Thanksgiving is the biggest cooking day of the year, but if you’re not up to tackling the whole meal yourself, let us help you with a few shortcuts. We can make it easy and foolproof and the only ones being fooled will be your guests when they think you did it all by yourself.
Bakery Bread: The bakery can help in many ways. First, with the stuffing or dressing. You can buy already baked cornbread for cornbread dressing and bakery bread to cut into cubes and make white bread dressing. I like to use French bread, so I buy a sliced loaf, cut into cubes and then let them go stale in a cold oven overnight. I’ll do the same for cornbread dressing. The bakery staff will also have bags of already dried breadcrumbs that make it even easier. Don’t forget to grab the rolls! Those can be wrapped in foil and warmed before serving. And you might need buns for leftover turkey sandwiches or fresh tortillas for turkey enchiladas.
Perfect Pies: I’m all about passing off a pie as though it’s my own, and with a few stylish additions it may as well be. First, transfer the pie to your own favorite pie dish. Then make a flavored cream topping to serve on the side or on top. For apple pie, I will always reheat before serving in a 200-degree oven while we are eating dinner. Then I sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. For pumpkin or pecan, serve the pie cold and pipe or spread a whipped cream topping over the top. Dust with pumpkin spice before serving. You can also get a caramel sauce and serve it warm in a pretty creamer. No one will ever know you didn’t make it all from scratch!
Pre-cut Produce: This is probably the biggest time saver. Buying precut onions, celery, carrots and other vegetables are well worth the extra cost and save you the trouble and fingertips of chopping everything.
Turkey Alternative: If you’re not up to tackling a large turkey then Greenberg Smoked Turkeys are always a crowd favorite. These locally produced turkeys can be served warm or cold and everyone loves the leftovers, too!
Side Dishes: I know how it goes – Dad wants Brussels sprouts, someone else wants mashed potatoes, the kids want sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and then there’s the green bean casserole. Who wants to cook seven different side dishes? Not me! Order a Side Dish Pack or Sides a La Carte from FRESH. Check out the Holiday Guide for all the prices and details. Available at the catering office, on the website and at the Chef-Prepared case.
Thanksgiving Eve & Breakfast: If I am cooking Thanksgiving, that is the only meal I am preparing during that 24-hour period. Everyone is on their own for dinner the night before, breakfast the morning of, and snacks. I also want them out of the kitchen so it’s easier to get the big meal on the table. Pizza and/or casseroles from the Grab & Go case are great to have on hand. Also pastries, coffee cake and muffins for breakfast. For snacks, there are some delicious Hors D’oeuvres and Party Platters in the holiday guide. The dip bar and charcuterie also have a lot of great choices.
Floral: There’s a lot of food on the table for Thanksgiving, but you can also make room for a little table décor. Small bud vases can show off seasonal color or something floral that matches your plates. Use white pumpkins and some greenery to tie it together and give the table a warm, bountiful feeling.