No matter how you slice it, Thanksgiving is a lot of work. It’s exhausting. First, there’s the shopping with hordes of people who – by and large – lack all self-awareness, and hog up the entire aisle or host family reunions in a crowded aisle. It’s the equivalent to willfully sitting at a green light while cars stack up behind you and not caring! Then there’s the cleaning, the food prep, slaving for hours (and sometimes days) on end, more cleaning…No. There is an easier way. Lower your expectations. Wave good-bye to your inner perfectionist. Here are a few simple ways to indulge your inner slacker this Thanksgiving…
Cooking a turkey the traditional way is for the birds. Why people’s eyes still bug out of their heads when I tell them I use oven bags to cook my turkey is beyond me. They are fool proof, which is why this fool has been using them for years. You clean out the bird’s innards, baste with butter and spices, and throw that big f*cker in an oven bag. Then walk away. Just walk away. It takes a fraction of the time (2 to 3 hours – no 4:00 a.m. bullshit for this girl), they are always juicy and despite what people think, they brown exactly the same as a turkey you had to babysit since dawn.
Again, I’m taking a stand against those stupid bags of dry, unseasoned breadcrumbs that I’m supposed to turn into something that resembles stuffing. Why would I when I can just zap some delicious Stove Top stuffing and stir in ¼ cup of pesto, ½ cup of sautéed mushrooms and some diced pepperoni? I wouldn’t. And neither would my Mayflower ancestors if they had the choice. Bonus: If you double the batch, or have some stuffing leftover, you can make stuffed mushrooms. Hollow out some shrooms, stuff with your half-assed stuffing, sprinkle some parm cheese over the top and bake until warm. Then sit back and listen to what an awesome cook you are while you shove the stuffing box down in the trash where no one can see it.
Let’s stop making the gravy process harder than it needs to be. Take the juice from your turkey, and add chicken broth to make 2 cups total. Stir in some poultry seasoning, dried parsley, pepper – anything you think will add flavor. On the side, mix ¼ cup flour and ¼ water together until it’s smooth. Slowly whisk into the turkey/juice bullion combo. It turns out flawlessly and people think you’re Martha F*cking Stewart because you made gravy without clumps.
Candles and Costco pie
If you ever make another homemade pumpkin pie, you should have your head examined. Costco sells the best tasting pumpkin pies for $5.99. You can’t make them for that price! And they’re huge. You’ll be eating that sucker ‘til Christmas. Burn candles that smell like you’ve been baking all day, and then serve a Costco pumpkin pie. I promise once you break away from making these pies yourself, you’ll never go back. You’ll also have time for more important things, like sitting on the couch and drinking red wine before your guests arrive.
Cream cheese appetizers
If you’ve got a brick of cream cheese, you have an appetizer. Slap a brick on a plate and cover with Jalapeno jelly. Top a brick of cream cheese with cocktail sauce and baby shrimp. You can wrap that shit with premade biscuit dough, stir in some dill and bake it, for God’s sake. You and your brick of cream cheese are unstoppable.
Lysol wipes and Swiffer dusters
You dread Thanksgiving because you fear your mother-in-law will make a scathing comment about the glob of toothpaste the kids left in the sink, or the spider corpse that’s been on the wall since last Thanksgiving. Don’t break your back cleaning – it’s exhausting and people like that will find fault no matter how many days you’re on your hands and knees scrubbing. It gives them purpose – you should feel good about that. To create the illusion that you spent days cleaning, Lysol-wipe the surfaces of your bathroom, and Swiffer dust the furniture. If you have preschoolers, let them do it. Done and done.
So what’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day hack? Do you cut corners to appease your inner slacker, or do you do it by the book to satisfy the traditionalist in you?
Feature image via Flickr
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