7 Tricks for Pulling Off a Last-Minute Thanksgiving
No one has to know you outsourced the whole thing
Thanksgiving might be the best holiday ever: loads of food, lots of time with friends and family, hours and hours of football (if that’s your thing). Oh, crap—the food. The big day is a week away and the only thing you’ve done to prep is invite all the guests. Not to worry. Just use these seven tricks for pulling off a last-minute Thanksgiving and you’ll have an effortless feast in no time.
LOOK FOR EASY SIDE DISHES
So you want to cook, but you’re short on time. No problem. We’ve rounded up recipes for easy side dishes that are quick and dirty but will fool your guests into thinking you toiled in the kitchen for hours. Think 20-minute creamy mashed potatoes and cheese-smothered Swiss chard au gratin. Cue the drooling.
TRY A NO-BAKE DESSERT
The oven’s already in overdrive, so why not save time and kitchen real estate by whipping up a no-bake dessert? Surely one of these 23 recipes will catch your eye—from pumpkin-spice icebox cake (like a PSL on steroids) to caramel-apple cookie-dough bars. Just let your guests know you’re accepting awards for best chef.
OUTSOURCE THE TURKEY
Ah, the turkey. It takes half the day in the oven and usually comes out dry no matter how much you’ve brined it. Well, Luke’s Local has a solution you’re going to love. They’re smoking whole heritage birds for you, so all you have to do is pop it into the oven for an hour to reheat it on Thanksgiving Day. Choose delivery on November 22 or 23, or pick up your turkey in Cole Valley on Thanksgiving morning.
LEAVE SOME SIDES TO THE PROFESSIONALS
Save yourself the headache of coming up with a long menu of side dishes. Good Eggs has you covered with cheese-board fixings, Tartine bread, cranberry sauce and more. Plus, they offer free delivery on all orders over $60. Now we're talking. But make haste: The deadline for pre-orders on top sellers (like turkeys, pies, and flower arrangements) is November 16.
HAVE PREMADE PUNCH ON HAND
Playing bartender on Thanksgiving means that everyone else gets to have all the fun. Instead, order Novela’s bottled punch, which comes with a fresh mix of fruit and spices. All you have to do is add your spirit of choice, water and ice and throw it in a punch bowl. Now pour yourself a drink already.
GET A LITTLE HELP WITH THE PIE
Three Babes Bakeshop is known for its baked goods and they’ve got just the right selection of Thanksgiving pies. If you’re not ready to give up your Betsy Homemaker cred, pick up some premade dough or a pie-crust shell and fill it yourself. Otherwise, order your apple, pumpkin or bourbon pecan ready to go. Three Babes offers pickup on November 22 and 23 and even Thanksgiving Day (at their Bayview kitchen) and free delivery in San Francisco if you order two or more pies. And people, you can never have too much pie.
ORDER THE WHOLE DARN MEAL
Every year, Bi-Rite puts together Friendsgiving in a Box in three different sizes, with prices ranging from $150 (for four to six guests) to $375 (feeding 12 to 14). The package comes complete with everything from the turkey and sides to the pie. You can even add on extra sides, soups, salads and desserts a la carte. The deadline for preorders is November 22 at 4 p.m., so hop to it.