Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you are like us, you are spending your evenings searching Pinterest for the perfect recipes to make your meal a masterpiece. Despite the fact that last year didn’t turn out the way you planned (or maybe because it didn’t), you are determined to have a holiday happening that could grace the pages of Martha Stewart’s magazine. With the big day still weeks away, the stress and panic often brought on by actually making that masterpiece has yet to set in and it is easy to forget how crazy we make ourselves simply by trying to do too much and by making things a lot harder than they need to be.
So, instead of spending your evenings looking for the most complicated dishes and dreaming of desserts that would be considered divine in a 4 star restaurant, stop the madness before it starts and settle on a simple approach to your holiday meal.
Why Simple is Better
When you are the one making the Thanksgiving meal it is easy to feel a lot of pressure to make it perfect. Whether you need to show up your sister who seems to channel Martha Stewart or you are looking to impress your future spouse and in-laws, the tendency is to take on too much. Instead of making the standard sides, we choose complicated recipes and offer too many options. Rather than using the pre-made pie crust from the store, we decide to make everything from scratch. And while our intentions are good, the outcome often isn’t. Rather than making a delicious hearty feast that is simple enough to allow us to spend time with our loved ones, we reach for the stars and end up frustrated and stressed.
Taking a Thoughtful Approach
Settling on simplicity doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice taste, flavor, or quality and it doesn’t mean you can only serve turkey, potatoes, and pie. It means taking a thoughtful approach to planning your meal that takes into account your skills, the time you have available, and the likes and dislikes of the people who will be joining you for dinner. For example, providing a vegetarian dessert option for your cousin’s vegetarian family shows you care more than any 9 course meal even could.
Simple Doesn’t Have to Mean Standard
Deciding to take a simple approach doesn’t mean serving up a standard Thanksgiving meal devoid of any flare or interesting flavors. In fact, choosing non-standard dishes might actually make things simpler. For example, you might choose to skip the whole ‘roasting a full turkey in the oven’ thing and opt for a much simpler turkey dish instead. To help you start planning, here are some simple, yet delicious ideas for Thanksgiving dishes courtesy of the Fill Your Plate recipe section.
Rolls and Breads
- Dru’s Special Holiday Stuffing
- Orange Coated Yams
- Stuffed Pumpkin
- Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus
- Balsamic Green Beans with Pine Nuts
- 5 Things You Can do in Your Kitchen to Make Cooking Easier (fillyourplate.org)
- It’s Thanksgivikkuh?! (fillyourplate.org)
- How to Host a Chili Cookoff (fillyourplate.org)