Thanksgiving Feast for Less!



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Thanksgiving Feast - Inexpensive Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner!

Thanksgiving Feast For Less!

by Jill Cooper

Thanksgiving can be a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of everything that you need to do, especially if you’re preparing a big Thanksgiving feast. By making some simple changes to the way you approach some of the Thanksgiving preparation, you can save time and money and spend more time enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner and less time dreading it! Here are a few tips to help you make this Thanksgiving more fun and less stressful!

Larger turkeys are usually less expensive so buy the largest one you can. I hear some of you groaning now about what to do with all those leftovers because you really don’t need a 22 pound turkey for 6 people. Not to worry — just don’t bake the whole thing.

I discovered one year by accident that my butcher (at a regular national chain grocery store) would cut the turkey in half for me. Even if it is frozen, he can still cut the turkey in half. This discovery really changed my life. (That sounds dramatic, but I was really having a problem becoming “one” with my turkeys.)

I suddenly had the revelation that I didn’t have to deal with the mounds of leftover turkey that haunted my post-Thanksgiving menu for years. I had just enough for a good old turkey sandwich and some soup. I mean Thanksgiving really isn’t Thanksgiving without a few leftovers, is it?

It was so much easier to handle and prepare an 11 pound turkey rather than to manhandle a 22 pound one. Getting the turkey cleaned and into the pan was a breeze and getting it in and out of the oven was just plain simple.

Just wrap the other half and freeze it to use for Christmas. I’ve often made ham for Christmas just because by Christmas we are so sick of turkey that we don’t want to think of preparing another one — ever! If there are fewer leftovers after your Thanksgiving dinner, your family might not mind having turkey again. Then you would have one less thing to buy for Christmas dinner.

If you still don’t want to have turkey for Christmas, save it for some cold day in January. If you have a large enough crockpot, cook the turkey in the crockpot. If not, cook it on very low in the oven so that it slow cooks all day. It is amazingly delightful it is to come home to the yummy smell of slow cooked turkey!

Save money by making your own pies instead of buying the expensive pre-made ones. If the thought of making pie crust is too daunting, just buy a ready made crust. They are usually on sale for very little around Thanksgiving.

It really isn’t that hard to make the filling for most pies. Pies are often easier to make than cakes or cookies. If you like the traditional pumpkin pie, most cans of pumpkin have the recipe on the back. I also know of a really good cookbook that includes the recipe called Dining on a Dime. HA! HA!

If your family and friends aren’t fussy about having the traditional pumpkin pie, you can make banana cream, chocolate, or butterscotch pie. Just mix a box of banana pudding and pour it into a baked pie crust. Cover it with sliced bananas and whipped topping. For the chocolate pie, use chocolate pudding with chocolate chips in it and cover it with whipped topping. For the butterscotch, use butterscotch pudding and whipped topping and sprinkle with butterscotch chips. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

You don’t have to make so many pies that you could open a bakery. I have found that most kids are just as happy with a platter of cookies. Don’t overdo it. You’ll just wear yourself out! If you have time, make the cookies in the shapes of pumpkins and turkeys.

Save money on your relish dish. Buying ingredients for a relish dish can get expensive, especially where we live. One year I paid more for my relish dish items than my turkey. If you have this problem, only use 3 or 4 vegetables on the relish dish instead of 10 and cut out on the more expensive vegetables. Broccoli and cauliflower are very high priced for us so, if I needed to save, I would probably use carrots and celery. Fill the celery with cheese or peanut butter or cut them into fancy shapes. On this occasion, the turkey is the star and most people won’t even notice that you cut back on the relish dish.

Don’t make so many side dishes– Like I said, the turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes are more important for your traditional Thanksgiving dinner than everything else. By the time everyone stuffs themselves on those, they only eat a token amount of the side dishes. Why? —Because, of course, everyone wants to save room for dessert!!!!!

      -Jill

 

Would you like help preparing a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner? Thanksgiving On A Dime can give you peace and the confidence to know that you can do it! Learn More Here!

