12.02.2014

Thanksgiving in a Box

That whole cooking thing. Well, we decided not to do that this year.  I realize that some people love to cook and believe that Thanksgiving is not the same without a ton of home cooked food that you worked really long and hard to prepare.  I am not one of those people.

My parents house is a disaster.  When you are moving the week after Thanksgiving chances are your home is not equipped to handle cooking a Thanksgiving feast, leftovers or having guests so we knew that Thanksgiving would be at our house.  If I never make a Thanksgiving dinner in my life that will be fine with me.  I just don't have it in me to do such a thing.  MJ did it a few years ago, but was not interested in doing it again this year.

So what do we do about food, because Thanksgiving is nothing without food, or so I'm told.   Turns out, there is quite the market for this conundrum.  We aren't the only slackers who don't want to cook Thanksgiving dinner and there are plenty of places that will do it for you at an affordable price.  We decided on Fresh & Easy because they offered the best variety for sides and we love their freshly made food.  I've never eaten anything I didn't like from there and it really is Fresh and Easy.   Decisions about food are always critical for my mom but when it's Thanksgiving, it's really serious business and this was only going to work if my parents were okay with it.  There were a lot of text messages back and forth and at one point I thought we were going to have to cook but it worked out.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I saw that cute little box I knew everything was going to be okay.  Even though we didn't cook anything it smelled like we did and that's part of why you love it so much right?  The turkey needed almost three hours to cook and all the sides had to be warmed so we still got to use the oven.  The house smelled exactly like someone was in the kitchen all day, and someone actually was, it just wasn't us. 


After much discussion we agreed on brussel sprouts with bacon, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce for sides.  It even came with a free pumpkin pie.  MJ is currently working his way through it by himself since I don't eat pie.  He isn't even a fan of pumpkin pie and says it's pretty good.  My mom was nervous about the stuffing and yams so she made stuffing and picked up yams from Boston Market and my dad refuses to eat anything but the cheapo cranberry sauce in a can.   Throw in some dinner rolls and we had a complete Thanksgiving spread.  For dessert MJ made marble cake and peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  We also had ice cream but we all atE so much that it never came out of the fridge.

Thanksgiving dinner came out of a box but no one was disappointed.  Not even my mom.  It was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I've ever had.  The turkey was all breast so we didn't have to deal with all those nasty bones, everything was full of flavor and we had just enough left overs.  The best part about all of this is that no one had to slave away in the kitchen for hours the night before or the day of.  MJ picked up our food the day before Thanksgiving, made the desserts in the morning and we were chowing down by 2:00pm.  There were dishes, but not the mountain it would have been had we cooked.  Some might think a store bought Thanksgiving is sad, but I call it efficient.  Okay, and maybe a little lazy.  

The best part about the day was spending time with MJ and my parents.  We sat around, drank wine, ate, talked and watched football the entire day.  I knew it was going to be the last time I saw them for a while but it didn't hit me until they were on their way out the door.  I kept it cool while they were putting on their shoes and it wasn't until we were outside when I was giving my mom one last hug that I lost it.  We clung to each other and sobbed.  I'm a grown woman and I have always been very independent.  I don't see my parents every weekend but the idea that I can't see them every weekend or even every month if I want to makes me really sad.  She's still my mommy and not having her and dad nearby is going to take some getting used to.  After they left MJ put his arms around me so I could cry some more.  I'm crying even as I write this.  Dramatic much?  Maybe so, but I'm emotional and those are my parents.  I'm going to miss them.
A photo posted by Cece (@pinksunshine94) on
We got our tree two days after Thanksgiving which is a big deal because we get it later and later every year.  Last year I don't think we got it until the week before Christmas so I was determined that we not procrastinate.  We really have no excuse because the tree farm we use every year is right across the street.  We drive by it on our way home from work every day.  We walk to the ATM if we need cash, walk across the street to the lot and then MJ carries it home.  He remembered to bring his gardening gloves this time.  We got a really good tree.  The shape is perfect and with the decorations it looks about the same as it did last year and I love it.  The four day break lasted a really long time which was great.  I think that's what happens when you don't pack a lot into it.  The only thing we did was go to the movies to see Mockingjay.
I'm a mac and cheese girl.  I don't eat stuffing, I don't do yams, cranberry sauce or pies and if I only have one thing on Thanksgiving I'd be happy as long as it was mac and cheese.  I knew I wasn't getting it this year and that was okay because I know that someday I will eat it again.  I don't plan on this being my last meal, ever.  I know that nobody is promised tomorrow but I'm pretty sure that even if it was, the last thing I'm going to regret is that I didn't eat macaroni and cheese on November 25th.  If I was on death row and didn't get it for my last meal, that's another story.

