It’s a week before Thanksgiving and my email inbox is flooded with food related newsletters touting new and exciting recipes to replace the same old, supposedly boring, tried and tested favorite recipes. My question is does anyone actually try a new recipe for Thanksgiving, or for that matter, any holiday? I know that with two little kids at home, getting a holiday dinner on the table is a challenge in and of itself, forget about trying out a new recipe. Yes, I watch all the Food Network specials and read through (and drool over) the email newsletters and magazine recipes and I fantasize about making some exotic version of cranberry sauce or a totally unexpected stuffing but that’s where it ends. There is enough to do just on a daily basis that planning to make (and God forbid test) a new holiday recipe is totally unfeasible within weeks or mere days of the event.
My holiday cooking is pretty much on autopilot. It has to be. Just getting through the grocery trip in one piece is an achievement. I bought our turkey the other day and Little “I Want To Walk” Missy was running laps around the freezer case as I compared birds (Whole bird, or breast? Frozen or fresh? I went with a frozen breast, there will only be 3 adults and 2 toddlers after all and it will be soooo much quicker to make). She then proceeded to run up and down the aisles and scream bloody murder whenever I tried to get her to hold my hand. Even with a shopping list I had to back track because I missed so many items since I had to keep chasing down my little darling. Meanwhile the little guy was happy enough gawking at everything on the shelves and trying to grab stuff whenever the cart got close enough. I’m gonna be in so much trouble when he decides he too wants to walk in the store, but I digress. Our Thanksgiving table will feature roast turkey, gravy from the drippings, cranberry sauce (from a can), stuffing (from a bag), mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts (because the hubs likes them), green bean casserole. Dessert will be store bought pie and probably ice cream. So that’s the menu.
The game plan will be to start thawing out the turkey in the fridge on Tuesday (again, quicker than a whole bird) and then start cooking after a sandwich lunch on Thanksgiving in order to have dinner on the table on time. Apart from the turkey, the biggest effort will be the Brussels sprouts. I will shred them and sauté them with bacon and onion. It’s the only way I can stomach Brussels sprouts! Everything else will be from a can or a bag. My plan is to have a tasty and stress free Thanksgiving without any surprises from flashy untested recipes. What’s your plan?