 

Comments

  1. says

    a full grown turkey has 12lbs of bones. was told this by a turkey farmer so take that into consideration when figuring how big to buy.
    You can use a table saw or band saw at home and cut your own turkey. Just wash the saw before and after. Not all butchers are accommodating but might charge a small fee but it usually is well worth it.
    You can do the same with large hams cut them into quarters and take them home to freeze. Yes you can freeze hams. Was told by a lady from the States that I was giving advice that would poison people when I said to buy a large ham cut it and freeze it. She said the American health board says you can’t. If I didn’t freeze hams when they were on sale we would probably eat a lot less of it.
    I was defending my ideas for an inexpensive thanksgiving dinner once to a friend who said she spends a fortune on dinner. I actually wrote out a menu with the costs.
    for 6 people.
    turkey $10
    cranberries jellied type $2.
    potatoes about $3.
    vegetables corn $3. carrots $2.
    salads macaroni $2. coleslaw $3.
    dinner rolls $5.
    jello salads for desserts $3.
    I figure nobody really wants pies right after a meal so save them for later over coffee when the dishes are done.
    Pies I don’t usually make them so I went by the cost of made ones at the store pumpkin, apple, cherry $10
    So for about $45. I have a nice dinner for 6 people.
    I didn’t add the cost of the stuffing since it was old bread that was saved from ends of loaves and buns that were squashed in the freezer.
    To cut down the cost to yourself and involve more people in the prep have each guest bring one food item.
    joan can bring the buns.
    george the bachelor can bring the relish plate of fresh vegetables.
    cathy, betty and bob can each bring one pie.
    billy the college student can be in charge of the cans of cranberries.
    That is how the family reunion dinners were handled in our large family. Mom always brought the dinner rolls since we had a 4 hour drive and it was never certain due to weather if we would be there.
    The food was always fantastic since everyone brought their own specialty. The company was always fun since we only saw everyone at one time once or twice a year.
    If anyone wanted to introduce something different it showed up on the table. if the plate was empty after the meal it was added to the list of keepers. If it didn’t empty it was just quietly forgotten.
    The name of the day actually speaks for itself.
    Thanksgiving which is so easy to follow.
    the extras like stress, quarrels, hurt feelings are just added into the mix and should be left at the door.
    be thankful you are able to be together and remember that you may not like everyone you actually do love them. If a person was to say things about your brother you know you would be right there defending him with all your might.
    so what if the dip runs out for the vegetables or the whipped cream isn’t fluffy. serve the vegetables plain and have some icecream in the freezer for the pies.
    It is the disasters which actually add to the memories and give you something to laugh about in later years.

    • says

      You can freeze hams. The only thing about freezing hams (I freeze mine all the time) is the juices do separate from them a little but it is no big deal. Prices must be different in Canada. Our turkey for 10 people only was $6, cranberry sauce, $1, dinner rolls, $3, all veggies $5 and all salads $5, pies $2 – $3 so all in all it was about $25 for 10 of us and another $5 for things like the stuffing (I used old bread too), gravy, butter etc.

      We divided things to bring between 3 families so it really wasn’t too bad for the cost. Turkey here is around $.40 a lb. at Thanksgiving that is why we try to get 2-3 to use through out the year because that is a pretty good price.

  2. says

    Jill a utility grade turkey on sale the 3 weeks before TG or Christmas is about .98 a lb.
    I always buy those because it is usually the wing or a leg that have been cut off.
    With weather, road conditions and schedules we rarely have people (family) for special days. We make up for them in the summer but we have bbqs and picnics.
    Last Christmas Don and I were by ourselves so we had a strange but great dinner.
    Deer tenderloin cut into thin strips which Don cooked on our stone griddle that sits on the table so you cooks as you eat. I used the other keeping watch on the potatoe, onions and sweet potatoe slices.
    Had french bread and a salad mixture and it took us about 2 hours to have supper but it was such a nice way to eat. Talking and laughing and listening to the carols.
    Quite a change from turkey and children but it was also a very special meal for the two of us.
    One TD dinner when the boys were teens we had rabbit partridge and chicken stew.
    The food is really incidental it is the company so even if it isn’t traditional as long as everyone has enough to eat the day is a complete success if their is companionship and friendship included.

