Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner - the easier way

I enjoy 2 Thanksgiving meals at this time of year. Believe it or not, one of them is a full meal at my office.

About 5 years ago we were in another building. This building was over 100 years old and had a full kitchen upstairs. One of our former coworkers had gotten an extra turkey that year and didn't need it. So she decided to see if any of us were interested in doing an office dinner. We all pitched in and brought something and a tradition was born.

Almost 4 years ago that building had a massive fuel spill disaster int he basement.. and we moved to a new office. Challenge here is that its a typical office with only a 2 foot square sink and a 3 foot counter for a kitchen. Our boss did buy a microwave and a convection oven though as the same former co-worker also enjoyed baking for the office.

That first Thanksgiving was....interesting. Imagine cooking and heating all the food needed in such a tiny space. The next year that original co-worker had moved on, but came for lunch with us. We got smarter by then as well. We bought a prepared meal from a deli.

This year my other co-worker and I had been dreading the lunch. Its a fun event and the food is always good. But so much effort in such a tiny kitchen to prepare was a nightmare. Several local gorcery stores were offering prepared meals. Silly me didn't read the fine print until MOnday. You had to order them 72 hours in advance, I only had 48 hours.

Now it wasn't a huge deal for me to cook a turkey. I've been making part or all of Thanksgiving Meals since I was in 8th grade... heck it was an extra credit assignment for me that year. However my boss didn't want me to have to do all that. WEll we had little choice at this time. I decided to see if I could find one of those fully cooked turkeys at the local grocery store. On Tuesday I went to see how good my luck would be. I asked an employee and they directed me to ask a butcher that was stocking other meats at the moment. I asked him if he had any of the brand I was looking for. He said he didn't have that brand, but he did have another one. I asked if it was fully cooked and he said yes. I told I didn't care waht brand it was and that he'd be saing me lots of work for the office luncheon. They only had one left and it was perfect. I made mashed potatoes and stuffing and my boss made green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. The dishes we made were easy to make and took no time.

I get to work about 10am on Wednesdays. 2 other coworkers were there and hadn't heard the turkey story. They both thought I had brought in a raw turkey, still wrapped, to cook by noon, lol. It was the easiest lunch I think we've ever put together. Everything ran smoothly, the turkey was perfect and everyone was stuffed.

A fuly cooked turkey is on top of the list for next years Thanksgiving lunch already, lol


Irishembi said...

And here I thought I worked in the only office crazy enough to make full Thanksgiving dinners at the office. Ours was born the same way. I had a free turkey from a local grocery store I didn't need, our office had a full kitchen, and I told my boss it was a really simple matter to pop a turkey in the oven and let it cook. So every year I had the task of making the turkey and everyone else contributed the sides. Little did they know I actually had the easiest part!

Boston Market makes awesome Thanksgiving dinners, but maybe they require 72 hours also. Not sure.

Kelly said...

I agree.. everyone thanked me for all the work. My job was so easy. The hardest part was finding room in the kitchen with everyone coming in to help, lol.