Saving time is just as important as saving money. After all, time is money, right?
Standing over a hot stove all day to prepare a Thanksgiving meal may not appeal to you and it certainly is not saving you any time. It may not even be possible if you have a busy schedule, perhaps have to go to work on Thanksgiving, or have other reasons that you need a menu that doesn’t involve hours of preparation and hard work.
A Thanksgiving menu can be very simple as long as you include a few traditional dishes from year to year. Most folks don’t care if you aren’t serving the fanciest fare, as long as it’s memorable. I’ll share a few wonderfully delicious, but simple foods that are easy to make with memorable results.
Turkey – The first, of course, is turkey. Turkey is very inexpensive and really simple to make. It’s no different than roasting a chicken. The problem most people run into is the thawing time. You can speed up the thawing process by letting the bird rest in a sink full of cold water. It will usually thaw out overnight that way without the risk of becoming too warm. Then roast according to instructions on the turkey packaging. You handle it very little after that.
Green Bean Casserole – A traditional favorite in many homes and so very simple to make. Use frozen green beans and don’t even bother cooking them if you don’t want. Just throw them into a big bowl with all the other ingredients, mix well, and dump into a casserole dish. My dinner guests look forward to this every year and it’s such a simple dish to make.
Cranberry Orange Relish – This is one of those dishes that everyone raves about, but no one suspects how simple it is. Just wash a package of fresh cranberries and throw them in the food processor. Then scrub a seedless orange and cut it into small chunks, skin and all. Throw that in as well and start pulsing the food processor. Sprinkle in a bit of sugar if it’s too tart. Don’t let the relish get mushy; just nice small chunks. Voila! A sweet and tangy relish that’s delicious and beautiful… oh, yes, and did I mention easy?
Forget the Pies – If time is really working against your dinner plans, pies should be the first thing to go. However, you want something to replace them. How about some little individual pie-like desserts? Buy pre-made pie crusts, cut them into circles that fit inside a muffin tin, and fill them with either diced apple with a little cinnamon and sugar sprinkled in, or any pie filling. They’re simple, pretty, and are just as satisfying as a piece of pie… especially with a dollop of whipped cream on top!
These are all pretty classic Thanksgiving dishes that all look more complicated than they really are. Simplify your Thanksgiving meal preparation this year to save yourself some time. Then, take that time to enjoy your family and friends! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
p.s. If you really want to save time in the kitchen, pick out a dish that you can make in the crock pot. Click here to get an idea or two for a time-saving recipe your family will love! Or check out even more Holiday Meal Recipes you can turn into your own new family favorites.
p.p.s. Check out the all new Crock Pot Cooking Made Simple for even more crock pot cooking tips and recipes.