A Thanksgiving Dinner Even Your Mother-in-Law Can Enjoy
Face it -- families are a blessing and a curse. While we love the people who have raised us and who have been by our side through thick and think, chances are good that we don't always like them. At no other time of year is this apparent than during a holiday season. If you're hosting this year's Thanksgiving Day bash, you need help to make sure you you're not going crazy with togetherness.
Are You the Best Person for the Job?
While you might have the best intentions for holding dinner at your house, let's talk about logistics. You're going to need someplace for everyone to sit as well as for everyone to sit when they're not at the dinner table. If you don't have enough chairs, things are going to get tricky. You can always rent chairs from your local party supply rental company or you can simply invite less people -- whichever is easier.
You're also going to need a kitchen which can cook for the people you are inviting. This means you need to have a big oven, a decent sized stove, and some counter space. If you just have a hotplate, you might want to push this hosting duty to someone else -- or just serve pumpkin pie.
Making a Martha Stewart Meal
The good news is that you can make it seem as though you had professional help in the kitchen, even though you didn't. Go to your grocery store right now and get acquainted with the deli and the prepared foods section -- they are your godsend. Before the big day, start trying out different side dishes they offer to see what tastes good with turkey. Then, the day before the big day, head to the store to buy everything you need -- and then all you have to do is warm it up, throw it in a bowl and grab a spoon to serve it.
But the turkey -- now there's something you can't pick up pre-cooked -- or can you? There are many turkeys now available in bags which are simply put into a pan and cooked as it. The bag seals in the juices tight so that you don't need top notch carving sets to get that meat thinly sliced for Aunt Bertha. Or you can simply choose a regular old bird (remove the baggie that's in its rump) and place it in a large pan. Of course, this bird will have been in your refrigerator for a few days ahead of time, thawing out its wings. Follow the directions on the turkey package to see how long you need to let it cook. And every half an hour or so, baste that bird in the juices that drip to the bottom of the pan.
The best news about letting others do most of the work for you? You can shoo your family out of the kitchen while you 'slave' over the meal -- finally, a little peace and quiet.