food as the weather turns colder and the days get shorter. Who doesn't need a little extra comfort this holiday season?

Revisit the turkey dinner with all the fixings next year, when hopefully everything is somewhat back to "normal" and when you can enjoy the holiday at its finest with all your family and friends.

This 2020, stay safe, stay healthy and treat yourself to pork.

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