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Old 11-27-2019, 06:29 PM
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Screw it, we ain't cooking this year!


The wife and I just picked up our pre-cooked, ready to reheat Thanksgiving dinners. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes,and mashed potatoes. We also have a small pumpkin pie, apple pie, and ice cream.

We won't even make rolls this year!
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:40 PM
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Reheated Turkey? It sounds like your going right to the leftovers. Also perhaps pick up a can of cranberry sauce. Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:40 PM
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Awww, man you gotta have rolls () and cranberries.
Seriously, so smart of you guys. Wish I could do that.
Enjoy!
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:27 PM
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Yanno, year before last, the whole fam damly over ruled the one dufus(not me this time) who wanted to have a conniption over a "traditional" thanksgiving. Gma decided she wasn't cooking that year, nobody trusts his cooking (seriously ketchup is a flavor option for the table not to stovetop) we went out. Was one of the best least stressful most enjoyable for everyone (specially for Gma, she hasn't cooked thxgiving since)
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:19 PM
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Did a thing from Boston Market, I think, a couple years ago.

Worst Thanksgiving ever. The stuffing was something akin to wall-paper paste, but not as tasty. Some kind of 'green thing' (no idea what it was, but it was inedible). Potatoes were hard, gravy was like a salt-lick, the cranberry stuff tasted like it was made with Sweet-Tarts.

Cost a butt-load, and most went straight to the trash.

I'll do Taco-Bell before ever doing that again.

I wish you much better luck with your feast.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:22 AM
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We went to a restaurant last year. It was fantastic. This year we just jettisoned the in-laws so itís a manageable size. Also jettisoned the turkey. Doing a pork roast. Guess I should start.
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Old 11-28-2019, 05:53 PM
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The original conversation went something like this. . .

You don't want to cook this year?

No, too much trouble and too many leftovers for just us.

Let's get a pre-made dinner.

I dunno, that sounds kind of sad.

Would you like to just go to a restaurant?

No. An old couple eating in a restaurant on a holiday. That seems even sadder.

In other words, it's the less sad, less troublesome alternative of the three. Plus, we're actually making cornbread!
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:08 PM
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We decided to do a brunch this year. I ate a million slices of prime rib because turkey is like 35Ę a pound and I can cook that myself at home.
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:16 AM
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A few times I made stuffing/dressing, and then mixed in diced chicken breast and cooked the whole thing until it was done. That took care of the poultry and stuffing, then cooked some green beans and made a pumpkin pie. Not too shabby for a special meal without having to go too crazy.

Haven't made it for a while because it still ends up being a lot of food, even if I scale it down. This weekend I will make pumpkin pie, however. Need pie.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:58 AM
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For the past 19 years we've been going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving because my MIL is a nagging shrew of a yenta and made it clear that my wife was and is expected to be there every Thanksgiving.

Since MIL in particular and pretty much my wife's entire family in general are shitty cooks, we took over turkey duties a decade or so ago. That's expanded to include the stuffing and the cranberry sauce and the spiced cider and the pies and and and...

And yesterday I realized: I'm fucking sick of it. I bought a new roasting pan, spent two days buying the groceries and brining the bird and generally prepping everything. I got up at 6 am to put the turkey in the oven. We have a tiny kitchen and since we're cooking 60% of the dinner it's pretty crowded in there. Carving the bird is a royal PITA, I hate making gravy, and... yeah. I'm sick of it.

And to top it off, my MIL insists on eating her Thanksgiving meal at noon, but also invites about 6,000 peopleómany of whom can't make it until later in the day. So the food sits out, buffet-style, while people gradually trickle in over the course of the afternoon and grab a plate and start heaping. So for 3/4 of the people there the food is stone cold.

I've been putting in way too much work for a big meal that isn't appreciated and frankly isn't eaten as intended.

I just got a new job that I've been planning on applying for for 9 months or so, and it comes with a significant salary increase. I told myself back in March that if I got it I would buy myself a good smoker and cook (among many other things) our Thanksgiving turkey on it. But now I think I'll just get either a pre-cooked turkey from Safeway or roast a just a couple of turkey breasts. Jarred gravy, canned cranberry sauce. If my wife wants to put the work in and make the pies, great. If not, Marie Calendars will do nicely.

Or just say fuck it, and order pizza.

