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For who those didn't cook or go to a Thanksgiving Dinner

I was going to make reservations for today and then no menu i researched got my atention at least not to pay over 40$ and also make me wait for a table, then the rush and everything i wanted to avoid.

With no shame I will admit I went to Whole Foods around 1pm, stopped by the buffet and served myself some Pulled Turkey, mushroom gravy, cheesy mashed potatoes, corn casserole, bites of Tofu, Sage Whole Wheat Stuffing, bought also a piece of Gruyere cheese and a Challah. To go I got a mini apple pie and vanilla ice cream so when I got home just watched Charlie Brown while whipping the cream to put on top of my oven-reheated Whole Foods Apple Pie.

I decided to take the afternoon to work on an old recipe and no regrets, a Mushroom-Chicken-Cream Cheese Empanadas that worked beautifully, it was worthy.

I'm curious for others like me with an unusual Thanksgiving Day experience.

Happy Thanksgiving Day.

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  1. I'm an American living in Canada, so "our" ("their") Thanksgiving was in October. We were supposed to host American Thanksgiving for my Canadian-living-in-America-Brother-in-law and his American fiance who were flying in...but she had to have surgery this week so their trip was postponed. Our 2 kids have been fighting colds and we just had our bathtub ripped out, so the whole house is just amuck.

    So the thought of shopping/cleaning/cooking that giant meal didn't appeal to me at all. We did cook last night...simple bbq'd chicken, roasted brussels sprouts and red peppers, fried okra (my most favorite guilty pleasure) and pumpkin cheesecake ice cream :) Not a bad replacement. I'm hosting both a Hanukkah and a Christmas dinner here though, so I'm pulling out all the stops on both occasions.

    Now that I have two kids, your day sounds delightful to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 16crab

      Hello, are you hosting both dinners together or separate? I am moving to a Studio now and my new table has just 3 chairs, still I would love to host a dinner for over 10 people someday.

      Share the menu once you have it =)


    2. We usually go to friends' house for Tday but decided to stay home this year. Even when we went , each year I make my own Tday dinner on the weekend. This year,A local restaurant with a famous chef was offering a full course dinner for 10 to go including a 16 lb deep fried turkey, for $90. I have always wanted to try the fried turkey but have no interest to make one myself so I ordered this meal. I made my own stuffing and cranberry sauce.
      The tuesday before tday I began feeling sick and by Tday I had a full blown rotten cold. I was happy that i had everything except green beans made ahead to supplement the take out. The deep fried turkey was unbelievable - just so delicious and moist and crispy skin. Even the sides, which were packed nicely with reheating instructions- were excellent. Mashed potatoes, gravy. squash, cornbread stuffing. The whole family enjoyed it. (6 year old who loves skin was delighted with the giant turkey wing, which she ate down to the bones). What a great surprise.

      1 Reply
      1. re: emilief

        I've never had deep fried turkey but we so many positive comments i may try next yeart, but just as you said i will order it, I wouldn't like to pull off that frying myself, unless i find a huge backyard and have plenty of fire extinguishers just in case. lol

      2. This is my first T-day at home as a single person. Though I had many invitations my heart wasn't in it and I guess mother nature was actually telling me something as I started to feel sick the night before. I ordered take out pasta Thanksgiving eve and had enough to tie me over til lunch today. It all worked out because I ended up taking it easy. After 20 years of making other people's Thanksgvings nice I appreciated the holiday off.

        2 Replies
        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

          I hope you are feeling better, and I'm glad you had something to eat on Thanksgiving and enjoying your day off or catering people =)

          1. re: helenahimm

            Thanks, I am feeling better. It was a nice break.

        2. My SO and I had to work on T Day, but my SO's family has done the big meal the weekend before for as long as I can remember so I had the homemade meal (nothing fancy, just traditional and from scratch). Since I wasn't sure what my schedule would be, I decided to make a roast chicken and root veggies that could be put it and made without much thought. It was good planning as most of the day was spent dealing with children that thought it would be a good day to run away or break the law (I'm a social worker.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: TampaAurora

            Working on TDay wow, and i complained because I had to be on Black Friday at work around 8am, shame on me =)

            Did you guys have any dessert after the Roast Chicken and veggies?

            1. re: helenahimm

              I think I bought a pumpkin pie from Publix. I was too tired and my brain had turned off so baking was out of the question.

