Back to Basics: Cooking for Thanksgiving Weekend

The Thanksgiving weekend is nearly upon us, but don't feel daunted. We'll help you prepare.

  • Thanksgiving weekend - Lorie Leigh Lawrence at the cutting board
    Lorie Leigh Lawrence prepares a chicken — stuffed with lemon wedges, fresh garlic, and thyme sprigs — for roasting.
  • Thanksgiving weekend - chicken on cutting board
    The Thanksgiving weekend is nearly upon us. Time to get the bird ready.

  • Thanksgiving weekend - Lorie Leigh Lawrence at the cutting board
  • Thanksgiving weekend - chicken on cutting board

My brother John, ski instructor to Aspen vacationers, has a term for the town's upscale restaurant food. He calls it "foo-foo food." Although he appreciates fine cuisine, he's just as happy with a burger and fries. When it comes to food, new and different can be interesting as long as we can always fall back on the old favorites. At least we know how to prepare those oldies but goodies. Or do we? In an era when the art of cooking has been put on the back burner, many of us are stuck at the how-to-boil-water stage. Careers, kids, and pets leave little time for culinary creativity. This is why we find such books as Gourmet Cooking for Dummies at the local bookstore. Although I'd prefer "inexperienced" as opposed to "dummies" when referring to non-cookers, folks need to know the basics. As Thanksgiving weekend rapidly approaches, panic attacks are occurring nationwide over the prospect of cooking Thanksgiving dinner and feeding the in-laws in the days afterwards. That won't be a problem if we have a meal plan and a few easy recipes under our belts.

Meal Plan

( or, how not to wrestle with a turkey):

• Roast Chicken(s)
• Greens Salad
• Whole-grain rolls or bread
• Almost-Instant Dessert


• Freezer Bean Soup,
• defrosted Yesterday's rolls or bread,
• heated Selection of cheeses and fruit


11/25/2017 3:58:00 PM


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