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Tightwad top ten: Thanksgiving shortcuts

It's nearly Thanksgiving up here in Canada, and Tightwad is getting pretty excited. She loves the pumpkins, fallen chestnuts, longer shadows, cooler air and autumn foliage. As host of this year's family Thanksgiving dinner, Tightwad has been thinking of ways to make the event more manageable. Sure you've got the lists, the planning and the sheer will to be organized, but what does it really take?
10. Tightwad picked this idea up from Real Simple: put all of your spuds on the top rack of your dishwasher and run the econo cycle! Yes, really! Who wants to bother with scrubbing them all?
9. Get some kid friendly activities planned to keep the little ones out of the kitchen.
8. Consider getting a friend who is good at baking to make your pumpkin and pecan pies ahead of time, in your own dishes! No one has to know! Or just buy the pies and personalize them with some whipped cream.
7. Along the line of outsourcing, consider splurging and getting a housecleaner to help whip your house into shape. Haven't you got enough to do already?
6. Decorate early! This way you get to enjoy fall type stuff in your house for awhile, and have time to tweak it to perfection and keep your OCD in check.
5. Buy a fresh turkey so you don't have to torture yourself with trying to thaw it for the long cooking time. By the time you figure out thaw time coupled with cooking time, that's high math! Leave the high math to your teenage nephew and his parabolas.
4. Ditch the hor d'ouevres. No, really. You are doing your guests a favour! Whilst people chow down on chicken wings and spinach dip, they are getting too full for dinner! So, put out a plate of crudites and call it a day.
3. Delegate delegate delegate - match side dishes with what people do best. Guests feel like they've contributed something to the meal - which of course they have - and it saves you time, too.
2. Plan ahead, and prep veggies the day before. Stash them in ziploc baggies and have them ready to fling into pots, pans and casserole dishes in style.
1. Stay one step ahead of the dishes........ or they WILL consume you.

Don't forget the thermometer! Yours, in turkey cooking solidarity, Tightwad.


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