          2. I found myself without plans last Thanksgiving, but the prospect of staying shut in the room of my boarding house while the landlady entertained her guests seemed less than ideal. So I called another friend who had no plans and we made an excursion to the other-worldly Chinatown in Flushing, NY, where there was nary a reminder of the holiday, but plenty of chances to eat yourself into the traditional food coma. Instead of turkey and trimmings, we feasted on Peking duck, spring rolls and cold skin noodles. But we didn't stop there and continued on to lamb burgers, vegetable dumplings, sesame pancakes, Central Asian samsas and ma la tongue and tripe. Without the Mandarin skills to find ourselves a slice of pumpkin pie we had to make do with a bit of mooncake to cap off our makeshift turkey day.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              Wasn't it "A Christmas Story" where they called roast duck "Chinese Turkey"?

              1. re: alanbarnes

                It might have been! Though I have been lucky enough to find goose on Chinese menus when I've had to make do away from home on Christmas.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Yeah, in that film, the Peking duck was the Christmas turkey.

              2. I was moving to Park City Utah for another winter of working in the ski industry. I had moved my stuff in, bought some bare bones food to start with... and lost my wallet 3 days earlier. Since people were still in the process of moving, I had no invites and ate ramen that night. The wallet showed up later in some recess of my car.

                1. We were thankfully family free for Thanksgiving and we decided to go to - yep - McDonald's (Arby's wasn't open). It was good and the dog loved the leftovers.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Missy2U

                    hahaha... what did you ordered i wonder.

                    1. re: Missy2U

                      Darn, you got to it first! I spent the day in a green robe and ponytail with Grey's Anatomy, a six pack of beer, and a McDonald's cheeseburger.

                      1. re: Missy2U

                        Me - Big Mac, no lettuce, extra cheese and extra sauce.

                        Husband - two quarter pounders (no cheese), and two large fries.

                        (We had beer at home already.)

                        I think the dog liked these leftovers best of all.

                      2. my immediate family is very small, just me, mom and granny. it's not worth them cooking, so we go to a casino for every holiday. some of them have truly lovely, high quality buffets. (it sounds like an oxymoron, i know. but i swear if you tasted their roasted beet salad, you would never think buffet.) this is not sitting under a heat lamp buffet food by a long shot.

                        1. It was just DH and I this year, so we went to the only good local restaurant that was open. We had a superb meal, and left with 2 huge turkey/stuffing wraps to eat later. No cooking, no shopping, great food; it's what I needed this year.

                          1. We were supposed to go away but had had a really hectic week and woke up not wanting to pack up the van and drive, so stayed in. I had not planned a meal at all and didn't want to brave the market so I made a meal from the back yard garden. Roasted fennel, garlic and habaneros in olive oil, pureed it and made it into a sauce w/ some chicken stock(made w/ star anise) and a splash of cream. Tortellini from the freezer thrown in all served on a bed of watercress, also form garden. It was so good it's going into our regular rotation. And I thought I was a bit clever for it being a "harvest dinner".

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lucygoosey

                              you have a garden... (feeling a hint of eny lol) =)

                              star anise I have to work more with it.. it's a little strong for me... I hope I will make some tortellini Al Cardenal.. (i love it half bechamel and half pomodoro sauce) Au gratin... so good...

                              Again congrats for growing your garden I hope I can have something like that once I get a house.


                            2. I was scheduled to work the day. The night before, I was told to call in the AM, to see if they really needed me. They told me to take the day off. I had NOTHING ready to cook, the turkey was still a block of ice in the fridge. Told my MIL we would go out for dinner, and since we're in Vegas, a buffet would be an easy choice.

                              I was planning to cook the T-Day dinner on Sunday, so it's not like turkey wasen't going to happen. The MIL was fixated on having turkey, tho. She'd gone to gamble in the afternoon at the casino we planned on eating dinner at, and the buffet line was nearly out the door! I guess many others thought that would be a smart idea. I didn't feel like standing in an hour+ line, so we just hit up the local pub, called Village Pub. About a mile from our house, they had a T-Day special that gave a ton of food for $7.99. Too bad it wasen't great! The tukey and ham were very dry and tough to me. She was actually happy with it..Go figure.

                              I did try pumpkin pie for the very first time there tho, and I like it! 39 years on this earth, only to try it now. My family never had it for any holiday, we were a pecan pie/apple pie group for any holiday.

                              It was unusual for me. Not very chowish, but that happened a few days later!

                              1. With no family, I am usually on my own for T-day. I had roasted a turkey breast 10 days earlier so had no cravings for it. I sometimes make Calvin Trillin's "traditional" T-day meal, spaghetti carbonara. The weather was so mild that I didn't feel like heating up the kitchen. There were some Ling-Ling chicken/veg potstickers from Costco in the freezer, but I had no dipping sauce (the stuff it comes with is overwhelmingly salty). On a whim, I heated some curried squash and apple soup as a sauce, and it proved to be a killer combination! I did have pumpkin pie so the meal managed a little bit of tradition. I like to watch the dog show from Philly that is always broadcast that day.