The One Hour Thanksgiving Dinner

Just because you don’t have time to make an elaborate Thanksgiving Feast doesn’t mean you have to skip Thanksgiving altogether.
If you have to work on Thanksgiving Day and/or other scheduling chaos this little guide should at least give you a little holiday cheer.

The Night Before

  • Do a quick tidy up.
  • Set the table and get out any serving dishes, small appliances and utensils you will need.
  • Arrange a fresh bowl of fruit and nuts (don’t forget the nutcracker!) as a centerpiece on the table.
  • Gather all non-perishable food items you’ll need tomorrow and place somewhere easy to reach but not in the way.
  • Move anything that needs to thaw from the freezer to the fridge.
  • Mix 1 can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce with 1 well drained can (8 ounces) mandarin oranges and 1 well drained can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple. Cover and refrigerate.

One Hour Before Dinner

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • Into a greased, shallow baking dish empty 2 packages (16 ounces each) of frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, etc.). Top with a package of seasoned bread crumbs combined with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and dot with butter or margarine. Cover and place in oven.
  • Drain one large (40 ounce) can of yams or sweet potatoes. In a deep, well greased casserole dish, mash the yams with 1/4 cup each maple syrup and orange juice, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and salt. Cover and place in oven.
  • Stack turkey slices cut 1/4 to 1/2 thick from the deli in the middle of a large, well buttered, sheet of foil. Rub some dried sage onto each slice. Wrap well in the buttered foil, place in a shallow baking dish and place in oven.
  • Prepare 1 package of instant mashed potatoes using package directions either on stove top or in microwave.
  • Prepare one package of stove top style stuffing following package directions either on stove or in microwave.
  • Mix and heat 2 cans (12 ounces) of turkey or chicken gravy.
  • Toss 1 package of packaged mixed greens salad with diced fresh tomato, apple and cucumber.

10 Minutes Before Dinner

  • Uncover vegetable dish and return to oven to let brown.
  • Stir finely snipped chives into mashed potatoes.
  • Serve salad along with 2 or 3 bottled salad dressings and bread or rolls.

To Serve Dinner

  • Place cranberry sauce in small dish on table.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes and the yams into serving bowls and bring to table.
  • Arrange turkey slices in middle of a large platter, spooning any juices from foil over top. Then spoon some gravy over top of turkey. Put remaining gravy in a gravy boat or other serving dish and bring the gravy to the table.
  • Arrange the stuffing on one side of the turkey on the large platter and the vegetables on the other side. Garnish with a few sprigs of parsley and bring to table.
  • Finish off with a pumpkin pie and some iced cream.

    There we are, dinner is served!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Pumpkin Pie image

    photo by SanFranAnnie via Flickr