Is it Thanksgiving already?
Yes. Yes, it is.
Are you the maker of Thanksgiving magic? There's always someone in the family who, whether they volunteer or not, make the majority of the Thanksgiving meal and coordinate the majority of Thanksgiving activities. It's a big job, and resources are limited. The standard American household has four burners and one oven, so bringing a Thanksgiving meal to life requires an incredible amount of planning, coordination, effort, and time.
Not only are physical resources limited, are anyone else's *internal* resources limited this time around? Thanksgiving is usually a time of family togetherness, home cooking, and online shopping. Now you're saying the holiday, which is usually a break from the typical stress, is just MORE family togetherness, home cooking, and online shopping, but like, double the pressure to be together, cook, and shop?
Makers of holiday magic are typically the primary caregivers of young children, too, and primary caregivers rarely get a holiday, even for the holidays. If you're the holiday magic maker, how can you give yourself a break this Thanksgiving? How could Thanksgiving be a little easier, a little less elaborate, and a little more fun? We have some ideas. Enjoy BooginHead's list of 5 Thanksgiving tips, Coronavirus edition!
Easy Thanksgiving Tip #1: Don't Travel
Don't do it, it's not worth it.
We mean it. Don't. Sit down. Stay home. COVID-19 infects at a 1:3 rate, so if you infect 3 people, and those 3 people infect 3 people, at level 10 of that infection rate you have been responsible for 59,000 infections. Honey, no. Thanksgiving is at home this year. It's not with your parents, it's not with your grandparents, your aunts, your cousins, and no Friendsgiving either.
Here's what you save when you don't travel for Thanksgiving. Besides LITERAL HUMAN LIVES, you'll save money on plane tickets or gas. You'll save time on packing. You'll save the stress of cooking in, sleeping in, and otherwise existing in an unfamiliar house that's probably packed with a bunch of people. You'll save your back from an air mattress, you'll save your kids from an interruption of routine, you'll save time cooking for a crowd, you'll save sleep and you'll save anxiety. Thanksgiving dinners are notorious for fomenting inter-familial strife and stirring up drama between different viewpoints and political beliefs. Just Say No this year. Now, we are not saying avoid those discussions entirely. Not at all. BooginHead does not shy from taking a stand. We are saying, avoid those discussions on Thanksgiving, when there are a lot of knives around.
Easy Thanksgiving Tip #2: Don't Forget Your Slow Cooker
The secret weapon
Ok, so you have to cook on Thanksgiving. Can't get out of it. For many people, it's their favorite meal of the year! Still, you're probably stuck with the typical four burners and one oven. Don't forget your slow cooker! what's easier than dumping a bunch of stuff into a pot at 9 in the morning, living your full life all day, and then dishing out a complete meal at dinnertime? Your slow cooker will peacefully sit in a corner, cooking away, working hard for you without complaint while you make all the rest of the holiday magic happen. Hell, your slow cooker doesn't even have to be in the kitchen. If you're tight on counter space, put it on the table. Put it in the bathroom! All it needs is a plug. It doesn't ask for much.
Here's a list of slow cooker Thanksgiving recipes. We're talking mashed potatoes! Buttered carrots! Stuffing! According to Delish.com, you can even make turkey breast in the slow cooker. Don't have a slow cooker? Check your local thrift store. You might be able to pick one up, gently used, for under $10.
And don't forget about Slow Cooker's backup singers, Air Fryer, Sous Vide, and Instant Pot, who also don't need to be in the kitchen to work. Ever had air fryer brussels sprouts? So good, you'll finally like brussels sprouts.
Easy Thanksgiving Tip #3: Make Ahead and Freeze
You're stuck cooking this Thanksgiving, but you're already stuck at home cooking anyway, right? Because you are a responsible citizen of a pandemic world? Of course you are! Well, there are some super easy and traditional Thanksgiving recipes that are perfect for the freezer, which will actually taste better made ahead, frozen, and reheated on Thanksgiving day. Just do one recipe a day during your regular cooking and when it's Go Time, you'll already be at the finish line.
Exhibit A: cranberry sauce. Freeze it!
Exhibit B: Gravy. FREEZE IT.
Exhibit C: Stuffing. You KNOW stuffing is better the day after!
What else do you even need if you've already got cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing? At Thanksgiving, the turkey is the side dish, as far as we're concerned.
Oh, and if you have to make Thanksgiving with a baby strapped to your chest all day? Pick up a PaciGrip pacfier clip or two.
Yummmmm, green bean casserole and baby spit.
Easy Thanksgiving Tip #4: Don't Cook
Maybe Thanksgiving is your favorite meal to eat, but not to cook. And you rely on traveling to other people's houses who DO cook Thanksgiving to get your fix. But since you're not traveling this year, because you're a responsible citizen of the world, what are you supposed to do? Or what if you're just too busy being a primary caregiver, or you're too tapped from doing the standard family togetherness, home cooking, and online shopping? Order in, baby.
These days, almost every grocery store offers special pre-cooked complete Thanksgiving meals ready for order and pickup the day before Thanksgiving. We're not talking about the pre-made stuff in plastic tubs you can get next to the pork loins in the meat department. We mean, gorgeous fully cooked turkeys and handmade sides made from delicious ingredients that are only available during the holiday season.
If you live in Washington State like we do, you can go fancy, like ordering from Metropolitan Market:
Literallly so good
Or your could go organic, and order a turkey dinner from Whole Foods:
They have a whole separate menu for extra sides!
Or you could go for convenience and order a turkey dinner from Safeway:
Imagine the peace of mind that the turkey is cooked all the way through!
Google your local grocery stores! What's around? You may be able to order a fully cooked complete Thanksgiving meal from right down the street, and your only job on Thanksgiving Day will be to reheat and watch the National Dog Show.
Easy Thanksgiving Tip #5: Easy Cleanup
Did you think you were getting out of this list without a Thanksgiving tip using BooginHead products? LOL! Whether you make everything from scratch or order everything pre-made, you're going to have a mess on your hands when it's all over. One place you WON'T have a mess? Your floor.
This will not be your carpet.
SplatMat high chair mats wipe clean with a wet washcloth!
Extra wide coverage to account for the Fling Factor
Your cleanup list will be plates, glasses, bowls, forks, spoons, and spatulas, but not floors. Not with SplatMat high chair mats. Save your floors, save your back, save your time with our high chair mat for easy cleanup after toddler and baby mealtimes. So easy!
That's it! Thanksgiving tips to make your life easier. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday filled with love, laughter, rest, and relaxation. You deserve it.
BooginHead is a small, independent, woman-owned business, and a portion of our monthly proceeds are donated to COVID-19 relief local and nationwide, and to the fight for a more just and equitable world. See our BooginHead Blog for details on that and our other philanthropic efforts!