Seven Ways To Relax on Thanksgiving



The key to wonderful food and a relaxed Thanksgiving is to start planning early. Here's a 2,214-word guide — not including recipes — for you overachievers.

Or how about ... not. Instead, treat yourself to a catered, or partially catered, meal. Letting someone else cook frees you to enjoy your day off, not spend it in the kitchen, whether you're hosting or contributing. A catered Thanksgiving offers new dishes you wouldn't have thought of on your own.

Perl Catering is offering an extraordinarily ambitious lineup including rosemary garlic leg of lamb, a smoked or roasted brined turkey, and pork tenderloin with apple-horseradish relish. Get stylish sides like wild mushroom and chestnut bread pudding, sorghum-glazed sweet potatoes and truffled mac & cheese. Wolfe Cakes is doing dessert, including pumpkin pie with candied pecans and sea salt caramel; pumpkin frangelico cheesecake in a gingersnap crust, and GooGoo Cluster Pie. Go here to see a menu — you can order until Nov. 19.

Turnip Truck is flexitarian for Thanksgiving — get either a roasted turkey or a vegan field roast with mushrooms gravy, and a pile of sides. Of course you want the kale with maple and tamari pumpkin seeds. Rosemary mashed potatoes, sage and walnut dressing, macaroni gratin, a duo of spinach salads. Find the order form here.

Provence starts its menu with desserts: cranberry pecan tart, gingerbread roulade, pumpkin cheesecake. Then you get to the main event: maple brown sugar brined turkey, root vegetable pave, sweet potato casserole with house-made marshmallows, squash casserole with truffle oil. Order a la carte, or get a Provence "package" for $110 — a great price for a meal of turkey and two sides, gravy, rolls and dessert, big enought to feed 8 to 10 people. Call the Hillsboro Village store at 386-0522 or email

At Wild Cow, get your feast with or without the roast tofu beast. A thoroughly autumnal selection of baked apples, sweet potato casserole, vegan mac & cheese, roasted root vegetables, stuffing, and (oddly) lentils stew and cornbread is strong enough to stand on its own or as supporting cast to a roast tofu turkey or individual shepherd's pies as your entrees. There are package deals: turkey and three sides to feed four is $66, three sides a la carte, $48. If you haven't tried a Wild Cow dessert, now's the time — pumpkin "cream cheese" cake, triple chocolate ganache cake and blackberry peach cobbler. Call them for details, 262-2717. Deadline is Nov. 14.

Martha Stamps Catering leaves the turkey to you but supplies cranberry wheatberry stuffing or sausage and cornbread stuffing and a big selection of vegetables and sides from mac & cheese, marinated brussels sprouts, spicy kale, sweet potato biscuits and pumpkin orange cake.

On the East Side, Marche Artisan Foods will set you up with an Ashley Farms turkey that you cook yourself, and traditional sides of cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, gravy, roasted root vegetables and butternut squash soup. Households that like a liquid holiday will be pleased with Marche bloody Mary mix and blood orange puree, plus mulled cider, blackberry sage iced tea, and hot chocolate. There's something in the dessert list for everyone: holiday decorated cookies, pumpkin bread pudding, Olive & Sinclair chocolate walnut pie and caramelized apple pie. Call 262-1111 before the end of the day Nov. 19.

Corner Market serves the west side with a traditional menu that will look just like you made it, but you didn't. From the corn pudding to the homemade gravy, it's all freshly made by a real cook. You may have some explaining to do about the haricot verts with shiitake and the brandied cranberry orange pecan relish — tell them you saw it in Saveur.

Free up a little more cooking time by buying dessert. Papa C Pies is taking orders — pick 'em or get them delivered. If the cherry pie we tried in the summer (a rich, flaky crust with a beautifully thick cherry filling) was any preview, Papa C is any easy win over Aunt Tina's canned-filling-in-a-frozen-crust.

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