Easy Thanksgiving Dinner

Some of my worst memories are of Thanksgiving Day. This dreaded day was by far my least favorite holiday … the over-crowed, over-heated kitchen, adult tempers on edge, angry tension so thick you could taste it. Maybe it was just a case of too many cooks in the kitchen? Each with ideas of what should be done, when, and how… mostly I don’t really know what the issue was, I set the table and escaped to my room when I could. Thanksgiving continued to be a huge cause of anxiety for me, until I moved to Oregon, and like everything else in my life, suddenly became peaceful and happy.

The first few Thanksgiving’s here we just ordered pizza, glad to be out from under the strain of “the big meal”. Last year was the first time we got nostalgic about the tradition. Some traditions are just too hard to break, and then there are some that you don’t want to break. I want my girls to grow up with the same American rituals as I did, and at its heart this is a holiday about food. I wondered if it was possible to have the traditional meal, without the traditional bad moods. Low and behold, it was possible! Last year my hubby and I easily coordinated a tidy little meal that reflected our favorite parts of the big feasts we’d had growing up! Here is our simple step by step Easy Thanksgiving Dinner!

Shopping List:

1 Dinner Rolls, wheat, $1.99
1 Frozen Corn, pack of mini cobs, $2.50
1 Frozen Pumpkin Pie, $2.97
1 Frozen Whip Topping, $0.78
1 Green Beans, Canned, $0.65
1 Hawaiian Punch, 2 liter, $1.68
1 Margarine/Butter, box of sticks, $0.78
1 Olives, canned black, $0.58
1 Pickles, sweet, $1.99
10 Potatoes – brown, single, $2.28
1 Sprite, 2 liter, $0.98
1 Turkey Gravy, $0.48
1 Jennie-O Turkey and Gravy in Roasting pan, $4.50
1 Stove Top Turkey Stuffing, $1.25
Total: $23.41

Step by Step:

Day Before
– Put punch ingredients in the fridge
– Move the whip topping from the freezer to the fridge
– Cook the pumpkin pie

4 Hours Before
– Start the turkey loaf

30 Minutes before
– Set potatoes to boil

20 Minutes Before
– Dump cooked potatoes in the kitchen aid mixer
– Rinse out potato pan and boil corn in it
– Get out ingredients for all recipes, group by recipe
– Mash the potatoes, and cover to stay warm
– Set the table

10 minutes before
– Make stuffing
– Make gravy
– Warm up the green beans
– Open the olives and pickles, place in serving bowls
– Get out dinner rolls and butter, place on a tray
– Make punch

0 Minutes Before
– Put everything on the table, call everyone together, give thanks, and enjoy! ;)

1 Hour After
– Enjoy the pumpkin pie with whip topping

Recipes:

Turkey Loaf
1 package of Jennie-O white and dark meat turkey
Follow package directions

Mashed Potatoes
10 potatoes
1 TBLS vegan butter
Splash of almond milk
Scrub potatoes and chop into fourths. Boil for 12 minutes or until a fork can go in and out easily. Mash with a masher, fork, or mixer.

Fresh Corn on the Cob
4 corn cobs
Husk, boil for 10 minutes in several inches of water, serve.

Frozen Corn on the Cob
1 pack of mini corn cobs
Open package, boil for several minutes in water, serve.

Turkey Stuffing
1 box of Stove Top stuffing
Follow package directions

Turkey Gravy
1 packet of gravy
Follow package directions

Fresh Green Beans
2 cups green beans pods
Cut off ends, steam lightly in an inch of water, serve.

Canned Green Beans
1 can cut green beans
Open can, warm in a small pan, serve.

Sprite Punch
1 Hawaiian Punch, 2 liter
1 Sprite, 2 liter
Fill half of a pitcher, or glass, with Hawaiian punch, fill the other half with Sprite. Add ice if desired. YUM!

Sadly, starting this year we are forgoing the turkey. We agreed as a family that since we are completely vegetarian now, we don’t need the turkey. The girls are completely for this turn of events, they are not emotionally attached to turkey, and I imagine that I’ll adjust eventually.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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