    • says

      I know what you mean Grandma. Last year we had a blizzard. We usually celebrate our Christmas on Christmas Eve and we all managed to gather at Tawra’s but had to leave a little early because we were afraid we wouldn’t make it home. I spent Christmas Day on my own because I was snowed in but I really enjoyed every minute of it. I had my favorite Christmas treats on hand (chips, blue cheese dip and Pepsi) so I stayed in my pj’s all day (which I never do), gorged on Pepsi, chips and dip and candy and watched Christmas movies. It was so relaxing but at the same time very Christmasy.

  3. Judy Nelson says

    One year we were by ourselves for Thanksgiving instead of with our girls and their families. We went to the Community TG dinner. It was fun and I did not have to cook. We ate with old friends and made new friends. The only down side was that we did not have any leftovers. I missed making a Turkey Vegetable soup out of the bones and a Turkey Tetrazini. But it was a great day.

  4. Joanne Enright says

    My husband was recently put on a very restrictive diet.
    Could you suggest aa way to make gluten free,dairy free, egg free stuffing for Thanksgiving?

    I love this site and have learned so much from it!

    Thank you!

    J.

    • says

      I’m on a gluten free diet too but I have to say that would be pretty gross I think. You might try searching on the net. I have yet to have luck with any gluten free breads or baking. Sorry!

  5. says

    here is one I found. it calls for eggs but you can get rid of them by simply adding 1/4 cup more liquid. It might no bind as well but it is stuffing.

    Corn Bread Ingredients:

    * 1 Egg
    * ¼ Cup Sugar
    * 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
    * 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
    * ¾ Cup Cornmeal
    * ¼ Cup Glutinous Rice Flour
    * ½ Cup Sorghum Flour
    * ¼ Cup Flaxseed Meal
    * ½ Cup Water

    Additional Stuffing Ingredients:

    * 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    * 2.5 Cups Diced Onion
    * 1 Cup Chopped Celery (approximately 2 stalks)
    * 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
    * ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
    * 1 Teaspoon Sage
    * 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
    * 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped (can used dried)
    * 1 Tablespoon Chives
    * ¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
    * ½ Teaspoon Pepper
    * ½ Teaspoon Salt
    * 2 Eggs
    * 1½ Cups Vegetable Broth*

    NOTE: *Vegetable Broth used in recipe: Pacific Natural Foods
    Organic Vegetable Broth (Gluten Free)

    Directions:

    Start by creating the cornbread: In mixer, mix egg, sugar and vegetable oil on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining cornbread ingredients and mix until combined. Pour corn bread into greased Pyrex 11 x 7 x 1.5 inch baking dish and cook in 425° oven for 15 minutes.

    While corn bread is cooling, start preparing the additional stuffing ingredients. Place olive oil in large skillet that can be placed in the oven (if not using an oven proof skillet, the stuffing will need to be transferred to an oven safe casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray), cut up the onion and celery and place in the skillet (such as a cast iron skillet), cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender. Add minced garlic, cranberries, herbs and salt and pepper, cook for 2 additional minutes. Turn off heat.

    Crumble the baked corn bread into the stuffing ingredients and mix gently.

    In a bowl, combine vegetable broth and eggs, whish together. Pour over corn bread/stuffing ingredients and gently mix until combined. Place all the mixed stuffing and additional ingredients into an oven-safe cast-iron frypan/skillet, and bake at 375° for 45 minutes (again, if not using an oven safe skillet, place corn bread into an oven safe casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray).

  6. says

    I am sitting here in too much pain to think about moving so I thought I would see what was available.
    We don’t use cornmeal for dressing up here very often. I have made cornmeal muffins and spoon bread but that is as far as I have gotten.
    Can you tell me what is sorgum flour. never heard of it.
    I have always figured I should start up a recipe exchange page where you post a recipe and then others can come and ask questions but now I have found your site with all sorts of things I guess I will devote my time to politics, for the next year anyway.
    thanks for doing this for everyone and doing it so well.

