Cut a Few Corners
For our first Thanksgiving away from home, my friend and I ordered, unbeknownst to us, a precooked turkey. We searched inside it for the gizzards, and my friend started laughing. There were no innards to pull out, of course, as the bird was cooked―a great shortcut.
Fort Lewis, Washington
After years of dealing with last-minute homemade gravy for a crowd of 20 people, I came up with a new approach. I mix several different types of store-bought turkey gravy, then I destroy all the evidence before anyone gets to the house. It's a hit every year.
San Diego, California
I love baking, but recently my family informed me that I'm really not good at it. My shortcut? We have a baker in our neighborhood who will happily make apple pie in my mother's glass dish, pumpkin in Grandma's, and mincemeat in one we got as a wedding present, and all much better than I could.
My trick is pseudo-homemade stuffing. I jazz up boxed stuffing a bit with chicken broth instead of most of the water the instructions call for. I also take some of the carrots, celery, and onions from the bottom of the turkey roasting pan, dice them up in the food processor, and add them to the mix.
Go to your sister-in-law's gourmet Thanksgiving Day feast, bring bread and flowers, and offer to help with the dishes.
Nashua, New Hampshire
My most reliable Thanksgiving shortcut is having my husband cook the turkey and letting his stepmom bring everything else. Last year I made the crescent rolls. I love Thanksgiving.
Ringwood, New Jersey
Potluck. I roast a large turkey and provide the festive table setting and a warm oven for friends and family. Everyone has a dish to share that's part of a personal Thanksgiving tradition. There are always oohs and ahhs, recipe sharing, and stories of past holidays.
It's so time-consuming peeling 10 pounds of potatoes on Thanksgiving Day when there are so many other things to cook. Delegate the mashed potatoes to another family member.