Procrastinators Guide to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving...Turkey Day, that glorious day that we give thanks for the good things in our lives and we feast on great food with family and friends. Well for some of us, we take time to prepare for the big day, maybe a month or 2, making sure to plan the menu, inventory whats needed, clean the house and so much more....and then there's the rest of us, that wait until the week before or even the week of....well fear not, I have a quick and easy prep for you.

***Since there's only 3 days left, until the big day, there's a lot to do.  So lets get started
Multi tasking and delegation. You can always buy your meal, already prepared, I believe Giant Eagle has complete meals for about $89.00 and Walmart, has some good deals,  I picked up a 14 lb Turkey for $11.06 and a 12 lb ham for $10.00,  but since I'm all about budgets, let's do this...Plan your menu and keep it simple.  
               The menu, 
Turkey                        (size, depends on how many you expect to feed 4-6 people, 12-14lbs should be good)

Ham                           (Ditto for the ham)

Green Beans   (if using canned green beans, drain the liquid, add them to a pot of well                                                              seasoned water...salt, pepper, a little onion powder, and some bacon for flavoring).

Macaroni and Cheese (Using a box mix?, just follow the directions, once the noodles are done, drain, add the                                         milk and add some fresh cheeses, to the mac and cheese, (like cheddar or a four cheese                                       mix) next beat two eggs and add to the mac and cheese and 3 three tablespoons of butter                                   and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Mashed Potato's         (if using a boxed mashed potato, use chicken broth instead of water                                                     and follow the directions, add a little salt and pepper to taste,  when the potatoes are                                         whipped, add a little garlic for a great flavor.                          
Rolls          (make em, store bought 1.69 at Giant Eagles grocery store, check your                                                     local grocers sales)

Sweet Potato Pie or a Cake or 2     (not a baker?, no worries, get a plain store bought cake,                                        some vanilla icing and a bag of plain  m&m's, put the icing on the cake then crush the                                          m&m's and sprinkle the pieces over the top, if you have a larger bag of m&m's, you could                                      take the whole pieces and put them along the sides of the cake, for that wow factor. )
Cranberry Sauce   Open and slice, place in the fridge until your ready to serve.

Dressing (try using two or three  boxes of Jiffy mix and follow the directions, once done and cooled                                    off,crumble into a large bowl and  add 2-3 cups of chicken or turkey broth, 2 tablespoons of                                  butter, half a cup each of the chopped celery, onion and bell pepper, a little salt , pepper                                    and sage , two eggs beaten and mix well, place in your baking dish and bake at 350 degrees                                  for 30-45 minutes. 

Potato Salad              Peel and cube your potatoes, boil your potatoes and eggs, once done, chop the eggs and but them in a bowl with the potatoes, add some pickled sweet relish                                         about 2 tablespoons, add 4 tablespoons of miracle whip and 1/2 cup each of the chopped                                     bell peppers, onions and celery and mix well, refrigerate and serve when ready.

                    ******Don't forget your beverages juice and or pop and iced tea is good as well******          

***When seasoning your turkey, you can use salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and some poultry seasoning, mix the seasonings together, massage ( rub) the turkey with butter or olive oil EVOO , then rub the turkey, with the seasoning mixture if that is two much for you, just use a little salt and pepper and a bottle of Italian dressing over the turkey and cook as usual. 

 Day 1: 
Plan your menu, inventory your kitchen for the ingredients to that you don't forget anything or buy duplicate's of what you already have, do your shopping and start your prep work, chopping bell peppers , onions and celery, for your dressing and or potato salad. Don't forget to enlist some help, older kids, mom, sister and that thoughtful significant other, etc.

Day 2: 
Cleaning house, delegate what needs to be done (bathroom, kitchen,  if your using the good China, , make sure the china and silverware are clean and that all the pieces are there, make dinning room and living room last...fluffing the pillows, moving the clutter and vacuuming) there's something for everyone to do, be sure to enlist some help and delegate duties, little ones love to help, they can dust the tables, or take a basket or bag and collect the toys and things that don't belong in the living and dining rooms.  It gives them a since of pride to help. 

Day 3:
Start your cooking, the Turkey will take the longest so cook up what will get done the fastest first, like your cakes and pies, green beans, Mac and Cheese and Dressing, once that is done, you can put in your turkey and ham about 2-3 hours, depending upon the size of the turkey and your ham.

Day 4: 
Turkey Day, all that's left is to set the table and heat up the food and serve. Enjoy your dinner with family and friends.

                      Happy Thanksgiving, from Family Dinner.
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