The thing I will think about more than anything else is who I spent it with because it's just food, and people are infinitely more precious than macaroni.  I think everyone can agree on that. 

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored by Fresh and Easy but I wish it was.

18 comments :

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

Thanksgiving in a box?! LOVE IT! I need this for when I host holidays. I know how you feel about your parents... whenever we leave from visiting my family in PA I always have a meltdown. It's usually in the car on the drive back or that night at home. I actually had mine while I was there this time! Hang in there! Great Christmas tree!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

Ameena said...

I have no problem eating Thanksgiving foods made by someone else...this is brilliant! Although I will say that the one thing I make pretty decently, and from scratch, is macaroni and cheese. I don't eat it but everyone else loves it.

Sorry about the leaving thing...I felt the same way flying back to NY this weekend. It doesn't get easier, no matter how old you are!

Renae said...

I have never heard of Thanksgiving in a box before, nothing wrong with it-just never even thought of it. But, all of the food you pictured looks pretty good to me. Glad you a great Thanksgiving and got to enjoy your parents.

Tomes Edition said...

This was a beautiful post. If you don't wunna slave over the pot don't, do what makes you happy and i can see it when i read your posts. The food looks so yummy.

A Life Less Traveled said...

I had my parents and sister in town this weekend and I completely understand how you feel. I would love us all to be in the same city so I could spend lots of time with my nephews and watch them grow up.

Jenny said...

Thanksgiving In A Box would soooo be my thing if I wasn't lucky enough to have my mom and Joey's Aunt who cook every year. I am not a good cook or at least I never really learned but Joey likes to cook, thank goodness! He probably would attempt cooking Thanksgiving before letting me order it in but after one year I am sure he'd give in. Haha!

Faith said...

That is such a great concept! But I'm one of those weirdos who loves slaving away in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. But I love to cook so that could be the reason why. But also my sisters love doing it too so it makes it a social thing to cook together.

But I love the idea and seriously the fact that the cleaning after is so little!

Law_Fal said...

Seems like a great idea! Glad you guys enjoyed your meal. This seems like something I would be doing if my mom or sister decided they didn't want to cook up the big meals for the holidays!

Tami said...

There's no shame in a boxed Thanksgiving meal, my friend! I'm thinking that on Christmas, John and I are going out for Chinese food. And so glad you got to spend such a nice time with your parents before their move!

Bethany Carson said...

Sounds and looks like a delicious Thanksgiving dinner! I like quick and easy recipes myself, but am not much into packaged food--looks like it didn't fail you though! Glad you had a good time with family.

Tricia Coniglio said...

Your dinner sounds delish. We had Thanksgiving in a box a few years ago and it was amazing! I loved not having to get everything prepared and it was such a relaxing day. It was a great way to spend more time with the ones you love and less time in the kitchen. As for the tree, I wanted it the day after Thanksgiving but we were outta town so we have to get it this weekend.

Dee said...

Hi CeCe, I'm glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I've never heard of Thanksgiving in a box, but it sure does sound stress free. It also looked very delicious. Enjoy the rest of your day... :)

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

Sounds like a good Thanksgiving! Glad it all turned out great!! I have not heard of Fresh & Easy, I'll have to check it out! I loved that it was so nice and warm here. P and I went to the zoo for the first time the day before Thanksgiving and cooked a pared down Thanksgiving dinner (still the full turkey though).

Nerline Germain said...

The food looks so good. My plan was not to cook this year. Then I went to my sister house to eat and found myself cooking most of the food. Being with family is all that counts.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I'm glad it all worked out..I would totally do this too next year if I host and it becomes too overwhelming!! Sorry to hear about your parents moving away!! You are always so effortlessly chic!!

Vett Vandiver said...

this looks awesome, glad y'all got to spend time together!

April Ronnecke said...

I gotta try that place one day. Maybe I will for Christmas. I'm a mac n cheese girl too. I can't stand stuffing. I think it smells lol. I thought I was the only one who hated stuffing! I lol when you said your dad will only eat the canned cranberry sauce. Too funny.

Ashley R said...

Mmm, sounds like an awesome dinner!

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