Who Has Time to Talk Turkey?

By Michelle Stern



The pressure for a merry holiday season begins as soon as the pumpkins begin to sag on the front porch. Ads depict happy and relaxed families spending quality time together in front of the fire, or eating an elaborate meal in a large dining room. But in an age where the majority of families have two working parents, not everyone has the time or the energy to plan and execute an entire Thanksgiving menu on their own. Luckily, there are many options to ease the burden.



More and more grocery stores are offering pre-made Thanksgiving meals that can be ordered in advance. Publix and Whole Foods markets are two that have earned an excellent reputation in this department. Boston Market is a national chain that also prepares holiday meals. In the

San Francisco

Bay area, Wally’s Food takes orders online and delivers meals right to your door! And finally, many meal assembly stores, such as Let’s Dish and Dream Dinners offer sessions where customers can prepare holiday side dishes to bring home and serve.



Don’t forget other shortcuts, such as using pre-made pie crusts and hosting pot luck meals, where the host is responsible for the

Turkey and guests bring everything else! Many websites offer menu suggestions, complete with recipes. The Food Network is ready for you to pay them a visit!



Even with the wide variety of time-savers and shortcuts available, it is nice to remember what the holidays stand for – spending quality time together with those you love. Please consider bringing your children into the kitchen with you during this holiday season. Even though they may make a mess or get the dog sticky, they will remember the cooking experience with you. This cranberry sauce is a favorite in our house and with my young cooking students. And don’t forget to peek at the “call the kids” section of the recipe – it’s a great tool for parents who need a little convincing that their kids can actually do something helpful in the kitchen.




Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cherries



3.5 cups cranberries (1 12 ounce bag)


1/4 cup dried cherries


1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped


2 Tbs red-wine vinegar


Zest and juice of one orange


2 Tsp grated ginger, peeled


1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed