BRILLANT!!! So two things:
- I chose Fry's solely on price and locale.
- There was going to be no way of knowing how brilliant the idea was until yesterday's Thanksgiving meal.
I'm not gonna lie here... I have done Thanksgiving for less than that and I have done Thanksgiving for considerably more than that, but EVERY Thanksgiving comes with the same amount of preparation spending the hours the night before to prep and then trying to rearrange the refrigerator (always throwing stuff that you'd like to keep) to find room to store everything until you can put it together the next day, the same amount of mess that you inevitably clean up over and over because you have to clean up after prep, clean up after you cook and then clean up all the serving dishes after the meal, and the same amount of time away from your family. No literally! Every Thanksgiving, I am so tunnel-visioned to complete the meal on time that I feel like I lose 2 days of my life every year! This year my preparations consisted of putting the meal in the oven. I did doctor some of the dishes a bit.... I added butter and milk to the mashed potatoes, pepper and thyme to the stuffing, butter and herbs to the outside of the turkey, but this meal had NONE of the pressure I usually feel in preparing such a huge meal and I got to spend the entire morning with the hubs actually ENJOYING OURSELVES!!!! And when we ate this meal.....
IT WAS FABULOUS!!!! The turkey was moist and succulent the stuffing was flavorful with that wonder crust on the top that we all love... everything was WONDERFUL!!! The best part! Dishes were done and food was put away an hour after the meal was done. Instead of spending two days on Thanksgiving, I spent 2 hours!!!
For those who would argue that my meal didn't contain the "love" of a home cooked meal... I contend that with the lack of stress and the abundance of time I got to enjoy my family this holiday, this one was reheated with love and I will DEFINITELY be doing it again!
P.S. It was also decided when the hubs and I picked up our meal boxes, that for $45 for an express meal box containing all the fixins, it was worth buying an additional meal box to donate next year. We wished we would have done it this year! Really, I just cannot tell you how positive this holiday experience was. Thank you Fry's Marketplace!!!