    • says

      Thanks for all the great recipes! Some like the plum pudding I always wondered about but keep forgetting to look and see what it is! I hope you’re feeling better soon! I just got done shaving the dog and had to take a break. That job just kills my back but the $40 savings is worth it!

  7. says

    I understand but can’t shave cats. So instead when the blue couch turns white I simply shave the couch.
    Have 2 cats both huge one is orange and the other is a long hair black and white rag doll.
    Love them and spoil them but they are both old. 21 and 18.
    When they are gone we will get 1 kitten. easier to keep ahead of the fur.
    make sure you use the red light green light system for pacing yourself. It does work.
    luv and hugs.

  8. Karen says

    Wow. Turkey prices must be all over the map depending on where people can find you on a map. ;) If I could find a $6 turkey, I would buy turkey every week! :)

    We live in Alberta, Canada and it would be absolutely impossible to find a turkey for $6 or $10. One pound of lean hamburger costs $6 here, and this is cattle country! I typically spend $30 or $35 for a turkey for our family of 4 (with no teenagers!). That gives us a few leftovers but not too much. Consequently, I consider turkey quite an expensive dinner — a very special treat.

    A few years ago I waited too long to buy a turkey and all I could find was an enormous one that gave us far too much in the way of leftovers, so that we were sickening of turkey, as you mention in your article. But that turkey cost $60!

  9. barb~ says

    Jill,
    I ended up being by myself on Christmas Day, too, last year. Same story-snowed in. I really didn’t mind it either. In fact, I kind of enjoyed it. I love a beautiful snowy day anyway, and there is something very cozy about it for me. I drank lots of hot spiced tea, had carmel popcorn and some great main dishes that I couldn’t take for our family dinner. I was set as far as food goes for over a week! It is soooo true-the only thing we can control in life is our attitude!!

  10. says

    I love the idea of buying a 22 lb. turkey and having it cut in half. I work from 8 – 5 each day, so if I wanted to bake a turkey all day, what temp would you use? I love your newsletter and find everything super handy.

    • says

      Carol I would bake it at 250 degrees for 1 hour and then turn it down to about 170-200 degrees. Some ovens heat hotter so it depends. On the 11th (this Thurs.) I am going to post in detail how to thaw, roast and fix a turkey with all the different times and things like that so you might want to check it out if you can. I will also be posting all the basic Thanksgiving recipes that day too.

  11. Joanne says

    Thank you! I’ll try it. It’s going to be just the two of us this year, so if it’s not “wonderful”, that’s OK. But what is Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing!

  12. susan says

    Hi Jill and Tawra

    This year we are going to have our Thanksgiving dinner delivered by the Church. We have a Church in our community that delivers a really nice plate of food and desert to those that are sick elderly and disabled or just to any one that wants one. Since I have been sick and not feeling really well we deceided to call and order plates for us. I normally don’t do this but this year my body is telling me to start taking it easy and my husband agrees.

    • says

      Smart move Susan. I remember the year I first got sick I tried still having dinner at home but it was to hard. My friend tried to prop me up in a chair so I could help peel potatoes and I ended up not even being able to do that. The next year I wasn’t much better so my best friend drove the kids and I and took us out to eat. It was such a nice relief. I learned a lesson then as much as I love tradition etc. you have be willing to go with the flow sometimes.

  13. susan says

    Oh I forget to tell you all how much I look foward to your news letters and I hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving !

  14. Melanie says

    When I click on the fudge recipe and cider recipe and all the others there’s no recipe there. It has the recipe name but its just blank white underneath. I’ve never had trouble before. Please advise.

    • says

      Melanie, we checked it out on our end and we aren’t having trouble and so far no one else had had problems yet so it may be something on your end or with your server. If you are still having trouble tomorrow let us know and our tech guy will try to help figure it out for you.

