Six ways to save yourself this Thanksgiving

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine,...
English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine, USA 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the day before Thanksgiving. Do you need some helping getting dinner together tomorrow?

I’m fresh out of miracles. Instead, I have a good dose of keepin’ it real.

We are delusional in the weeks before Thanksgiving. We convince ourselves that we can cook a 20-pound turkey because Alton Brown says it’s easy. We fill our grocery cart with pounds and pounds of potatoes because boxed mashed potatoes will just not do. We buy a rolling pin and a pastry blender because this will be the year we finally make that pie crust from scratch. And we sincerely believe that from our kitchens will emerge a display of culinary prowess that would make Martha Stewart throw her panties at our feet in adoration.

That fantasy is a few turkey trots away from our realities. For 364 days of the year, dinner is something simple enough to fix after an eight-hour workday, be it pasta with a homemade mushroom cream sauce, scrambled eggs or a bowl of cereal. Why do we think we can pull off a full Thanksgiving spread?

We can’t. No one can achieve the high expectation we set for ourselves. And that’s why you made it to the blog today, because the turkey is still frozen, the mountain of potatoes haven’t been peeled and the butter just won’t blend with the flour for that pie crust.

I can’t save your disaster. But I have some tips to save your sanity.

  • Stick with what you know. Do you have a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe? Do your friends rave about your fried corn? That’s what you need to cook for Thanksgiving. Everyone has a recipe that they have mastered over the years and made their own. Now is the time to whip it out of your recipe box (or iPad).
  • Just make a salad. I can’t think of one Thanksgiving meal that included a salad. It’s not that my family is full of salad-haters; everyone’s just too busy with mashed potatoes and the like to put together some fresh greens. Buy a bag of pre-washed lettuce, toss it with sliced apples, dried cranberries, feta cheese, almond slivers, and a raspberry vinaigrette, and veg heads will be grateful.
  • Think outside the casserole dish. There are lots of other items you can bring to the celebration besides food that your family and friends will appreciate. Run to your nearest dollar store and get some paper plates, napkins and cups.
  • Never underestimate the power of a beverage. Be the cool cousin and bring a few bottles of wine. Is your family more conservative? Stop by a gas station and get some two-liters (bonus points if you get Coke Zero).
  • Break it and bake it. Grab a pack of the ready-to-bake Nestlé Tollhouse cookie dough. No mixing and barely any work — you just separate the squares of dough, put on a baking sheet, and let cook in the oven. Dessert in less than an hour. What’s not to love?
  • Be honest about your shortcomings. Just come right out and say you’re frazzled and can’t fulfill your culinary commitment. So what if the crust never came together? Your family and friends will love you anyway. That’s what Thanksgiving is about.

Three things you should do in honor of Pi Day

Looked at a calender today?

It’s March 14, or 3.14, aka Pi Day (π), a celebration of the most awesome-est number (it’s true).

Here are some ways to celebrate the big day:

  1. Grab a slice of a different kind of pie at the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie KitchenI’m a fan of the Double Crust Apple Pie. YUM.
  2. Try and recite as many digits of pi as you can. There’s A LOT more after the 3.14.
  3. Wish my dad a happy birthday. What’s not to love about this guy?
Happy birthday, Daddy!

Get an ice cream cone for 25 cents Saturday at Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

Got a quarter and some free time this weekend?

Swing on down to one of nine Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen locations for Quarter Day this Saturday, June 18. From noon to 5 p.m., customers can get a one-scoop ice cream cone for 25 cents.

TWENTY-FIVE CENTS, Y’ALL.

The dessert shop has 32 flavors of ice cream from which to choose, so I would study up before you go to avoid being “that guy” (or gal) holding up the line with indecision. I’ve narrowed my selections to either butter pecan or strawberry shortcake. Or I might go crazy and spend an extra 25 cents for two cones. You only live once, amirite?

Click here to find your nearest Pie Kitchen. And if you see me munching on the melty end of a sugar cone, don’t be afraid to say hi.