Holiday Feature


Thanksgiving No-Brainer


Thanksgiving Greetings to You All!

Despite the colder weather, this is a time of year to be spent warmly with family and friends. But all too frequently one person in the household gets stuck in the kitchen preparing the traditional feast, after having done all the shopping for it as well. ("Unfair!" cries Kate the KitchenRat."Unfair!")

At the Global Gourmet, we want to change all that by offering you a "Thanksgiving No-Brainer" for Thanksgiving. Some of you are seasoned chefs who have everything under control. Others may be preparing their first Thanksgiving Dinner on their own, or you may be so busy working you don't have much time to devote to it. Whichever category you fall into, we think this No-Brainer's guide will be both delicious and valuable.

When you think about it, Thanksgiving can really be so eeeeeeeeeeasy! The secret is in the planning and staging of the event. And that's what we have created for you here. Except for minor tasks to be done a day or so in advance, this whole meal can be prepared on Thanksgiving Day in just about four hours, even allowing time to mingle with your guests. Starting with the basic principles below, we offer a complete guide to preparing the holiday dinner so that you can spend more time *out* of the kitchen than in it—and still have a fantastic traditional meal.

In this section, you'll find printable lists and recipes for the following:

You can even print out the menu as a text document, convert with your favorite typefaces and use it as a fun and practical invitation. Here, then, are the basic rules to go along with the Global Gourmet's No-Brainer Thanksgiving:

Rule #1: Stop the Insanity

Thanksgiving is too often way overdone. Just how many different foods do you really need on the table anyway? No wonder people feel bloated and uncomfortable after a huge Thanksgiving banquet. We think a Thanksgiving meal can be even more elegant and satisfying if the menu focuses on a limited selection of the traditional favorites. Any additional favorites can be made to accompany the leftovers—*after* the big day is over. Or, make your personal "must-have" favorites and ask invited guests to supplement them with theirs. It's more important to really enjoy the quality of the meal and to share it with others than to be mere gluttons eating mass quantities of food.

Rule #2: Get Your Ducks In a Row

How many do you plan to feed? Do you have enough plates and utensils? What about seating space? The key to answering these questions is: Make it manageable. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but try not to invite more guests than you can comfortably accommodate. If you do, then ask one or two of them (preferably the ones that don't cook well) to bring the extra plates or chairs.

Rule #3: Plan & Prepare in Advance

Use this No-Brainer Guide as your model. Follow it exactly or alter where you see fit. But keep in mind the idea is to be organized and have an exact plan to follow. Check off the items on your lists as you go along. You'll see just how easy it can be if you're not trying to do a zillion things at once.

Rule #4: Have Fun!

Enjoy yourself. Schedule the tasks so that they fit comfortably within your lifestyle. Play some music while you're cooking, sip some sherry as you go along, take breaks when your feet get tired. By being more organized and following this No-Brainer Guide to Thanksgiving, you should be able to spend more time actually enjoying the event and your loved ones around you.

We hope you find this No-Brainer Guide helpful, and we wish all of you a...
Happy & Delicious Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving No-Brainer


FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook
Using a Meat Thermometer

This page modified November 2006