Or better yet, maybe I can convince my wife to spend next Thanksgiving and Christmas away from family.
  #11  
Old 11-29-2019, 12:40 PM
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We've been getting pre-made T-day dinners from Whole Foods for going on 5 years (well not this year, I just had hip replaced a week ago).

Anyway, my wife and I would travel the 100 miles to my Mom's, pick up the dinner, and then a few others would join us. Can still be a lot of work just keeping everything hot and setting up tables to serve and sit (small house).
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:48 PM
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I heard a story on NPR yesterday about the increasing popularity of simply going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, that's what I thought this thread was actually going to be about. Apparently some restaurants now offer traditional Thanksgiving meals for the holiday, complete with special doggie bags for the leftovers that have become a part of the tradition. But now I can't find the story to provide a cite; I'm guessing I heard it on a show that wasn't actually produced by NPR. And there was no word on whether any restaurants run by a woman named Alice were offering Thanksgiving meals.
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:12 PM
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My mother's mobility is limited these days so my parents Harris Teetered it this year. Prime rib. It was good. The sides were... fine, I guess. Sweet potatoes were extremely sweet. Green bean casserole was a little gross, but no one else complained, and I think that particular dish is pretty crappy to begin with anyways. Mashes potatoes are boring as ever. The most exciting thing on the table was the smoked beets that I made and brought.

I think I just don't really like most traditional Thanksgiving dishes.
  #14  
Old 11-29-2019, 04:24 PM
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For the past 19 years we've been going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving because my MIL is a nagging shrew of a yenta and made it clear that my wife was and is expected to be there every Thanksgiving.

Since MIL in particular and pretty much my wife's entire family in general are shitty cooks, we took over turkey duties a decade or so ago. That's expanded to include the stuffing and the cranberry sauce and the spiced cider and the pies and and and...

And yesterday I realized: I'm fucking sick of it. I bought a new roasting pan, spent two days buying the groceries and brining the bird and generally prepping everything. I got up at 6 am to put the turkey in the oven. We have a tiny kitchen and since we're cooking 60% of the dinner it's pretty crowded in there. Carving the bird is a royal PITA, I hate making gravy, and... yeah. I'm sick of it.

And to top it off, my MIL insists on eating her Thanksgiving meal at noon, but also invites about 6,000 peopleómany of whom can't make it until later in the day. So the food sits out, buffet-style, while people gradually trickle in over the course of the afternoon and grab a plate and start heaping. So for 3/4 of the people there the food is stone cold.

I've been putting in way too much work for a big meal that isn't appreciated and frankly isn't eaten as intended.

I just got a new job that I've been planning on applying for for 9 months or so, and it comes with a significant salary increase. I told myself back in March that if I got it I would buy myself a good smoker and cook (among many other things) our Thanksgiving turkey on it. But now I think I'll just get either a pre-cooked turkey from Safeway or roast a just a couple of turkey breasts. Jarred gravy, canned cranberry sauce. If my wife wants to put the work in and make the pies, great. If not, Marie Calendars will do nicely.

Or just say fuck it, and order pizza.

Or better yet, maybe I can convince my wife to spend next Thanksgiving and Christmas away from family.
My take on the whole "family party/observance" deal ....

If I am hosing said festivities at MY residence, the party will be those specifically invited - if I say on the invite no kids, no pets, no additional random guests, then that is exactly what I mean. When I say no alcohol, no smoking, that is exactly what I mean. When I say meal is served at 2 pm, that is exactly when the food hits the buffet, and in general the random celebration meal runs for about 2 hours - long enough to get food, sit and eat and have some talking going on.

Do not get butthurt when I tell you NO to kids, pets, your sister's Aunt Sally [who I have never met] unless you call me specifically and ask if you can bring a specific person along - don't just show up with a few extra people. Definitely do not get butthurt if i ask you to smoke outside, or not pop a bottle of beer or scotch - I might have someone with COPD/asthma [like ME!] or someone who was alcoholic and we don't want to tempt. And really don't get butthurt if you wander in at 5 pm and there is nothing left but carcass and crumbs ... or if you show up at 1100 and I put you to work.

