Save Time for Holiday Fun with these 7 Key Thanksgiving Shortcuts!

Save Time for Holiday Fun with these 7 Key Thanksgiving Shortcuts!

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and culinary temptations. It can also be a time for running around like your hair is on fire, trying to keep up with a million-and-a-half tasks without losing your mind in the process.

We here at Wet & Forget are all about making your life easy and stress-free, so we’ve compiled a list of 7 of our favorite Thanksgiving tips that will help you enjoy your wonderful holiday feast and still have time to visit with your loved ones. You deserve it!

Shortcut 1: These Easy Mashed Potatoes are Deliciously Hassle-Free

Mashed potatoes are a yummy staple for your Thanksgiving meal, but a big pot of boiling potatoes takes up valuable stovetop space, and it’s also difficult to time your potatoes so that they’ll be ready at exactly the same time as everything else.

This clever mashed potato method from The Kitchn solves all that! With this method, you can actually make your mashed potatoes in your slow-cooker from start to finish. You cook the potatoes in your slow-cooker, mash them right in the slow-cooker, and then leave them in there on the warm setting until you’re ready to serve them.

Now you’ve freed up valuable stovetop real estate and freed yourself from the stress of trying to perfectly time your potatoes’ arrival. Problem solved!

Shortcut 2: A Delicious, Savory Turkey Gravy

Need some rich, irresistible turkey gravy to top off your slow-cooker mashed potatoes? Homemade gravy from scratch can require a lot of time and attention to get it just the right texture and consistency, though, and time and attention are two things that you just don’t have a lot of to spare on Thanksgiving day.

Instead of a turkey gravy recipe, why not try a turkey gravy base? A high-quality turkey gravy base can be pretty much impossible to distinguish from the “real thing,” especially if you add your own touches.

Our team member Melissa’s family loves Williams-Sonoma’s turkey gravy base. Just add cream and simmer, and you’ve got a creamy, flavorful gravy that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Melissa adds some turkey drippings, a splash of white wine and a couple of sprigs of the fresh herbs from her turkey, and everyone thinks that her gravy’s from scratch (until now, that is).

Shortcut 3: A Simple, Flavorful Turkey Brine Mix

Brining your turkey is an excellent way to make the meat succulent and flavorful. The salt in the brine locks in juices, and also draws the spices and other flavors that you add to your brining mix into the meat of the bird, instead of leaving the spices only on the surface of the skin, as other methods do.

But preparing your own brining mix with dried fruits, peppercorns and other spices can be a hassle. A good pre-made brining mix will make your turkey mouth-wateringly good without all the work; our team member Melissa’s family loves Williams-Sonoma’s apple & spices turkey brining mix.

Williams-Sonoma also sells brining bags, which make the brining process easier and more spill-proof.

Shortcut 4: A Tasty, Work-Saving Stuffing Mix

Stuffing is essential for any Thanksgiving spread, but if you make your stuffing from scratch, you can easily spend quite a bit of time chopping and dicing. The right stuffing mix can save you a lot of work without sacrificing quality.

Real Simple recommends this fluffy cornbread stuffing mix from Trader Joe’s, which also has crunchy bits of celery and onion.

Shortcut 5: Pop-in-the-Oven Biscuits

From-scratch biscuits are not only time-consuming–they can also fray your nerves with their tendency to not turn out if you don’t do things just the right way. A high-quality pre-made biscuit can make your guests’ mouth water without making you worry about what to do if the dough doesn’t rise.

Real Simple recommends Robinhood Free Meetinghouse Five Herb Parmesan Biscuits, which are fluffy with a hint of basil and cheese and were a huge hit with taste-testers.

Shortcut 6: A No-Stress, No-Fuss Pie Crust

Pie crusts can be one of the most stressful parts of your holiday meal. One misstep with the crust, and your whole pie is ruined and all of your hard work goes right down the drain.

Fortunately, food companies have gotten quite good at making frozen pie crusts that are indistinguishable from the homemade kind, so there’s no need to put yourself through the pie crust ordeal this Thanksgiving!

Real Simple recommends Wholly Wholesome Organic Nine-Inch Pie Shells, which have impressed even experienced bakers, and which are well suited for sweet or savory pies.

Another option for your pumpkin pie is to break with tradition and use a homemade graham cracker crust instead of the usual dough-type pie shell. Homemade graham cracker crusts are a cinch to make and are worlds apart from the store-bought kind, which often taste a bit stale.

This recipe from the Kitchn is a pumpkin pie with a cinnamony homemade graham cracker crust. Trust us–both the filling and the crust are absolutely to die for.

Shortcut 7: Tart and Toil-Free Cranberry Sauce

What would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? But you don’t have the time or energy to fuss with fresh cranberries, and neither do you want to serve some solid block of a gelatinous substance that slides out of the can in one sick plop and may or may not contain actual cranberries.

Fear not! There are high-quality pre-made cranberry sauces available that your guests will actually want to eat, instead of just pushing them around on their plates.

Real Simple recommends Grown Right Organic Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Warm your Home with Beautiful, Fragrant Pumpkin Spice Candles

When your guests arrive this Thanksgiving, you’ll want your home to look and smell warm and welcoming. These easy-to-make pumpkin spice candles will form a lovely part of your holiday centerpiece or mantel decoration, and will fill your home with a delightful autumn scent.

Check out the video above for instructions on how to craft your own pumpkin spice candles!

Extra Bonus:

Do you need help with Thanksgiving decoration ideas? Read up on 6 easy DIY Thanksgiving place settings here.

Photos courtesy of Didriks, Ruocaled, Glenn Gutierrez, Jeffreyw,TheCulinaryGeek.

Happy Thanksgiving! Stop by our website to learn more about our easy solutions to everyday problems, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying life!

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