It’s already Thanksgiving again! If you are a bit short on time this year, you have come to the right place. The Knoxville Cooking Examiner is the queen of quick and easy and has some time-saving tips for you. Who wants to spend the entire day in the kitchen anyway? You can put on a nice dinner and still join in all the fun. And, don’t forget to try the recipe at the end; it is our hands-down family favorite.
The first shortcut you can take involves the turkey. Besides picking it up at a local grocery store already prepared, you can save yourself a lot of work and cooking time by using a large turkey breast. It is easier to handle and quicker to cook. Most guests prefer the white meat anyway, and there are not lots of greasy turkey parts lying around your kitchen taking up the cooking space. Many people like to cook the turkey breast in the crock pot, and here is Taste of Home’s recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Breast.
Gravy and mashed potatoes are always a Thanksgiving favorite, and these are the more time-consuming items on the table. Here is a sneaky method for mashed potatoes that I learned from some church ladies who were accustomed to cooking for large church suppers. You prepare instant mashed potatoes in a very dry consistency. Bake 3-4 potatoes in the microwave, scooping out the insides and mashing with butter. After combining the two, you will probably add a bit more milk to get them creamy and whipped. Here are a few other ideas to do with leftover baked potatoes. And, don’t take time to try to make a big skillet of messy gravy. Buy a couple of jars of gravy, microwave it and pour it in your nicest gravy boat.
Cranberry sauce is a must-have on the holiday table, but few people really eat that much of it or even like it for that matter. Instead of making an elaborate cranberry salad, this is just as good and looks nice. First, take a can of the jellied cranberry sauce and slice it in neat circles. Spread a can of the sauce with berries on top of that. Buy a little pack of crushed walnuts in the baking aisle and sprinkle on top of it. Served on a pretty glass plate, this is perfect and cheap!
Frozen rolls were one of my late mother’s best-kept secrets. If you place them on a tray to rise the night before, they will be beautiful for Thanksgiving Day. I always buy two bags of 36 rolls for my crew because I keep them coming throughout the whole meal, warming them in the microwave. I send them all home with rolls, too. And, most importantly, buy some real butter to serve with your meal, whatever type of bread you serve. This will be the highlight of your dinner, and doesn’t cost that much in time or money.
Sweet potato casserole is a southern necessity for Thanksgiving. Most of your grandmother’s recipes call for peeling and cooking sweet potatoes. Oh, forget it. Buy canned sweet potatoes, and prepare a soufflé type of dish. Nobody will know the difference. Our whole extended family uses Paula Deen’s recipe called, “Aunt Peggy’s Sweet Potato Soufflé.” She uses baked sweet potatoes, but I just use canned. It is amazing, and it could pass for dessert.
Hopefully, these Thanksgiving shortcuts will help you have a stress-free, delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Take time to remember all the wonderful things in your life you have to be thankful for. And, if possible, share your day with someone who is alone for the holiday.