Look, when I send out a Thanksgiving invite, I will send a menu card with listing of ALL ingredients, I do not substitute randomly [well, I thought it would be nice to toss some walnuts into the stuffing, and peanut butter stirred into the gravy is amazeballs .... NOT - I have a guest allergic to tree nuts, and one allergic to peanuts. I menu plan for a *reason* ] and if I am inviting 20 people, it means I am cooking for 25 people [allowing for someone who might be really hungry] but it doesn't mean that I can absorb 5 additional guests unless I literally plate everybodies food in kitchen so someone doesnt' go through the buffet line and pick out all the shrimps from the scampi sauce ... [and yup, I had someone actually try to do that, their mother sort of Gibb's smacked them and told them not to do that]

It is only common courtesy to RSVP, ask ingredients, ask if you can bring one or more additional guests, but if I specify no to something, then it is a hard NO ...

Please, feel free to restrict your hosted festivities in writing and enforce it - and if you feel like a classic picnic for Thanksgiving, then do it. Smoke that turkey, serve potato salad, cole slaw, cornbread muffins ... if they don't like it, then they can host it next year. Probably the reason most people don't want to host parties is the pain in the ass relatives ...
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2019, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
For the past 19 years we've been going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving because my MIL is a nagging shrew of a yenta and made it clear that my wife was and is expected to be there every Thanksgiving.

Since MIL in particular and pretty much my wife's entire family in general are shitty cooks, we took over turkey duties a decade or so ago. That's expanded to include the stuffing and the cranberry sauce and the spiced cider and the pies and and and...

And yesterday I realized: I'm fucking sick of it. I bought a new roasting pan, spent two days buying the groceries and brining the bird and generally prepping everything. I got up at 6 am to put the turkey in the oven. We have a tiny kitchen and since we're cooking 60% of the dinner it's pretty crowded in there. Carving the bird is a royal PITA, I hate making gravy, and... yeah. I'm sick of it.

And to top it off, my MIL insists on eating her Thanksgiving meal at noon, but also invites about 6,000 people—many of whom can't make it until later in the day. So the food sits out, buffet-style, while people gradually trickle in over the course of the afternoon and grab a plate and start heaping. So for 3/4 of the people there the food is stone cold.

I've been putting in way too much work for a big meal that isn't appreciated and frankly isn't eaten as intended.

I just got a new job that I've been planning on applying for for 9 months or so, and it comes with a significant salary increase. I told myself back in March that if I got it I would buy myself a good smoker and cook (among many other things) our Thanksgiving turkey on it. But now I think I'll just get either a pre-cooked turkey from Safeway or roast a just a couple of turkey breasts. Jarred gravy, canned cranberry sauce. If my wife wants to put the work in and make the pies, great. If not, Marie Calendars will do nicely.

Or just say fuck it, and order pizza.

Or better yet, maybe I can convince my wife to spend next Thanksgiving and Christmas away from family.
Last year, I had thanksgiving with my parents. They drove down (a couple hours), stayed in a hotel, and we had dinner at...I think it was Chili's. Might have been Applebee’s. They had a section open with a reduced menu. I had a steak and fries.

It was the best thanksgiving ever. Ever.

Okay, best thanksgiving as an adult, at least.

ETA: Oh, and then we got a few pints of ice cream and some cheap wine from Walmart. That was the dessert.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 11-29-2019 at 04:40 PM.
  #16  
Old 11-29-2019, 04:43 PM
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For maybe 33 years now Mrs. Napier has cooked Thanksgiving dinner (really nicely). But most of that time the 24 or 48 hours leading up to dinner has been hell, as she is angry and snapping at people and complaining about it. Yet she always insisted on doing it even though we've been pushing to go out to a restaurant instead. So this year we actually did go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. She will still upset and complaining, but about the shifting situation. It's always been the reason she turns nasty, cooking or no cooking. Not sure what to do, but for years I've been kind of wishing we could just skip November and December (as Christmas works somewhat the same).
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:05 PM
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For maybe 33 years now Mrs. Napier has cooked Thanksgiving dinner (really nicely). But most of that time the 24 or 48 hours leading up to dinner has been hell, as she is angry and snapping at people and complaining about it. Yet she always insisted on doing it even though we've been pushing to go out to a restaurant instead. So this year we actually did go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. She will still upset and complaining, but about the shifting situation. It's always been the reason she turns nasty, cooking or no cooking. Not sure what to do, but for years I've been kind of wishing we could just skip November and December (as Christmas works somewhat the same).
What a shame, my prickliness aside, I really do like a gathering with food, good music and conversation - could something have happened at some point that gives her issues around holidays? I have a friend who was always treated badly by the in-laws and their kids really hate family events because they associate it with the nit-picking and backstabbing of the grandparents.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:10 PM
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My take on the whole "family party/observance" deal ....

