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Old 11-18-2016, 08:11 AM   #1
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HELP! Thanksgiving meal! 14 people for dinner...

Hello!

I知 working until Wednesday evening, and I知 hosting Thanksgiving this year. I知 having 14 people for dinner.

What can I do?
I would like to cook something different from the traditional Thanksgiving meal, and it needs to be tasty, easy to make, and especially quick. In other words, impossible!

Help me!

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Old 11-18-2016, 08:17 AM   #2
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Any details about what you might have in mind? Most of us are having some preparation of turkey.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:53 AM   #3
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I'd say employ whatever time-saving appliance you can put your hands on. Use your microwave, toaster oven, crock-pot, etc. Check out the area in your grocery store that sells prepared dishes, usually in the deli section. I know our Kroger has some absolutely wonderful fruit salads and other sides that might compliment your meal.

Think about baking a ham and serving baked sweet potatoes (which can easily be done in the oven and kept warm in a crock-pot) and, at serving time, guests can choose a whole potato or cut in half to their preference. Have bowls of soft butter and cinnamon sugar nearby for those who like to "dress up" their sweet potatoes.

My husband loves a dressing recipe that is made in the crock-pot and serves lots of diners. If you want the recipe, I can post it in a separate thread.

Since it appears you are working up until nearly the last minute, if you plan of serving any kind of sweet after the meal, lean on the expertise of your local bakery or the fresh-baked section of your grocery store. Ditto for rolls to go with dinner.

However, my best suggestion is to ask those attending to contribute, in a small way, to the meal. Perhaps someone could bring a package of rolls. Another, some cranberry dish/relish. Others can chip in with other little necessities for the meal. Don't take on the whole load and make yourself feel guilty/bad if it isn't as smooth and glamorous as you had in mind. Just enjoy the company and conversation.

Worst case...order pizza!
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:06 AM   #4
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Pack suitcase. Hop on plane. Visit SIL and BIL. Eat their delicious food and drink wine. Help clean up. Fly home.

Easy peasy.
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Old 11-18-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Most supermarket delis offer completely prepared Thanksgiving dinners. Go to your local supermarket and order one turkey dinner with fixin's and one ham dinner with fixin's. If there is a Wegman's in your area, they have Thanksgiving dinners for as little as 90 bucks American for 8 to 10 people, so one of each should cover 14 people with plenty of leftovers.
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Old 11-18-2016, 12:06 PM   #6
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Old 11-18-2016, 12:14 PM   #7
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HELP! Thanksgiving meal! 14 people for dinner...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Most supermarket delis offer completely prepared Thanksgiving dinners. Go to your local supermarket and order one turkey dinner with fixin's and one ham dinner with fixin's. If there is a Wegman's in your area, they have Thanksgiving dinners for as little as 90 bucks American for 8 to 10 people, so one of each should cover 14 people with plenty of leftovers.

I agree. My cleaning lady was overwhelmed one year with all sorts of family issues, so I ordered and paid for a dinner for 12 for her from our local HyVee. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies.

I don't remember what it cost.
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:40 PM   #8
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OK quick and easy, beet salad. I smoke my beets, but you can cook them nice in any 300-400 oven, and they make with spinach some fresh onion, and a a bit of feta cheese, a salad that is a side dish.

If you get a turkey start thawing immediately.

How are you at bread? I have some help there.

TBS
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:10 PM   #9
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Spatchcocked turkey?

Quicker then standard cooking, juicy too and while it resting you can make roasted potatoes and before you make the turkey you can do mini Yorkshire puddings.

How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey: The Fastest, Easiest Thanksgiving Turkey | Serious Eats
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:36 PM   #10
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14 people is a challenge like serious.

