Thanksgiving may be the most annoying holiday. It’s bad enough that you have to spend all day cooking for your relatives, but Thanksgiving has the audacity to come on the day before Black Friday! Seriously, whoever scheduled Thanksgiving should have been a little more considerate than to put it right in front of the biggest and best shopping day of the year.
We know you want to get out of that kitchen and in line at Best Buy, Kohl’s, Kmart or Walmart as soon as humanly possible. Well, not to worry! We’ve got all the tips and tricks you’ll need to cut your Thanksgiving prep time way down so you can start celebrating what the holidays are really all about: unrestrained consumerism. Get ready for your 15-minute Thanksgiving!
Invite Guests — Lots and Lots of Guests
We know what you’re thinking. Guests!? Won’t that be more work for me? Well, not if you put your guests to work. Invite all your friends and relatives over for Turkey Day, then “politely” suggest that since you’re hosting, maybe they could bring a side dish or dessert. Before you know it, you’ve got a table full of chumps who’ve done all your cooking for you.
Once again, it’s time to put your guests to work. Don’t waste precious minutes individually serving everyone at the table. Set out all your dishes and invite everyone to serve themselves. Setting up your Thanksgiving meal buffet-style is a great way to speed up the day. All your guests can start grabbing food at the same time and get down to eating much quicker. To make it even more fun and casual, forgo the dinner table altogether. Invite guests to eat wherever they please. Football fans can take their turkey into the TV room to keep watching the big game. Kids can huddle in the playroom for their own fun meal. Just have garbage bags stationed everywhere; this will encourage people to throw out their own trash, saving you even more work.
Your guests are getting you out of cooking any sides or desserts, but if you’re hosting Thanksgiving, there’s one dish you won’t be able to escape from making: the turkey. As Thanksgiving host, the bird is your solemn responsibility. Luckily, cooking a turkey doesn’t have to be an arduous, all-day event. Explore some alternative, time-saving ways to get the turkey on the table and ready to eat. Deep frying a turkey cuts your cooking time down to an hour. Spatchcocking it (cutting out its backbone and flattening it) will also reduce the bird’s time in the oven. Of course, there’s also the ultimate time saver: buying a pre-cooked bird at the store. Just pop it in the oven with the heat on low before your guests arrive and no one will ever know you didn’t cook it yourself.
Put It On Paper
Cleanup can be a real time-killer on Thanksgiving. Instead of spending hours at the sink scrubbing gravy stains off your mother’s fine china, just dump it all into a garbage bag and be done with it! Simply switch to paper plates and plastic utensils this year. For some extra flare, stop in at your local party store for disposable dinnerware with seasonal designs. Don’t worry about coming off as “low-class.” Just tell people that normal dinner plates make everything too formal and you were going for a more fun, festive and friendly atmosphere this year.
Let the Wine Flow
Let’s get your guests nice and sleepy so they can head home to their nice, warm beds, and you can commence with your Black Friday festivities. The tryptophan in the turkey is a good start, but if you really want to send these freeloaders to snooze town, pour on the wine. Have bottles of it stationed everywhere and constantly be on hand to offer them a quick refill. There are a ton of nice, cheap red wines (the sleepiest of wines) that pair perfectly with turkey. Bottles of Montevina Zinfandel or Planeta La Segreta can both be purchased for under $15. For added effect, slowly turn up the temperature in your house over the course of the meal. Your guests will be ready to go before their second serving of pumpkin pie. (Also, maybe make sure they all have Lyft on their phone.)
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