Friday, November 27, 2009

The Only Holiday Cooking Post You'll Ever Need

This time of year we are inundated with holiday cooking posts. Bloggers far more experienced and clever than DIH are happy to tell us all their culinary secrets: what makes Grandma's turkey so special (see previous post for the low-down on that), whose traditional family recipe for cranberry sauce is best, why the look of joy on the little children's faces brings tears to Mother's eyes when she serves up that hideous concoction of yams and marshmallows (let me just say here and now: YECH!).

DIH, on the other hand, has found the answer to true holiday dinner bliss for everyone. Ans being the generous sort she is she's going to share her cooking secret with you:

Don't.

Don't cook. Don't thaw, brine and roast the turkey, don't peel and parboil the potatoes, don't roll out so much as an inch of pie crust. And for God's sake don't do that yams-and-marshmallows thing.

For the past two years DIH has called the local snooty grocery store a week before thanksgiving. She then gives them a credit card number. Then the day before Thanksgiving she drives over to said snooty store and picks up a cardboard carton, plus an large unwieldy shopping bag. The unwieldy bag contains her turkey, cold but fully cooked. The carton contains everything else: masked potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole- which she never tried before but actually kind of likes-- and some cranberry sauce. Plus a handful of dinner rolls.

I can hear some of you now. "Sybarite!" "Spendthrift!"

As to point #2, the whole shebang costs 99 bucks. That is considerably less than she would spend if she went to Costco with the intention of putting the Thanksgiving feast together.

As to point #1, you betcha. When other moms are running themselves ragged in the kitchen DIH is happily sitting with her feel up, sipping a Bloody Mary and watching the Macy's parade. Beat that, do-it-yourselfers.

You do have to do some work, of course. Preheat the oven, stick the various pans into it at the right time so everything is done at once.

But the food was great, with the added benefit of DIH not having on her conscience the knowledge of how much butter went into every dish. (Except the potatoes. They stick about a pound of unmelted butter on the top of the potatoes. You're supposed to stir it in when the potatoes are ready. Hey, who am I to argue with a professional chef?)

So that's my recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving. I cant' wait to see what I can get for 99 bucks at Christmas.

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