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Five Easy Ways to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Meal—and Still Have it Taste Great

Five easy ways to simplify your traditional Thanksgiving meal
  1. The Undercover Take-Out Dinner
    Follow local foodies’ advice and head to Kowalski’s Markets for a great pre-made turkey-dinner deal. The meal, which serves up to 12 people, includes a 10–12 pound all-natural turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry-orange relish, 18 dinner rolls, and a 12-inch pumpkin pie. The total cost is $119.99; To know: Orders must be placed at least 48 hours in advance and picked up by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27, from the deli department. (You can also arrange to have it delivered Wednesday.) Find your nearest location.
  2. Gluten-free and Oh-So-Good
    Birchwood Café, in Minneapolis’s Seward neighborhood, is known for its locally sourced, flavorful offerings— maple-pumpkin gluten-free pie included. The pie boasts a ginger-snap crust baked with Birchwood’s maple syrup and is filled with fresh pumpkin. It costs $30, and is worth every penny. To know: place your order by Sunday, November 18. Pick up on Wednesday, November 21. Birchwood Café, 3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474.
  3. Just Say No
    Eliminate dishes you don’t need. Whether you divvy up the meal with other family members or just skip that extra dish that nobody ends up eating anyway, simplifying doesn’t mean skimping—it just means saving time and energy.
  4. Make a List
    Sit down and list out everything you need to buy, including the number of each item. This will help you from feeling overwhelmed once you get to the store. Also: try to get there before the last-minute rush.
  5. The Earlier, the Better
    You’ve done your shopping early, now do your prepping early. Chopping veggies, setting the table, putting dips into their appropriate dish—all this can be done ahead of time to avoid the day-of panic that sets in as dinnertime nears.

Sharing Your Own Tips For This Thanksgiving

What tips do you have to simplify any Thanksgiving occasion? Share your thoughts, hints and ideas in our comments section below; we are excited to see what you do for your holiday!

About the Author:

Ellen Burkhardt is a freelance writer and editor living in Minneapolis.

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  • By Alyce Morgan

    We own a house –on the market now–almost right across the street from Scusi in Saint Paul. (Sadly, we’ve moved away and can’t shop there.) Their pastry chef is selling gorgeous pies for Thanksgiving, but you need to order early. If you don’t bake, or don’t have time, this is the ticket!

    • By Laura Ashburn

      Yum! That sounds like a delicious idea. I love getting pies and pastries from shops like that. I will have to check them out. Thanks for sharing!