Do you have access to a slow cooker or pressure cooker?
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:37 PM   #11
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I'm thinking big chilli, with a sourdough for dipping?
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:39 PM   #12
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If I had to feed 14 people, chilli, stew or pot pie. And even though I have a 5 gallon pot I'd be a bit nervous, you are talking catering kitchen level stuff here.
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Old 11-20-2016, 02:25 AM   #13
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Did you notice that the original poster said THANKSGIVING DINNER?
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:46 AM   #14
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If you don't do a "traditional" TG dinner, I would suggest a ham. There are any number easy combination ways to glaze it. Two 9x13 pans scalloped potatoes on the lower oven shelf, leaving 1/2 top shelf next to the ham for something else. You can still do sweet potatoes or cranberries so your guests don't have total withdrawal symptoms if there isn't turkey on their plates, even a side dish stuffing. A big salad, bakery rolls and ask someone(s) to bring dessert.
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Old 11-20-2016, 12:35 PM   #15
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14? That's a light get together for our family. We usually have 20 or more family members at most functions, plus any guests. It can be a bit crazy.

We all bring something. I usually smoke a couple hams, poppers and this year brown sugared cauliflower. Wife does jello salads, others bring pies, rolls, side dishes, etc. Then MIL does the turkey, potatoes, etc.

In the end, it is a lot of fun with a ton of food. I usually start my stuff Wednesday afternoon and end around 10 the next morning.

In your case, lots of preprep in the beginning of the week and then potluck it. A slow cooker is your friend. Slow cooker pulled pork or chicken is a great way to make a lot with little effort. Get it ready and then turn on first thing in the morning while prepping other more traditional things. Two slow cookers would be even better.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:11 PM   #16
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1. Make a meal plan today
2. Shop tonight - you still have time to thaw a turkey.
3. See if you can delegate dessert to guests.

Here's a proposal for a simple-ish dinner

Turkey
Gravy
Stuffing
Sweet potatoes
Green beans
Rolls and butter
Cranberry relish
Dessert - guests.

You'll need a large turkey for 14 folks you'll need 20 lbs +. Thaw it NOW and then roast it unstuffed. Once it's cooked, set it on counter and tent with foil. Immediately put stuffing into hot oven - consider increasing oven temp.

Stuffing - buy the boxed, preseason croutons (like porridge farm). Add celery, onions and some nuts and moisten with water and chicken stock. Put this in disposable foil bread pans. to bake.

Gravy - Buy some chicken stock, make a roux and used the pan drippings to season at last minute. For a twist add some dry white wine to gravy.

Sweet potatoes. Peel and chop these and boil. Then drain and mash - don't forget the butter and salt/pepper. This will hold on stove for quite a while.
non-traditional alternative: corn pudding or mashed butternut squash

Green beans - use frozen - get whole petite beans (several bags) and nuke them.
Non-trad alternative: baby kale, pomegranate, fennel salad

Rolls - buy on Wednesday night or ask a guest to bring them.
Less traditional - biscuits, corn bread or popcorn sprinkled with sage.

Cranberry relish - buy fresh berries and make ahead - recipe is on back of bag and once cooked - this will keep for many days. For 14, you'll need 2- 3 bags of berries.
Less traditional - cranberry chutney

Dessert - ask guests to bring pies and whipped cream.
Less traditional: Sorbet, cookies and chocolates.

Serve all this buffet style along with wine, tea and seltzer.



Good luck - don;t forget to enjoy.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:41 PM   #17
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First, make your menu plan right now, and phone your friends for help. Ask them to do a side/ dessert/starter, bring rolls/ drinks. You do the turkey/ham/chilli or whatever your main course is going to be. Remember above all the reason why your doing it. I'm sure you're guests will be honoured to contribute towards this important day, and YOUR Thanksgiving moment is just as important as everybody else's. Your guests, I'm sure, as has already been pointed out, will be honoured to help. Stick to what's realistic to do, don't even contemplate pushing out a huge boat. I hope it all goes well for you and that your day will be truly blessed.

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Old 11-22-2016, 07:12 AM   #18
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We still did not give advice on unusual menu. OP did not want to make regular TG type of stuff. Even though in my opinion it is the easiest menu you can make.


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Old 11-22-2016, 07:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
We still did not give advice on unusual menu. OP did not want to make regular TG type of stuff. Even though in my opinion it is the easiest menu you can make.


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The OP hasn't been back to respond to anyone. Are we just supposed to throw stuff out there and see what sticks?
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:17 AM   #20
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Katie suggested ham and sweet potatoes with guests bringing other sides and SLoB suggested supermarket prepared dinners. Either of those would work. It would be nice if the OP would come back with some feedback on the ideas so far.
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