Cheatsgiving: Just Order And Re-heat Your Entire Thanksgiving Meal

mailI’ve hosted Thanksgiving for my husband, son (currently 3 years old), and any of my family members in town for the past 3 years. I’m pretty proud of the meal I can put together, and pride myself on doing everything from scratch, from the puff pastry to the garlic parmesan mashed potatoes (the one exception is the stuffing–I grew up on Stove Top, and that oddly still tastes the best to me).
Normally, the process of hosting involves pulling my recipes from the books about two weeks in advance, writing out the ingredients I need, shopping and lugging it home, writing up a detailed timeline for the week, cleaning out the brine bucket, and spending a good two days in the kitchen covered in flour and butter; then you still have to clean up. It’s fun, but this year I am still sore from a surgery in October, and my parents are the only ones joining us since others can’t make it this year.
This week I discovered that I can order the entire meal from Wegmans’ catering department. For the uninitiated, this is an incredible grocery store that we are lucky to have in the Northeast. We know they have quality food, and we have enjoyed many of their easy meals in the past. The menu will include the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, homemade stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Incredibly, I will save about $60 compared to what we spend for me to cook things up from scratch, never mind the savings for time and energy. This alone was enough to get my husband on board. And who doesn’t want to catch the Rockettes kicking their way to Herald Square for once?

I don’t think you can have anything more in the spirit of ‘Cheatsgiving’ than to just re-heat the entire meal, but for us makes sense in every way. The guilt led me to ask my parents if they would find this acceptable. The great thing is they saw the offer in a flyer, and were ready to ask me if this would be better for us to do as well. My stepmom even thinks she’ll just buy dessert to go along with the theme. We’ll find out by trial if this is something worth repeating in the future. For 2014, it looks like it is definitely a Cheatsgiving day at my house!

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  • Megan Zander

    My husband’s family lives in Western NY where they are lucky enough to have the amazingness that is Wegmans. His family did this “Thanksgiving reheat” meal the first year we were together. I come from a strict “from scratch” family, so I was a huge skeptic. But the meal was delicious, I got over myself and had a big slice of Wegmans humble pie (pumpkin flavored of course) Enjoy it! I’m sure the meal will be fabulous! Now if they would only bring Wegmans to CT so I can do the same thing!

  • alice

    i would absolutely do this. thanksgiving is about getting together with people, not cooking for three days!

    and speaking of tastes from childhood: i didn’t even know that there was a *real* cranberry sauce till i was about 19. to this day, i still think the canned jellied sauce is superior in all ways.

  • AP

    My family’s oven coil once exploded 5 days before Thanksgiving, so we had to have a burner-and-microwave Thanksgiving. Everything worked out OK, although my mom had to shamelessly beg in the deli department of the supermarket to rustle up enough take-out turkey breast to feed everyone.

    It was pretty funny, though.

  • M

    This is a great idea. You should enjoy every bite and every free minute this meal affords you!

  • Frances Locke

    You are my hero. That is all.

  • Lola

    We’re doing this this year, too. My due date is the day before Thanksgiving and my dad will just be getting out of the hospital after a stroke. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve never understood the stress of getting a huge dinner ready when the people eating it are just family members and that’s not really the point of the day anyway.

  • Simone

    What a fabulous idea. And you actually save money doing it too! Do it every year. I definitely would.

  • CP414

    My mom did the Re-heat meal one year and it was very tasty! Only thing is I dont think it generates enough for leftovers. Also, I didnt realize til quite recently that cranberry sauce could be homemade.