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Monday, November 5, 2012

Holiday Food Planning

For thanksgiving this year my family has decided to go out of town. Not to a relative's house (love ya, mom!), but to Myrtle Beach. November might seem like an odd time to go to the beach, but I like it for two reasons:
1. It's no cooler than my native North Carolina and there's plenty to do.
2. No one else likes to go to the beach for the holidays-less people.

My mother is going with us, so we'll still get all the fun of a family holiday. The good news is I don't have to clean my house every week from now til then to get it semi-suitable for human beings to view. There is the challenge of how to cook the holiday meal when we get there.

Our little suite has a kitchen, so that's no issue. But I'd rather not pack the entire kitchen into my van for the trip. So here's the beginning of my planning space.

First, we're cooking for only five and two of those are little boys. That means a turkey breast will be enough. We do NOT need a whole bird. If we get one in advance and freeze it, it should make the trip easily. Last year I got a Jenny-O breast with the timer in it and that worked fabulously.

Mashed potatoes are always a must. My oldest son loves them to death. Lucky for me, he thinks instant is just dandy and so do I. So a few pouches of Betty Crocker's 4 Cheese instant potatoes are easy to get.

Cranberry relish. My mother and I love a little dish I learned with cranberries, mandarin oranges, orange zest, and sugar. I'm hoping that's all that's in it. I hate carrying my spices with me.

Stuffing-I think we might skip this. None of us are huge fans. Well, scratch that. Mom and I love stuffing, but the guys not so much. They can take it or leave it. And mom and I could both do without more empty starch.

Green beans- Yes, these must be. They travel easy, or can be picked up after arrival, with ease. Add some radishes, lime juice and fennel seed and you've got one tasty side dish that's ready in about 10 minutes. My kinda deal.

Frozen rolls- those I'll pick up after arrival. I don't make bread without my breadmaker and THAT is not making the trip. I can even fix these the night before and just heat them up.

Jello salad-Oh, come on! Every holiday needs at least one gelatinous mystery food, right? My kids love jello, so they have yet to learn the fear the rest of us have of this dish.

I'll ask my mom if sweet potatoes are realistic. I have no idea what goes into that casserole 'cause I've never made it. Why would I when I have her to help out?

That's all I got for now. Maybe more later. What are your favorite time-busting meal ideas for the holidays? Or do you have a super easy meal idea that travels well? Share it!