De-stress Your Thanksgiving

This year I am committing the mortal Thanksgiving sin: I am not roasting an entire turkey. That's right. I confess.

But wait. It gets worse.

I purchased a PRE-COOKED turkey roulade from Costco. This nifty little entree serves 4 (the exact number in my family) and only needs to be heated up in the MICROWAVE. Oh yes. The thin turkey cutlets are wrapped around a stuffing made of quinoa and pine nuts. I haven't tried it yet, so our dinner is a big experiment.

I also purchased a BOX of stuffing mix from Trader Joe's. And instant turkey gravy packets. Just add water!

Okay, I think that might be all I have to confess. I do plan to bake a couple of pies from scratch (I don't even count the frozen pie crust as cheating!) and make cranberry sauce from actual cranberries. I will roast real, whole sweet potatoes in the oven and saute Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans. My hubby will mash the potatoes.

My point is not only that I am a lazy bones. My real point is that your holiday belongs to you. You are in charge. You can make choices based upon what is best for you. Of course you want your family (friends, neighbors, etc.) to be happy. But if you are so stressed out that you're screaming at people, or giving your loved ones the icy cold silent treatment, you might want to rethink that strategy. (Two years ago I was practically in tears over the gravy. No lie.)

Normally I cook from scratch. Normally I avoid additives and preservatives, trans fat, refined sugar, all forms of flour, and loads of other junk. But for this holiday, I decided to give myself a break from normal. I don't want to stress myself, and my loved ones in the process, in order to make sure every morsel we eat is home-cooked. Instead, our Thanksgiving meal will be a mishmash of homemade, store-bought, pre-cooked, instant, and made-ahead.

I hope you will give yourself permission this Thanksgiving to be less-than-perfect. Your family and friends will still love you, maybe even more when you are not so stressed!