Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Day the Easy Way

Turkey dinner from scratch...
Photo Credit: Corbis

Usually, Thanksgiving for me is a big day of cooking. In the past, we've either had guests at our home or visited my mom's house near Toronto. 

In the case of the former, I spend about two weeks planning, shopping, pre-cleaning the house, doing food prep, cooking, serving and then cleaning up afterward. I truly enjoy making up the dinner and having my family and friends over, but I will admit that it is an exhausting process and takes a fair amount of skill to get right. Last year, I fell asleep on the couch for about two hours after the dinner was over and missed out on a lot of the visiting - I was also nine months pregnant.

When it comes to visiting family, we have a four hour drive (each way) through Toronto traffic. (Which can be ridiculously bad on a long weekend!)

So...This year, we decided to focus on the two things that matter most about this holiday: giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives and enjoying some down time as a family at home. We were sorry to miss out on seeing our extended family, but we did just complete three trips in the past two months for family related occasions, so it seemed that we'd done our share of traveling. 

Instead of spending the day in the kitchen or on the highway, we slept in,

Photo Credit: Filia Artis

went for a lovely walk in the woods along the waterfront,

Photo Credit: Filia Artis

and enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner at Aunt Lucy's, a restaurant close by to us here in Kingston. The place has been around since 1947 and is truly an institution. The dinner was terrific and the total cost, even with some wine, was far less than I would have spent on groceries for something similar at home. The final plus sides were that we could come home to a clean house and just relax afterward - no dishes to do or silverware to put away - and some one else will be in charge of picking up after Baby's somewhat messy attempt at joining us for dinner (always leave a bigger tip when dining out with little ones!).

Photo Credit: Filia Artis

The gardens on the restaurant property
Photo Credit: Filia Artis

Another option, in case you are feeling the burn-out of cooking up the whole meal yourself this year, is to order in a turkey dinner.

Aqua Terra by Clarke, which we would rate as THE TOP restaurant here in Kingston, was offering a full turkey dinner for six to eight people for about $199. It included a whole turkey, fully cooked, all the trimmings and dessert - all you needed to do was book the time that you wanted it ready for and pick it up. At about $25/person, this is a very reasonable option!

Since there were only two of us this year, we decided going out would be better than catering in. However, in future I will be looking for this sort of deal! Perhaps there is something similar in your area...

Photo Credit: Filia Artis

However you choose to celebrate, I wish all my readers a wonderful Thanksgiving and many good blessings in the coming year.

DIY Ratings: 
5 for doing all the work yourself and 
10 for considering a restaurant or caterer

There are other options besides spending the holiday as a kitchen wench! 

Having Thanksgiving dinner made by someone else leaves
you able to simply dress up nice, enjoy your family time 
and your meal and never lift a finger!

You can still be a kitchen god or goddess the rest of the year...

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