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dinner table

I was shocked to learn this week that some families don’t do a potluck Thanksgiving.  This means that the hostess is cooking most of the dishes served.  If you’re one of those families that makes the meal together (sisters, aunts, grandmothers unite!) then that’s amazing, but this family that I was speaking to however, just all shows up at someone’s house who has cooked the entire dinner! The hostess in question happened to be a friend who was so nervous about the quest.

I’m kind of a purist when it comes to the Thanksgiving meals, but if I had to do it all myself, I could quickly relinquish some of the dishes to store-bought (or at least help from a box).   This got me thinking about which dishes I would still make and which I would fake. Of course the ‘faking it’ doesn’t have to mean straight up bought from a store in it’s complete form, it could mean anything from buying bread cubes for the stuffing instead of drying and cubing yourself.  Or it could mean using a frozen pastry crust instead of going from scratch.  What I’ve learned is that everyone takes help in some way or another – it all just depends on where their food allegiances lie!

fake it or make it

When it comes down to it, I would take this shortcut on cooking the turkey, make the stuffing using my favorite recipe, use the help of little potatoes and my crockpot for the mashed potatoes, make the pumpkin pie the day prior (using a pre-made crust, because homemade crusts are not worth the effort in my opinion).  The classic green bean casserole is an easy couple of cans to open, so all in all it wouldn’t be too bad.

So, this is pretty hypothetical because we’re having a potluck, which is what I grew up knowing. Still, however, I am making both the turkey and the stuffing for our friends giving, so I’ll still follow the exact recipes above.  I’d really like to know about your family traditions, short-cuts, or long-cuts, though!

Tell me…. What do you HAVE to have homemade and what do you cut corners on? I hope we can all get some great ideas with plenty of time to implement them!!

 

 

Images: Harvest Table Setting | Turkey | Stuffing | Potatoes | Green Bean Casserole | Pumpkin Pie

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  • My dad cooks our entire Thanksgiving meal and he LOVES it! He would not accept anyone else bringing anything, except Grandma brings the pies. All the casserole stuff can be made in advance!

  • My mom has always made our entire meal for my extended family/guests, with help from whoever else in is the house, but nothing is pre-made from the store. Maybe relatives bring a bottle of wine or a favorite dessert, but that’s about it! It really gives consistency to the meal, everything complements everything else, and people really look forward to her delicious recipes. (No dreaded Aunt Marge’s jello salad or anything like that) So it really does work for some families!

  • In my family, we always go out for Thanksgiving dinner! My in-laws prefer taking me and my husband out for a fancy dinner instead of having to do all that cooking… and cleaning! Usually the following day my husband and I will make a few basics for just the two of us at home, like a little turkey breast, some Stouffers stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, probably a store-bought pumpkin pie. It’s kind of funny but it works for us!

  • Up until about five years ago I thought everyone had these crazy over the top Thanksgivings where one person made everything. That is what I grew up with and I never knew how my mother even managed to enjoy the holiday. Now that I’ve been going to Thanksgiving with my long time boyfriend I am exposed to a much more sane thanksgiving tradition of potluck. Everything is just as delicious and the work is equally distributed. The one thing that all of us cheat on is the pies. It’s just so much easier to go to a local farmers market or bakery and leave it in the hands of the professionals.

  • I make the entire meal myself and would not have it any other way. I ask guests to bring wine or dessert usually but last year I made an apple pandowdy and I could never go back to regular apple pie again. Then a few weeks ago I tried a new recipe for pumpkin pie for a dinner with friends and it was amazing. So it looks like this year I am all in!:)
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving Erin!

  • We don’t do potluck… which is why I’ve never volunteered to host! It definitely is way too stressful for one person to put it all together (especially with a big crowd). I’m lucky all my family LOVES to host so they pass it back and forth. I’m going to pin theses suggestions because I’m sure one day it will be my turn.