Thanksgiving may be a fun, family-oriented celebration, but many people find it to be an expensive, stressful event. Here are a few ways to make Thanksgiving manageable.
1) DON’T MAKE A WHOLE TURKEY! If you are the type of family that is too small to finish your bird, or doesn’t like turkey much, don’t feel you have to roast a whole turkey just for tradition’s sake. You can easily roast a butterflied turkey breast or game hens in less time, with less fuss and less cost. Often, they’ll come out tastier, too–none of that “perfect leg, overdone breast” syndrome.
2. DON’T EAT YOURSELF SILLY. Can you really eat three types of pie, cornbread, mashed potatoes, AND stuffing all in one meal without feeling ill? Have a reasonable idea of how many guests will be eating, then provide enough food for them each to have 1 reasonable serving of protein, two of vegetables (white potatoes don’t count), 1 starch, and a dessert.
3. EAT SEASONAL AND HOMEMADE. Why not bake rolls and pie early and freeze? Golden delicious apples are on sale around the corner from me for just 39 cents a pound, and bartlett pears are only ten cents more. Why not make homemade apple pie or pear tart? It’s a lot cheaper than store-bought, and less stressful than baking on Thursday.
4. DON’T SIT AROUND ALL DAY. Find a fun and cheap or free activity to entertain the family. Play board games. Go to the beach (bundle up first and take a thermos of coffee or cocoa). Go to the park and play football, kick around a soccer ball, or shoot some hoops.
If you don’t mind spending money, why not go ice skating? The seasons just started at Pershing Square downtown (http://laparks.org/pershingsquare/) and in Santa Monica (http://www.iceatsantamonica.com/index.html). Both rinks are open on Thanksgiving Day. If you visit the Pershing Square website, you’ll find a coupon, and you can save more money by taking Metro downtown.