If I am hosing said festivities at MY residence, the party will be those specifically invited - if I say on the invite no kids, no pets, no additional random guests, then that is exactly what I mean. When I say no alcohol, no smoking, that is exactly what I mean. When I say meal is served at 2 pm, that is exactly when the food hits the buffet, and in general the random celebration meal runs for about 2 hours - long enough to get food, sit and eat and have some talking going on.

Do not get butthurt when I tell you NO to kids, pets, your sister's Aunt Sally [who I have never met] unless you call me specifically and ask if you can bring a specific person along - don't just show up with a few extra people. Definitely do not get butthurt if i ask you to smoke outside, or not pop a bottle of beer or scotch - I might have someone with COPD/asthma [like ME!] or someone who was alcoholic and we don't want to tempt. And really don't get butthurt if you wander in at 5 pm and there is nothing left but carcass and crumbs ... or if you show up at 1100 and I put you to work.

Look, when I send out a Thanksgiving invite, I will send a menu card with listing of ALL ingredients, I do not substitute randomly [well, I thought it would be nice to toss some walnuts into the stuffing, and peanut butter stirred into the gravy is amazeballs .... NOT - I have a guest allergic to tree nuts, and one allergic to peanuts. I menu plan for a *reason* ] and if I am inviting 20 people, it means I am cooking for 25 people [allowing for someone who might be really hungry] but it doesn't mean that I can absorb 5 additional guests unless I literally plate everybodies food in kitchen so someone doesnt' go through the buffet line and pick out all the shrimps from the scampi sauce ... [and yup, I had someone actually try to do that, their mother sort of Gibb's smacked them and told them not to do that]

It is only common courtesy to RSVP, ask ingredients, ask if you can bring one or more additional guests, but if I specify no to something, then it is a hard NO ...

Please, feel free to restrict your hosted festivities in writing and enforce it - and if you feel like a classic picnic for Thanksgiving, then do it. Smoke that turkey, serve potato salad, cole slaw, cornbread muffins ... if they don't like it, then they can host it next year. Probably the reason most people don't want to host parties is the pain in the ass relatives ...
You sound like a lovely host.
  #19  
Old 11-29-2019, 09:23 PM
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And there was no word on whether any restaurants run by a woman named Alice were offering Thanksgiving meals.
Even though the dinner can't be beat, if Alice has a half-ton of garbage, don't volunteer to dispose of it for her.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:03 AM
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What is this green bean casserole you guys are talking about? No-one seems to like it, but it's always mentioned as part of American Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:10 AM
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Robin had to work all day (a state job, she volunteered), I was working in the afternoon, and my extended family all did their own thing so we decided to do Truckstop Turkey. One of the local truck stops does a Thanksgiving buffet and it’s busy all day with drivers and people like us who didn’t want a big meal for three people. It wasn’t Alice’s Restaurant, but under the circumstances it was a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:13 AM
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What is this green bean casserole you guys are talking about? No-one seems to like it, but it's always mentioned as part of American Thanksgiving.
The infamous green bean casserole is a recipe first published by the Campbell's Soup Company in 1955. It proved popular at the time, but honestly I think idea that it's a "traditional Thanksgiving dish" comes mostly from Campbell's marketing. I've actually never had it, myself. And I imagine lots of people don't like it now because of changing tastes away from the processed convenience foods that were all the rage in 1950s America, towards fresh unprocessed ingredients.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:52 AM
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The infamous green bean casserole is a recipe first published by the Campbell's Soup Company in 1955. It proved popular at the time, but honestly I think idea that it's a "traditional Thanksgiving dish" comes mostly from Campbell's marketing. I've actually never had it, myself. And I imagine lots of people don't like it now because of changing tastes away from the processed convenience foods that were all the rage in 1950s America, towards fresh unprocessed ingredients.
I've had a gourmet version of grean bean casserole. So much better. But I will always have a soft spot for the fried onions. I can go through a Ĺ can in a sitting. Easy. Can't buy them here, which is probably good thing.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:15 PM
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I heard a story on NPR yesterday about the increasing popularity of simply going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, that's what I thought this thread was actually going to be about.
As our families age, with the younger components too far off for a reasonable drive and feast, we local adults (6-10 usually) more and more gather at an eatery and let someone else do the work while we consume and chatter.

