Holiday Cooking Without Cooking

(Food for Thought)

Did you know that most grocery store chains offer fully-prepared holiday platters that are affordable? I'm not talking about fancy gourmet gift catalogs, but everyday grocery stores like Jewel, Dominick's, Safeway, Kroger, Piggly Wiggly, Whole Foods, Bread and Circus, A & P, etc.

Many of us would find it impossible to pick up a whole turkey and get it into the oven. Getting everything else chopped, sautéed, roasted, and flambéed is for the birds! So check out the price of a prepared platter that serves the number of people you need. The cost often comes out to be the same as if you had shopped and prepared the dishes yourself.

Depending on what stores are available in your area (call around to compare menus and prices), you'll get a traditional holiday feast, including a turkey or roast, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, rolls, and cranberry sauce. Order a dinner and have it delivered the day before the holiday. Throw in a pie or two for dessert, and all you'll have to do is heat it up and set the table. (I always enlist someone's help with both.) You can always add something to your order, if there is something else you'd like.

And perhaps one or more of your guests can bring a dish. Potluck feasts are also a lot of fun because people love to show off and share their specialties. Don't be afraid to ask.

So don't sweat it! Forget the stress of cooking all day; sit back and enjoy your holidays with your friends and family. Hope yours is warm, cozy, and delicious!