  15. says

    I know this is your thanksgiving but here is an idea for the meal.
    Our first Christmas after we were married I bought 2 cornish hens.
    stuffed them and put them in the oven. made mashed potatoes had cranberries and coleslaw and pumpkin pie.
    We ate in the living room watching movies and had a wonderful day just the two of us.
    If you are by yourself or just 2 it is a nice way to have a fancy meal and you really can’t beat the company.

  16. Katie in SW OK says

    Hi everyone. Great ideas and great stories.
    I’m down in SW Oklahoma, and last year we had no electicity for a couple of days, Christmas day included. No big deal. We heated and cooked with gas.
    My folks were with other family (2 day drive each way) in Houston, with little heat and no hot water — no showers! They got to my house, and we lost water citywide — for about three days.

    Anyway, my mom is infamous for her wonderful turkeys. They aren’t pretty. They fall off the bone. But the infamy part is that she puts them in the oven frozen solid.

    Method: take turkey out of freezer, remove giblets, put turkey in the ‘magic pot,’ add about two cups of water, salt and pepper, bake in oven overnight at about 250.

    The magic pot is old-style aluminum roaster with a drip-lid or basting lid. She’s been doing this forever, and no one believes it until they see it.

    I thought this might interest someone out there — especially anyone who forgets to thaw their bird ; )

  17. Sylvia says

    When my kids were little and I had a freezer, I would buy an extra turkey when they put them on sale after the holidays. Later I would thaw and boil the turkey in a big soup pot. Then I would pull the meat off the bones and freeze in zip lock baggies. Great to grab and make BBQ turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie with frozen vegetables, can of cream of chicken soup and canned or home made biscuits on top. I also made turkey and noodle casserole as well as turkey vegetable soup. So many ways to stretch that turkey. Now, I might just make turkey and white bean chili. It can also be used in quesadillias or creamed turkey on toast. Making myself hungry. Even though it is just hubby and me now most holidays, I still insist on making a small turkey so I can have my sandwich and some left overs to use as above.

  18. Judy Nelson says

    Thanks for all the great ideas for Holiday food prep. I just love to read your thoughts on how and what to prepare for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dividing a Turkey in half is a grand idea. We love dressing and I save my bread scraps for weeks, bag them, and toss the bag into the freezer. I also save diced onion and celery leftovers and use them in the dressing. That is an old trick I learned from my mom. We were quite poor and there were 8 people in our household. She saved all scraps and used them in her food prep. Blessings and Hugs from our house to yours!

  19. Rachel says

    One year I went to be with my daughter for Thanksgiving. My husband had to work, and she was living in Jacksonville,Fl with her best friend. I told her to invite anyone she wanted. All these young people showed up, with their tattoos, nose rings, crazy clothes. One guy my daughter had just picked up from jail the day before! ( A minor inraction.) Their kitchen was ill equ ipped, but I did the best I could. My daughter bought a turkey breast, and did not thaw it out, but we cooked it anyway. We had stove top instead of homemade dressing, and canned veggies. Don’t remember the dessert, but I’m sure it was store bought pies. There were not enough seats at the table, so I sat on the couch and let the kids gather and visit. It was a great day and all the kids called me “mom”. My daughter eventually married one of those tattooed guys and I now have two beautiful grandchildren.

    • says

      That reminds me Rachel of one on the funny sayings we have in Dining. It goes;

      It’s amazing how a boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter
      can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world ! : ) : )

      I mention this to my son in law on a regular basis. HA!HA!