This started a few Xmas'es ago when blizzards and downed powerlines blew out our dinner preparation. Once roads cleared, 16 of us took 24 bottles of wine to the local Chinese joint and feasted fabulously. No clean-up to do, and the unprepared vittles at home were donated to a food bank.

Snowed-in here so no escape, and power gone most of T-Day 2019, but we didn't have to resort to canned turkey chili, praise Quetzalcoatl! BBQ salmon burgers sufficed.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:03 PM
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We did brunch at the Pfister (fancy Milwaukee hotel) and it was great!
Bottomless mimosas and bloodys - Yum!
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:30 AM
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No. An old couple eating in a restaurant on a holiday. That seems even sadder.
No, sad is a widow entirely alone for Thanksgiving. That was a bad November....

My spouse and I did the restaurant thing for a long time, since a full-on Thanksgiving dinner for just two people didn't make any sense at all.

The past two years I've been invited to a friend's family. Last year I was still a wreck, but this year I brought a side dish.

I have managed to get to my mid-50's without ever being the matriarch cooking the Big Dinner. I do, however, happily contribute side dishes, and I'll also help with clean up/leftover processing and distribution (and consumption).

I'm fully in favor of people doing what works for them.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:19 AM
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For maybe 33 years now Mrs. Napier has cooked Thanksgiving dinner (really nicely). But most of that time the 24 or 48 hours leading up to dinner has been hell, as she is angry and snapping at people and complaining about it. Yet she always insisted on doing it even though we've been pushing to go out to a restaurant instead. So this year we actually did go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. She will still upset and complaining, but about the shifting situation. It's always been the reason she turns nasty, cooking or no cooking. Not sure what to do, but for years I've been kind of wishing we could just skip November and December (as Christmas works somewhat the same).
This is my experience as well. I told myself this year once the snotty bitching started, I'd make myself scarce. Once the bird was in the oven, I went for a lovely 2 hour walk in solitude. We only had my in laws over, so only 6 people. They arrived at 4pm and were gone before 6pm. The food was good as usual but hardly worth the effort and clean-up and leftovers. And as mentioned, I fucking hate fucking carving the fucking bird. Thanksgiving, once a favorite holiday when my mother was alive, is quickly dropping to the bottom.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:35 PM
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I heard a story on NPR yesterday about the increasing popularity of simply going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, that's what I thought this thread was actually going to be about.
I remember a Thanksgiving in the late 80s or very early 90s where I was in my teens and, after dinner, took off with my friends. We wound up at a family restaurant where one of us worked and they had planned a whole Thanksgiving menu. No one came. It was just us in the restaurant, drinking coffee and eating heaps of free food because they had cooked a bunch of turkey 'n fixings for no one.

In contrast, when we did the Thanksgiving buffet this year, we were in the 3rd "wave" of 2-hour block reservations, each with a couple hundred people.
  #29  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:10 PM
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Thanksgiving afternoon, my wife and I just decided we weren't all that hungry, and skipped dinner altogether. So I waited until the next day to prepare what I had planned: Italian sausage ravioli.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:56 PM
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What is this green bean casserole you guys are talking about? No-one seems to like it, but it's always mentioned as part of American Thanksgiving.
It's composed of green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup, milk, seasonings, and canned fried onions, baked together in a casserole. A few minutes before it's done, canned fried onions are sprinkled on top to brown. I'm convinced its popularity is due to its ease of preparation and the canned "french fried" onions, which are nothing like onions you fry at home. They're onion-y flavored, wispy and crispy (usually broken) rings. It's enormously popular--served in 30 million homes every Thanksgiving. If each of those homes averages 6 people at the table--and I suspect it's higher--that means half the country eats it every Thanksgiving.

