Thanksgiving made simple
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Thanks giving is upon us! Let’s think through ways to ease the preparation and soak in the true meaning of the day!
Putting things in perspective right from the start will help our discussion. Thanksgiving is not just about food and family. So if either of these things stresses you out, put it aside and seek the true meaning of the day. Thanksgiving is about God. It is merely, simply, and always about turning to God to give Him thanks for the blessings He showers on us, first and foremost of which is Jesus! With our focus on Jesus, let’s all take a deep breath and talk about ways to tackle the day in small simple steps.
If you want to really simplify things, you can always order the meal from your local grocery store or your favorite restaurant. If you are hosting others for the meal, spread the food prep amongst the guests. It increases the sense of community when others contribute. (And it takes stress off of you!) But, if you are making the food yourself then . . .
Step 1. Plan your menu. Look through the recipes and write any ingredients you might need on your grocery list. (If you are buying a frozen turkey, give it 4-5 days before the feast to thaw. (butterball.com suggests 24 hours in the fridge for every 4 lbs.)
The secret for a relaxing thanksgiving, in my opinion, is to do two jobs the day BEFORE the meal.
Step 2. Cook the turkey and set the table. The stress these two items can take off your mind is unbelievable. On thanksgiving day all you have to do is prepare the side dishes. I will let you look on other websites for specific ways to cook and carve Tom turkey, but once he is cooked, carve him up and put him in a large covered baking dish. Pour the drippings in a container and put it all in the fridge for the night. (My ulterior motive is that I am really bad at carving a turkey and I don’t need an audience.) It may not be pretty, but at the end of the day the meat is in a serving dish and the fat has risen to the top of the drippings, making gravy preparation so much easier the next day. You can put the carcass in a a crockpot with water and let it cook overnight. This will give you great bone broth.
When you set the table, pull out all the serving dishes you will need and think through just what food will go in what dish. (You can always serve buffet style and leave the food in the pans they were cooked in if you want to keep things simple.) By setting the table ahead of time, you will know if you need to run to to Wal-Mart and buy more spoons because you realize that you no longer have a full set. (Not that this has ever happened to me! #whereareallmyspoons!)
Step 3. Thanksgiving day - Enjoy! Pour some bone broth or drippings over the pre-carved turkey, cover and warm in the oven. You should be able to warm them in whatever temperature your side dishes are needing.
If your gravy is congealed, your dishes are chipped, and your child is throwing a world-class tantrum, you can still give thanks that through it all, you have Jesus who saves you from your sins and gives you life eternal (where the gravy is always perfect and you have enough spoons.)