And it begins…I am officially on Thanksgiving vacation. A rather adorable perk of my job is a nice amount of time off during the holidays, and this is one of them. Usually this time of year we head down to visit with my husband’s family, but this year we aren’t able to due to his job. This holiday season I find myself extremely conflicted due to the enormous amounts of family expectations this time of year seems to bring, and to be honest, I am almost relieved that we are being forced to spend it alone.
Thanksgiving is a make-or-break holiday for some. (I think I’m adding in Black Friday to that equation as well.) Regardless, as has been my modus operandi lately, I broke out the coupons, researched the websites and ads, and came up with a holiday menu for our little family that won’t break our bank. It is the first year that we are spending Thanksgiving as a nuclear little family, and the first year that I’m making the entire meal from scratch.
Here’s hoping I don’t burn anything.
So my recipe for a frugal Thanksgiving began with my CSA box from last week. $2510 lbs of organic apples 10 lbs of organic pears 5 lbs of organic potatoes 1 head of organic cauliflower
Then Costco: $1032oz organic butternut squash 5lbs organic carrots
From my shopping trip tonight: $21.501 box of stuffing 1 dozen eggs 4 Pillsbury pie crusts 1 gallon organic milk cool whip cranberries 2 cans evaporated milk 2 cans pumpkin puree 2 pints of sour cream 1 turkey breast roast
The items from the CSA box and Costco weren’t purchased with Thanksgiving in mind actually. They were on my normal shopping list of things that I wanted to buy. So yeah. Turns out everything I bought will go into our meal. All said and done, I estimate that I’m spending about $30-35 for Thanksgiving for 3 people (I’m not using all the produce, most of it is for normal everyday). Not too shabby, if I say so myself!
Our family is little right now, but most importantly when it comes to creating a frugal meal, we have a little house and precious little time to cook. Therefore, I’ve broken up our meal into chunks to be made while my husband puts Monkey #1 to bed. Today’s challenge? The Sauce and The Soup.
Cranberry-Pear Sauce.from Skinny Taste
I don’t like cranberry sauce. I purchased fresh cranberries for free using coupons because my husband likes it, and figured I would make something with them. I had the pears and a couple were frozen from being in the back of the refrigerator. I’m not sure if I’ll eat it, but it was very fun to make.12oz cranberries 2 ripe pears, peeled and cubed 1/2 c agave syrup, more if you like it sweeter 1 c water
Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce to simmer for approx 15 min. Take off the heat and refrigerate. I left it on the stove for almost a half hour in the hopes that it would jelly in the fridge and hold a pretty shape when I turn it out on Thanksgiving morning. I also pureed it. Will it hold a shape? Will it taste ok? Who knows…
Butternut Squash Soup.adapted from someone who adapted it from William Sonoma who adapted it from…
I really bought the butternut squash to make red curry coconut butternut squash soup. But! It works as a perfect side dish for our meal. Plus, it’s a vegetable that my son might eat in soup form, and I still have half the squash left to make the curry soup. Win.16oz peeled butternut squash cut into inch pieces 2 c chicken stock 1 c water 1/4 c diced onion glub of olive oil tsp of salt (I use sea salt) a few white peppercorns 1 small baking potato, peeled and cut into inch pieces
Heat olive oil in large pot, saute onions until they are lovely smelling and somewhat translucent. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to med-high and simmer for about 15-30 min until squash is tender. Puree until fine. Refrigerate until Thanksgiving.
Two dishes down, only five to go…