I don't hate it, but I got tired of it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:34 PM
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I know the day will come where we order thanksgiving in, or go to a restaurant, but not yet. I’ve cooked almost every thanksgiving since 1996. The few years we've been guests I’ve made an abbreviated version over the weekend for the leftovers! I've accommodated kosher folks, vegan, pescatarian, while basically holding on to our traditional menu (no green bean casserole!). I’ve simplified some since those early years, but the main part of the meal is the same.

Almost every year we have guests, family, friends, colleagues. I always invite my international graduate students. Last minute folks are no problem. This year we threw salmon on the grill for a non-turkey eater, and said it was a nod to the Native American presence.

I really love doing thanksgiving, but I also know someday I won’t, and that'll be ok too.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
For the past 19 years we've been going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving because my MIL is a nagging shrew of a yenta and made it clear that my wife was and is expected to be there every Thanksgiving.

Since MIL in particular and pretty much my wife's entire family in general are shitty cooks, we took over turkey duties a decade or so ago. That's expanded to include the stuffing and the cranberry sauce and the spiced cider and the pies and and and...

And yesterday I realized: I'm fucking sick of it. I bought a new roasting pan, spent two days buying the groceries and brining the bird and generally prepping everything. I got up at 6 am to put the turkey in the oven. We have a tiny kitchen and since we're cooking 60% of the dinner it's pretty crowded in there. Carving the bird is a royal PITA, I hate making gravy, and... yeah. I'm sick of it.

And to top it off, my MIL insists on eating her Thanksgiving meal at noon, but also invites about 6,000 peopleómany of whom can't make it until later in the day. So the food sits out, buffet-style, while people gradually trickle in over the course of the afternoon and grab a plate and start heaping. So for 3/4 of the people there the food is stone cold.

I've been putting in way too much work for a big meal that isn't appreciated and frankly isn't eaten as intended.

I just got a new job that I've been planning on applying for for 9 months or so, and it comes with a significant salary increase. I told myself back in March that if I got it I would buy myself a good smoker and cook (among many other things) our Thanksgiving turkey on it. But now I think I'll just get either a pre-cooked turkey from Safeway or roast a just a couple of turkey breasts. Jarred gravy, canned cranberry sauce. If my wife wants to put the work in and make the pies, great. If not, Marie Calendars will do nicely.

Or just say fuck it, and order pizza.

Or better yet, maybe I can convince my wife to spend next Thanksgiving and Christmas away from family.
I'd simply tell your bossy MIL that it's somebody else's turn next year. I know: yuck. But hear me out. You and the wife go, make a pretense of eating the awful food (easy because it's buffet style), and go home. That's the beauty of being the guest: you get to leave. When you get home, you inhale the mouthwatering aroma of done-to-a-turn smoked turkey, finish prepping the few dishes you started before leaving, and have a lovely dinner, just the two of you.
  #33  
Old 12-01-2019, 07:12 PM
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One of the very few benefits (for me) of being single again...no dealing with a wife that insists that all holidays be spent with her family or running all over the damn valley to have not enough time to enjoy it at any one place
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  #34  
Old 12-01-2019, 08:39 PM
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We're near the end of our leftovers. We were expecting a total of 14 people (counting us) though it wound up being only 13. I thought a big turkey might not be enough - the biggest organic / free-range from Whole Paycheck is 14ish pounds, and I try to get 1+ pounds per guest. So I decided to get an extra turkey breast - but those were more per pound, and I decided to just get a second turkey.

I cooked one the night before. I cooked the other during the day. We ate every morsel of meat off the first one, and didn't touch the second one. First time in my life we've ever had that Norman Rockwell thing of a whole roast turkey on the table. It was wonderful not having to deal with that at mealtime though. I think I'll do the turkey the night before all the time from here on out.

We did the precooked meal once before. Still did a fair bit of sides / desserts - and the turkey was not so much browned as beiged, so I chunked that in the oven for a bit. It was less work overall though.

We have virtually never travelled for Thanksgiving. One year when we were in the midst of a move from NC to DC, and I was on a project in Indiana, I flew home to NC. Wound up eating alone at a hotel buffet. Lonely and depressing. Another year I'd been sick, so rather than hosting, we drove 90+ miles to visit relatives. Other than that, we've always hosted - and make it an open Thanksgiving where we invite everyone and their brother. Even though people chip in, it's exhausing - but I keep thinking of those two times where we didn't cook. and they were depressing, so we keep up with it. Plus we get all the leftovers .
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