Our Last Minute Tips on Preparing a Thanksgiving Meal. We’ll All Make it Through This! Stay Calm!

First thing is that this isn’t a competition. With Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest filled with photos of perfect meals and decorations, we think it’s important to remember that we all need to stop comparing what we have with what others are doing.

Next step is to keep things simple. A Thanksgiving dinner isn’t much different than any other dinner. A turkey is just a giant chicken and we’ve all made mashed potatoes before.

So, lets breakdown the fundamental ingredients of a Thanksgiving dinner:

thanksgiving turkey

The Turkey:

Hopefully, if you are reading this, you already have your turkey in the thawing process, if you haven’t… well, the Chinese food at Bobo China is really good! But, seriously, that bird should be thawing right now. When it comes time to throw that oversized chicken into the oven, plan for an unstuffed bird to take roughly 15 minutes per pound to cook at 325 degrees.

Side dishes

Lets keep it simple. Side dishes usually consist of vegetables, salads, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rolls. None of these have to be fancy. We aren’t trying to make our way onto a cooking magazine. We’re trying to feed a bunch of people. And some of those people wont stop bugging me while I’m trying to cook this meal for them. I’m looking at you, Jason!

Vegetables are easy. You can steam them and they will be sweet and crisp. Or, if you are just trying to get this dinner done, throw them in a bowl, add some water, and toss them into the microwave for a few minutes. Bam! The veggies are done.

Alright, so the veggies are nuked and ready. Now, we need some mashed potatoes. You can go with instant; fast, simple, easy. But taste is… hit or miss.

So, lets do them the old fashion way. I mean, can’t be that hard, right? They claim that a five pound bag makes 10-12 servings. But, if your family eats like mine, you might as well just go with the 10 lbs bag. Now, after you spent the next half hour peeling potatoes and catching the peeler on your knuckles and finger tips, bandage those puppies up and dump your peeled and cut potatoes into a large pot

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender. Which can take 20 to 40 minutes depending upon the amount of potatoes. Drain them well.

Dump the peeled, cut, and cooked potatoes into a large bowl and break out the blender. Blend on low until the potatoes begin to break up and add cream or milk and some butter. Mix until the consistency is how you like it, whether that is creamy or lumpy.

Now, you’ve got your dinner complete. What else do you need? Oh yeah…


Some people like to get creative with pies and mix things up by having a Pecan pie. I like to just go with Pumpkin and Apple.

Last week we covered how to make Pumpkin and Apple pies, so if you would like a recap, go to santantimes.com to reread the article.

clean up

Clean Up

The absolute worst part of Thanksgiving. So. Many. Dishes. If you have kids, put them to work! If you don’t, take care of the dishes quickly before the food hardens to everything. Otherwise you might as well just set everything on fire and buy new stuff since thanksgiving food hardens onto dishes like it was welded onto it.

Good luck, stay calm, and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner!