Everyone looks forward to indulging in the best meal of the year on Thanksgiving. My whole life I took this meal for granted and never wondered how this delicious spread of food ended up on the exquisitely decorated table in front of me. Now I struggle with making a small dinner for two – I can’t imagine making a huge dinner for twelve. So, in order to make the lives of everyone easier, here are some shortcuts you can take while you’re preparing this year’s Thanksgiving meal – nobody will even have to know.
You can spend hours creating the perfect balance of sauces, spices and stuffing to accompany this main Thanksgiving dish, but all that really matters is that the bird is cooked to perfection. If it’s overdone, it will be dry and lacking in flavor. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure that the turkey comes out right. When it comes to stuffing, keep it on the side. Instead of spending a ton of money on stuffing ingredients, use the Kraft Stove Top Stuffing as a base and throw in some of your favorite stuffing fixings.
The Mashed Potatoes
I’m going to be honest; the mashed potatoes are my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I love to pile up a hill of them on my plate and then create a crater with the gravy. But the thing is, mashed potatoes are always the first of the food to go and I always feel guilty because I took more than my fair share. Well, I stopped peeling and physically mashing potatoes long ago – right after I was introduced to instant mashed potatoes. Now, I know the little flakes that somehow become mashed potatoes turn off a lot of people, but if you do it right, they taste equally as yummy. The key? Use lots of butter, salt, garlic and even some cheese. This method will save you time and will ensure that you have enough potatoes to go around.
Use the Slow Cooker
Unless you have more than two ovens in your kitchen, you might be limited with cooking space. Using your slow cooker has several advantages—but the main one is, you set it and forget it. No more burning the bean casserole because you were tied up with the gravy. Check out some of these classic Thanksgiving recipes you can make in your slow cooker.
Make It Potluck Style
I’m sure your guests will be happy to contribute to the feast. Kindly ask each family member attending to bring a dish to pass. Butter them up with things like “Gee, your pumpkin pie is Grammy’s favorite, would you mind bringing one?” Keep the mood of the holiday going and be sure to express your thankfulness for the help. If someone offers to help, take them up on it – you might feel like you can do it all yourself, but you will be grateful when you have the help.
Above all, try not to stress. Even if everything doesn’t come out perfect, everyone will still appreciate the delicious meal. Comment below by letting us know your own Thanksgiving shortcuts.