A Thanksgiving on-campus: a guide to an improvised feast on campus


By Lucia Thorne, Editor-In-Chief

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce piled high on plates across a long table have come to symbolize thanksgiving — a holiday famous for its food. But, for some Emerson students staying on campus through the holiday, that image is a difficult, but not impossible, reality to achieve. 

To avoid flying 12 hours round trip to my hometown for a single dinner, I will be staying on campus this Thanksgiving, eating takeout and watching my favorite fall movie “Knives Out” and binging “Friends.” This will be the first time celebrating the holiday––or any holiday––on my own. 

Just because you don’t have loved ones gathered around the table or a celebration with friends and peers through the college, doesn’t mean this Thanksgiving has to be dreary. Look at the bright side: you’re skipping out on the holiday travel hassle and the uncomfortable family dinner politics. Now that is something to be grateful for. 

All jokes aside, here are a couple ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving on campus.  

RSVP for Emerson’s “Thanksgiving Eve Dinner”

For those of us staying on campus thought the break, Emerson is offering a free dinner for students at 4 p.m. on Nov. 24, hence the “Eve” moniker. The college is requiring interested students to RSVP for the event, which they can do here

Enjoy a nice take-out dinner

Many businesses will be closed for  the holiday, but thankfully, a pre-prepared Thanksgiving dinner to-go can be found at several restaurants in the greater Boston area. Each menu is slightly different as are their price ranges––after all, these are some pretty nice places. Here are some places offering take-out in the area: 


Davio’s Boston prepares a Thanksgiving meal for pre-order, charging $75 per person. The kit features turkey, a wide array of vegetables, challah bread herb stuffing, gravy, and cranberry apple chutney. It also includes a large range of desserts like apple pie with ice cream, pumpkin pie, and pecan tarts.

Order by phone or email by Tuesday, Nov. 23 for pick-up any time during business hours on Wednesday, Nov. 24 or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25. Email [email protected] for inquiries and orders for the holiday. 

The Smoke Shop

Like Davio’s, The Smoke Shop has the Thanksgiving classics on-hand, but they provide the option of a pre-prepared meal with a pre-selected menu––“All Boxed Up” at $55 for two people––and the opportunity for guests to mix and match their order with their a la carte menu. The kit comes with turkey, Texas toast stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, ham, and pumpkin spice butter cake.

Order by phone or online “All Boxed Up” packages by Thursday, Nov. 18 for pick-up on Tuesday, Nov. 23 or Wednesday, Nov. 24. For a la Carte selections, order before Friday, Nov. 19 for pick-up on Wednesday, Nov. 24. 

Bambara Kitchen & Grill

Bambara is the cheapest option on this list, with its Thanksgiving dinner kit coming in at $35. The dinner-for-one contains a turkey breast and leg, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, gravy, mushroom stuffing, and a slice of apple or pumpkin pie. Their menu also features a la carte options. 

A portion of the proceeds from Bambara’s thanksgiving kits will go to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign run by non-profit organization Share Our Strength aiming to end child hunger in the United States. 

Order by phone or online by Friday, Nov. 19 for pick-up on Wednesday, Nov. 24 between 12:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Make your own Thanksgiving meal in your building’s kitchen

If you’d rather save a couple bucks and do the work yourself, you can always make use of campus kitchens in Colonial, Little Building, Piano Row, and 2 Boylston Place to make yourself a Thanksgiving feast. 

There are many simple recipes online to make a Thanksgiving meal for one. Here are a few: 

  1. “One-Pan, One-Pot Thanksgiving DinnerMelissa Clark’s recipe from The New York Times Cooking section is definitely one to try. With three hours cooking time plus time for marination, this feast offers 3-4 servings, meaning more leftovers for you! 

Clark’s rendition of Thanksgiving dinner includes the holiday’s classics, so if you’re craving a traditional meal without the hassle, Clark’s feast is perfect. The menu features turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. 

The recipe calls for lots of ingredients, so you are going to want to set aside some time for a trip to Roche Bros or Trader Joe’s. You can find the full recipe and instructions online

  1. “Roasted Vegan Thanksgiving Bowl” – For my vegan and vegetarian friends, this is a recipe for you! Brittany Mueller’s recipe for “I Love Vegan” consists of vegan substitutes to fan favorites, satisfying the fall-flavor cravings without the use of animal products.

The bowl includes roasted squash and carrots, roasted brussel sprouts, garlic roasted broccoli, mashed creamer potatoes, vegan gravy, pecans, and cranberry sauce. Serving around 2-3 people, this meal only takes 55 minutes to prepare and gives you leftovers. 

While Mueller’s recipe requires less ingredients than Clark’s, you’ll probably still need to stop by a grocery store. 

  1. Thanksgiving, a la carte (a.k.a pick and choose your favorites) – Personally, I’m not the best at cooking, but I can bake without setting the food ablaze—except the cinnamon rolls that one time. We don’t need to talk about that.

If you’re like me and would rather spend time being thankful for the cooking or baking skills you already possess instead of taking risks in the kitchen, I recommend selecting recipes for foods you already know how to make. 

I know I’ll be thankful if those of us staying on campus make it through break without getting evacuated due to a holiday cooking mishap. 

To avoid becoming the one setting off the building’s fire alarm, I’ll be ordering a Thanksgiving kit from Bambara––sometimes you have to treat yourself.

However or wherever you are spending this holiday, thank you for reading this edition of The Beacon Magazine. The Beacon wishes you and all your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving!