(Inside: You’re hosting Thanksgiving and terrified… Don’t be! Check out these tips on how to host Thanksgiving when you can’t cook!)
I don’t cook.
Well, if you count microwaving frozen dinners, I’m practically a chef.
But if your definition of cooking includes turning on the oven or stove, yeah, I don’t cook.
I once set cheerios on fire.
Yeah, the situation is pretty bleak.
And even though I don’t cook? I host Thanksgiving.
Pump the brakes. WHAT!? How the heck can you host Thanksgiving when you can’t cook!?
Very carefully, friend. That’s how. And today I’m sharing all my tips on how to host Thanksgiving when you can’t cook so that you can rock Thanksgiving too!
How to Host Thanksgiving When You Can’t Cook
For a long time I refused to host Thanksgiving.
My mom or sister hosted and cooked Thanksgiving dinners, which I happily ate.
My contribution was to peel potatoes and bring pumpkin pie (often store-bought because: ovens).
The last few years, however, we’ve hosted Thanksgiving (and really almost every holiday) at our house.
It’s so much easier to host an autism-friendly Thanksgiving for A-Man at our house where I know we can keep things sensory-friendly.
Beyond that, I now I have five tiny humans, the oldest being seven. My sister has one son that’s eight, my brother has no kids, and my parents just have a cat named Simon that they think is a kid.
(I’m not kidding, my mom has referred to this cat as “my brother” on more than one occasion!)
The fact is, if one family gets to stay home during the holidays, it’s mine. I win by sheer numbers!
But How Do We Host When I Don’t Cook?
We’ve learned a few simple tricks throughout the years so that our family can enjoy a traditional delicious Thanksgiving dinner without me ruining it with my abysmal cooking skills, and I figured I would share those with you guys today!
Outsource the Thanksgiving Cooking
I’m not kidding AT ALL.
Can your mom still cook, but at your house? Can your sister pitch in and bring her favorite dish?
My mom brings turnips to Thanksgiving each and every year. Why? I hate turnips and so does my husband. We have no idea how to cook them or what they should taste like. That’s all my mom!
You can also buy Thanksgiving meals. I’m not kidding, the grocery store here has “Thanksgiving Packs” where you can buy a cooked delicious turkey and all the trimmings. It’s AMAZING for people like me who can’t cook, or someone that’s super busy and just doesn’t have time to cook a turkey for fourteen hours.
(Does it take 14 hours to cook a turkey? I have no idea, but that’s how long it feels like it takes!)
For our Thanksgiving, I outsource most of the cooking to my husband. He’s a serious trooper.
He does everything except peeling potatoes (my signature job!) and the turnips. Because turnips are gross. #sorrynotsorry
Find Super Simple Thanksgiving Recipes
Okay, the next way that you can host Thanksgiving when you can’t cook is to find super simple Thanksgiving recipes.
You can make crock pot mashed potatoes instead of normal, for example. Or even a slow cooker Turkey!
I love these tips from Chantal at Nerdy Mamma with tips to keep your turkey juicy too!
Seriously, type “simple Thanksgiving recipe” into Pinterest and you’ll find hundreds of recipes to try out. I promise you’ll be able to do this!
Pick One Family Thanksgiving Recipe
Finally, you can pick one family Thanksgiving recipe to replicate.
Just one recipe!
Maybe it’s grandma’s apple pie, or your dad’s green bean casserole.
Whatever it may be, pick one family Thanksgiving recipe to try to make during your Thanksgiving dinner!
Even if you completely mess it up, your family will love it because it’s a family tradition.
Which brings me to my final point.
Give yourself some grace.
You know who probably couldn’t cook when they hosted their first Thanksgiving?
Your mom. Or grandma. Or dad. Or whoever hosted the Thanksgivings when you grew up.
No one is perfect from the get-go.
So even if the turkey’s dry or you put pumpkin pie mix into graham cracker crust and throw it in the oven (guilty…) your family will love you anyways.
The perfect Thanksgiving is one where your family is together, so host Thanksgiving even if you can’t cook. You won’t regret it!
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