  20. Jamie Christian says

    Last year, I made a very large turkey for Thanksgiving, but instead of getting tired of the leftovers, I froze the cooked portions in 1-2 cup quantities to use as meat in casseroles. I found that I used it pretty quickly in place of chicken in most of my casseroles without much flavor difference, since most chicken casseroles have a fairly strong flavor, and the chicken (and turkey) take on the flavors of what they are cooking in, which is the general idea anyway! Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Tawna says

    I usualy bake the largest bird I can find the day before thanksgiving. After baking I cut most of the meat off the bone, I boil the bones in my roaster. I am lucky to own an electric roaster but a sturdy metal one can be used on top of the stove like a pot. It saves a lot on clean up. I use the broth to make gravy or freeze for soup later. We don’t have the Norman Rockwel presentation of the carving at the table but none of our men like the pressure of carving and it elininates last minute panics. The electric roaster is realy useful as an energy efficient oven the rest of the year. It holds a family size dinner without heating up a whole oven, just put a cookie rack in the bottom and put your baking dishes on it so the bottoms don’t burn.

  22. Beth says

    The Thanksgiving that I remember most fondly, was the one when my Grandmother got confused, and shut her oven off midway through the turkey roasting. The aunts discovered the oven was off, and pulled out the turkey, debating whether maybe it was cooked enough after all. My aunt Bunny took matters calmly and sliced off a piece on the top, and they all saw that it was too pink. So they put the turkey back in to cook longer. When it was finally pronounced done, it was very dry and stringy-so much so that no one ate it. Instead, we had Grandma’s annual pork roast, which she had roasted up earlier in the day, and had cooled it. This was something she always made, that to my knowledge, no one had ever been enthused about, but that year, it tasted so tender and delicious with the mashed potatoes and other fixings. Almost every Thanksgiving that went perfectly, is all a blur in my memory, but the year the turkey was ruined, is the one I love to retell.

    • says

      That is so true Beth. I wrote an article once and in it I said not to panic if something goes wrong for your holiday dinner. Those always end up being the most special times and the ones fondly remembered and what you just posted shows exactly what I mean. It is so true isn’t it.

      • Irene says

        One holiday in a new neighborhood my oven quit working midway thru preparations, leaving my turkey far from done. I called the only neighbor that I knew, an older bachelor man, and begged to borrow his oven. Then we trotted across the street, introducing all the grown daughters to him, and finished up the baking, going back and forth between the houses. After our meal was finished we gave him enough leftovers for several days. And that was the way we became the best of friends for several years til his death. He started referring to himself as my “human garbage disposal”, loving all the homemade meals that kept him from having to cook.

  23. Joy Harper says

    After reaching 72 years and raising 7 kids, I am thrilled with all the new tips I learn from you guys. Keep up the great work. My only complaint is that we can’t order stuff from you here in Canada. God bless you and your family.

    • says

      I know Joy. I wish we could ship to you guys. We have so many wonderful and faithful Canadian readers. I think it was going to cost twice what the book cost just to ship it then we had battle after battle with customs and last when some of the readers got theirs they were charged a huge tax. It was crazy to say the least so it isn’t from lack of us trying to get them to you all they just kept tying our hands so we are sorry and try to give you as much as we can on the web site.

  24. says

    Jill, Don and I don’t order from the states any more. The last time he tried the piece was going to be $50. canadian by the time they added taxes and shipping it would have cost $170.
    So I can understand you not shipping to us poor souls up here.

    One TD I remember was at my grandparents farm. Grandma always put the gravy in one roaster and the sauce for the carrot pudding in an identical one on the wood stove to keep warm.
    Well my cousin got up to get 2nd helpings and poured gravy all over his mashed potatoes and mashed turnip. The face he made was priceless and his only comment was “mashed turnips taste a lot better with sauce. it is sweeter”
    That was about 45 years ago and he still gets teased.

  25. says

    We’re military and move a lot, so frequently we’re not close enough to visit family or have family over on holidays. After a few years of huge meals where half the stuff didn’t get eaten I just decided to make ONLY what everyone agreed we couldn’t do without. Our side dishes are pretty much limited to salad, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, rolls(I make the dough in the bread machine, it saves money and tastes better) and two deserts only. I always buy a big turkey though. Pretty much any recipe that calls for “cubed cooked chicken” will do just fine with leftover turkey. We’re “flying solo” this year, my husband is deployed for several more months so it’ll just be me and the kids again

