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Fixins On The Cheap

from The Chicago Tribune

A feasible feast
* Savvy use of supermarket products keeps your Thanksgiving fuss-free

Thanksgiving dinner conjures up Currier & Ives memories of rosy-cheeked grannies, aided by a phalanx of aunties, sisters and assorted female cousins mustering up a veritable groaning board of goodies while the menfolk chaw away the hours in the front parlor.

But in this 24/7 workaday world, T-Day reality can be quite different.

Don’t despair.

You don’t have to splurge on a fancy dinner to evoke the true spirit and foods of Thanksgiving past. You can still gather the family, however nuclear, around the table and give thanks for what you have and for being together and for pulling a wonderful meal together without getting crazed.

Just be prepared to cheat. A little.

Supermarkets, delis, caterers and restaurants all sell a variety of precooked, ready-to-cook and assemble-X-Y-Z-and-cook dishes you can place on your holiday table. That can lighten the load so you can concentrate on the Thanksgiving dish that really matters to you, be it the roast turkey, the mashed potatoes, the pumpkin pie or the chili-cheese nacho pie you serve up with the football game on TV.

My mother cooked like this for years. She would jazz up packets of frozen onions in white sauce, add her own vegetables to commercially prepared stuffing mixes and pour a can of chicken broth into pan juices to make a quick gravy.

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Posted on November 27, 2008 by Editor

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