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Archive for November 17th, 2007

In my bank of childhood memories, the Thanksgiving holiday stands out big time. My very-middle-class roots found me living in a five-bedroom house – we had a formal dining room, a front entry that seemed gynormous, and lots of space to entertain. With grandparents living just three houses away and a Dad who owned a popular business in the little community, our home saw a lot of visitor traffic throughout the year.

Thanksgiving was no different. Mom worked the kitchen all week making pies and dinner rolls, prepping the big bird so it would be just right for roasting on Thursday morning. She did it with the my Grandma’s help, and between the two of them they could make shit on a breadcrumb seem like a five-star restaurant’s main course.

That was 30 years ago.

This year, on Thursday, I’ll prepare turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and some kind of green veggie. Heck, I’ll even make pie for the kids and myself. But thanks to the miracle of food science, the job has become a lot easier than when my mom and Grandma made it all from scratch.

Let’s take gravy as one example. While I can make a mean batch of mashed potatoes, I suck at making gravy – probably because I only attempt it once or BM Gravytwice a year. But now I never have to make gravy the old-fashioned way again, because the gravy gods have learned they can become zillionaires by bottling their own recipe.

Get over yourself thinking it’s just WRONG to buy gravy in a bottle. The trick is finding the one that doesn’t taste too salty, won’t spoon gloppy and looks appetizing in your fancy gravy bowl. Boston Market’s Roasted Turkey Gravy is the answer. It tastes like the gravy Grandma made – from real turkey drippings – plus it has a nice oniony flavor that goes great over both the spuds and the carved turkey.Dinner rolls

The Pillsbury Doughboy ain’t got nuttin’ on mom’s homemade dinner rolls. But if mom no longer fusses in the kitchen, or lives 700 miles away, you can still enjoy great tasting rolls. Alexia French Rolls taste just like a bakery’s — crusty on the outside, doughy on the inside. Add a little REAL butter and you’ll think Mom was hiding out in the kitchen.

Many good-intentioned people get caught up in how to fry the turkey on the stove or use the toaster to melt marshmallows for the candied yams. My best advice to you (and you know who you are) is to call your local specialty grocer and inquire about a complete Thanksgiving dinner delivered right to your door.

Here in Minneapolis, Lunds/Byerlys, Kowalskis, and heck, even Cub Foods, offer complete meals to serve up to 12 people for between $59 and $99. It’s cheaper than taking your clan out to Old Country Buffett and the only think you’ll have to do is set the table and wash the dishes.

Sounds like a way to enjoy the holiday and really be thankful!

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