Thanksgiving is a day where home-cooked food is celebrated, and there’s a lot of pressure to produce every dish from scratch. But you can create a home-cooked feast without spending all of Thanksgiving week in the kitchen rolling dough, crumbling bread and peeling potatoes. Use Thanksgiving shortcuts, and use your time wisely during the holiday.
Two Birds in the Hand…
It’s always a single huge turkey you see in the commercials, but it’s always a nonstop hassle to actually roast a whole big bird in the oven. Save yourself some time, some oven space and some sanity by cooking two smaller birds instead. This helps to keep the meat moist, as larger birds tend to dry out, and this will save you a ton of cooking time.
Instead of opening the oven every 10 minutes to baste, put your birds in roasting bags. Cover them with butter and herbs and just let them cook, so you can focus on other aspects of the meal.
Get Some Ramen
Ramen noodles are a fantastic cooking solution that spans generations. College kids eat them because they’re cheap, but home chefs use them because of the flavor packets. Grab some Ramen, and use the flavor packets to make a great stock for your stuffing or your casseroles. You can use flavor packets to add taste to your gravy, too.
With a little sour cream, a Ramen packet can even become the base for a fabulous dip. You don’t have to measure out spices or reach for three different bottles just to get the right flavor—simply open a small package, and move on to the next step in your meal.
Buy Prepped Vegetables
You can lose a lot of time peeling potatoes, slicing onions and cutting up vegetables. Most grocery stores offer already-prepped options. Go for the peeled onions, chopped squash and all sorts of other pre-prepared vegetables that will save you a ton of time in the kitchen.
Don’t Be Afraid of Shortcuts
There’s no rule that says you have to stand in the kitchen all day to make an amazing Thanksgiving meal. After all, it’s a holiday for you, too. Use whatever shortcuts you can find, because you deserve to spend less time in the kitchen this year.