Every single Thanksgiving, you have to haul a heavy turkey back from the grocery store, let it thaw, and then shove it in the oven for hours to let it cook all the way through. After all that effort, it can still taste dry unless you drown it in brown gravy and coat it with tart cranberry sauce. You can save yourself the stress and time in the kitchen by skipping the bird this year and serving up lobsters instead.

The replacement may sound like a complete break in tradition, but this dish will connect you to the origin of the holiday far better than the fifteen pounds of frozen turkey you usually put in your shopping cart. The great reason why you should eat lobster for Thanksgiving is that historians believe that the first groups to celebrate the occasion would have likely searched for ingredients in the nearby bay and brought shellfish back to the table. Seafood like fish, mussels, and fresh lobsters would have been boiled and added to the magnificent feast. In comparison, holiday staples like mashed white potatoes, sweet potato pie, or bread stuffing were definitely not made in the early years. If your family protests at the sudden change in the menu, you can remind them that the different dinner dish is true to the celebration’s roots.

You don’t need to worry if you don’t live near a fish market because you can shop online to get live lobster delivery in time for the holidays. Using the website Lobster Anywhere will help you find fresh lobster from Maine and have it shipped directly to your house in no time — the order will arrive at your front door within twenty-four hours. For a simple meal, boil or steam them in a large pot until they are ready and serve them with melted butter.

If serving lobster as the main course feels like too much of a change, you can insert it into other parts of the family feast. When your guests come through the front door, immediately whet appetites with a plate of lobster toasts with avocado and sprinkles of cayenne pepper which will look like they were put together by a professional chef. Or you can make a hearty side-dish like homemade lobster mac and cheese covered with a crunchy topping of panko breadcrumbs and chopped parsley — the sweetmeat and thick layers of Gruyere, cheddar, and Romano are an indulgent combination. For anyone that is already worried about how much work they will have to do over the stovetop, the website Lobster Anywhere offers their own version of lobster macaroni and cheese. All you have to do is order it online and then heat it in the oven right before dinner starts.

Don’t let your Thanksgiving reunion get stale by repeating the same meals over and over. Picking up a different dish like lobster will be a pleasant surprise for your relatives, and they will forget they had ever wanted turkey the moment that they dig in.

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