No Time? No Sweat!

November is my busiest month:  

  • Usually, I commit to writing a novel, along with my buddies at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  
  • And there’s the annual fall cleanup, getting the house and garden in order for the long winter months ahead.  
  • The TBR stack grows dangerously high as I make my bookish gift selections. 
  • Plus, shopping frenzy and gift-making are well under way, since my overseas packages need to be mailed before Thanksgiving.  

Yikes!  That’s today!!!  

Whether early or late, Thanksgiving always arrives at my house like a freight train.  


  • My novel still isn’t done.  
  • That early hard freeze in October froze the leaves on the trees, putting off their raking. Yesterday’s 2 feet of snow didn’t help.  
  • I’m 3 books behind on my GoodReads reading challenge,
  • and the packages still need another gift or 2 before they’re ready to ship.  

Does this sound familiar?  

How can I possibly devote hours to thawing, trussing, and basting a turkey?  

Not to mention umpteen side dishes and desserts?

And did I mention unpacking and washing my grandmother’s fine bone china, both before AND after?  

Every pot will be used in the kitchen, and heck, I might as well just remodel.  


Hold on!  *pausing to take a deep breath*  Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, not have a stroke.  

So, this year Hubby and I will enjoy the shortcut approach:  turkey roast, instant stuffing, frozen vegetables, a deli pie, and a bouquet of mums to make the everyday, dishwasher-safe dishes look almost as festive as grandma’s.  For us, Thanksgiving is less about the food than it is about thankfulness for having our family, whether or not we can all physically be together to dine on this one special day.   

Special because among other reasons, it’s a welcome relief in the midst of a whirlwind of madness.  It gives all of us a well-needed time to pause.  And reflect.  And give our thanks and love in all of love’s variety.  

How do you prepare a feast like this?  Do you take any shortcuts?  

Author: sue star

Sue Star writes mysteries about families in chaos. She is the author of the Nell Letterly series, about a single mom who teaches karate to support her teenage daughter. Sue also writes suspense with a touch of romance in exotic settings.

18 thoughts on “No Time? No Sweat!”

        1. It’s easy, Peg. Boil the sweet potatoes, peel, mash with butter, stuff inside hollowed-out orange halves, dot with miniature marshmallows and broil until burned (er…golden brown). You’ve got to watch them closely!

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Love this post, Sue!
    I’ve been without a real oven for months. THANKfully some friends have invited us to their home for THANKSgiving this year. I miss the years when my mom was alive and my sister lived closer. We’d “share” the holiday meals, one at her house, the next at mine, and everyone would bring a dish or two. Now Mom is gone and my sister lives in Tucson, but LoML and I manage to make each holiday meal special.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hanging out in Vegas this Thanksgiving, but I did check in with the Ohio relatives, and if anyone is in the neighborhood, the Turkey Trot (annual run through the countryside and the State just repaved the roads, so the “track” is in good shape) followed by breakfast is still on despite the “winter” weather, and Turkey dinner will be at 5 PM. Most people in central Ohio will be there, so if you are in the area, just trot on over. It’s almost as cold in Vegas as in Ohio, but no one is running in the streets here.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Peg, I was without an over for two years after Hurricane Irma – since it’s just two of us, we bought a Cuisinart countertop oven because it was the largest-at that time – completely satisfied with it – in fact I’m pressing it into service tomorrow for the Hasselback potatoes – I understand those are potato au gratin potatoes with the potatoes upright to fit in a smaller dish.

    I used to do holiday dinners for 20 – I worked with the police as a volunteer diver and since I knew a lot of cops couldn’t be home for the holiday, I spread the word that whenever anyone had a dinner break, they had a holiday meal. Initially it was just the agency I worked with, it ultimately spread to our local cops, Metro-Dade, and Troopers. It was great fun, a lot of work, but worth it.

    This year for the first time in a long time, we decided to do a full Thanksgiving. I’ve just made a cherry pie, and the cranberry sauce. Tomorrow is for the turkey, potatoes , and creamed spinach. Shortcuts – we are planning on Costco’s excellent cheese selection and crackers for appetizers!

    Liked by 2 people

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