Thanksgiving is again almost upon us. For many of us that means the traditional holiday meal. The thought of Thanksgiving may evoke images of Grandma's stuffing or Mom's pumpkin pie, or the pictures of the golden turkey featured in the television commercials. What if the thought of trying to create the perfect dinner sends you into a panic? Don't worry. Thanksgiving is about family and friends, not food. There are many ways that you can replicate a traditional dinner with minimal effort.
Use a turkey breast instead of a full turkey
If you are cooking for a small group, consider purchasing a turkey breast. Cooking a turkey breast requires less prep time and less overall cooking time.
Consider purchasing the turkey already made
Many supermarkets and restaurants offer a ready-made turkey. To many, the turkey is the most important thing. Having it already prepared leaves you free to be innovative with the side dishes.
Use boxed stuffing
If you don't have a favorite stuffing recipe, consider using the packaged variety; it has the advantage of being incredibly easy to make.
Purchase frozen or ready-made pies or other desserts
Frozen pies have come a long way. Consider serving traditional pumpkin, pecan or apple pies. Pies can easily be baked the night before. Bakery cakes or cookies are also a good option.
Pick your favorite things to make from scratch
The major advantage to using shortcuts is not simply to save effort and time. It is to give you the freedom to create your own dishes and have fun with cooking. Knowing that the expected parts of the meal will be there gives you the opportunity to focus on making the things you want to make, so choose a favorite recipe and enjoy!
While it may sometimes not seem so, it is actually the positive family memories that you create that are important. While planning the holiday meals, take time to think about the impressions you want to create. Let the kids help with meal preparation. It's really not just about the food.