  26. says

    Jill, thanks for your article on saving money for Thanksgiving. We are in our late 60′s so have prepared many Thanksgiving meals. We have always purchased the largest turkey possible and cooked the whole thing – we had no idea we could have it cut in half by the butcher! I love the turkey leftovers. Instead of eating all the leftovers between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will package the leftover into meal sized packages (now only 2 of us) and freeze them. We cook the carcass Thanksgiving night in a big kettle, pick the bones and strain the broth the next morning. Again put the scrap turkey meat and broth in small containers for soup throughout the winter. Yes, it is effort on Thanksgiving day and the day after but well worth it for easy meals for weeks ahead. Thankfully I have a husband who is willing to help with these chores and appreciates the leftovers later just as much as I do. Thanks for the great tips!

    • says

      Pat one thing you might try because it is a job to pick that carcass on Thanksgiving day and that is I bake my turkey in either a bunch of foil or a disposable pan and foil. I put it all in the fridge on Thanksgiving day when we are done with it then the next day I pick off most of the meat and freeze it or what ever next I take all the bones and what meat is left on them and wrap the whole mess in the foil I used to bake it, put it all in a couple of plastic bags and freeze it. When I have more time I will take it out of the freezer and toss it in a pot and make my soup.

  27. P Spicer says

    Th butcher at Price Chopper and Hannaford will not cut a turkey in half – they say the cross contamination of poultry and beef is a health department no no. Bummer. Any ideas other than deboning a fresh turkey?

    • says

      It use to be the bigger the turkey the better the price but the past couple of years I have been finding many 10-15 lb. turkeys for the same price per lb. as the large so I would just get a couple of smaller turkeys while they are on sell. I have found these at my Wal mart and my Dillions (Kroger) stores plus Wal Mart will match prices so if you find a good deal on small turkeys at your regular grocery store and they are out of smaller ones or something try matching the price at Wal Mart.

      A 10 -15 lb turkey really isn’t that much to manage even for a single like myself.

  28. Deb says

    Our traditional feast included a 20-pound turkey and giblet gravy, but to me the sides were the real stars, especially because we didn’t have stuffing all the time. Homemade stuffing “with corn on” (canned creamed corn, that is), skillet-candied sweet potatoes – just the cooked and peeled sweet potatoes, butter and dark brown sugar – green beans, and kernel corn for those who preferred. And of course cranberry jelly. There were always apple and pumpkin pies, though at other holidays there was cherry pie for me, too. (This was way pared down from the ancestral feasts which also included plain peas and creamed peas as well as mashed potatoes.) I’m lucky enough to come from a long line of good traditional cooks!
    This huge production started the day before when my grandmother and her two daughters came to the house of whoever was hosting Thanksgiving that year (it was traded off with Easter every other year and Grandmother had Christmas). That was when the stuffing was made and put in the turkey which promptly went in the fridge to be cooked on the day. (A no-no these days, but these things were all local and fresh.) That was when all the pies were brought already baked. It was a nice tradition, especially for the little helper who got to cook with her extended family.
    Now they’re all gone but my aunt, and neither of us can travel, so it’s usually just me and my husband.
    A fresh turkey breast, stuffing made from whole wheat bread, celery and onions, butter and olive oil, marjoram, parsley and thyme (NO sage), and chicken broth; creamed corn on, and green beans is our Thanksgiving and Christmas fare these days. Oh, and the special cranberry relish from the deli for my DH. It still gives lots of leftovers, and there’s nothing better for breakfast the next day than stuffing heated in the skillet and topped with butter and creamed corn. Sometimes I make stuffing by itself just so I can have the leftovers!
    Except for the turkey breast and the relish, these are things I keep on hand all the time so I can stock up at sale prices. I don’t know what the total will be, but I suspect it won’t be all that much more than was paid for those memorable family feasts of long ago.
    The pork roast sounds yummy – we have that for Pennsylvania Dutch pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes to give good luck on New Year’s Day. Because my husband has southern roots, we also have blackeyed peas and stewed tomatoes. A blending of food heritages which actually comes out a satisfying and tasy meal.

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