Thanksgiving Menu: Abbreviated


‘Tis the holiday season. That means overeating and overspending. Two things that none of us really need.

We will deal with the overspending in another post, but for now…let’s discuss your Thanksgiving meal.

What we serve at the holidays is such a part of our family traditions. We use recipes handed down through the family. We expect Aunt Jo to bring her famous pecan pie and 2 salads. Grandma makes 3 desserts and 5 vegetables. We eat a little of all of it and then we are miserable.


A few years ago, my small family decided we had had enough. I believe that was the year we averaged OVER one dessert per person, which is so wrong!

We re-evaluated our Thanksgiving and Christmas menus and decided to get the most bang for our calories. What used to include the staples (turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie) and any extras anyone wanted to bring (this is where the trouble would get started), is now a set menu.

For our family, we chose the following:

Canned, jelled cranberry sauce (my family prefers this over homemade, go figure!)
Mashed potatoes
Green bean casserole
Homemade rolls
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Carrot cake (sometimes)
Tea, water and coffee


That is it, folks! These were our favorite menu items, so we kept them. Now, our cooks aren’t as harried as when we offered twice as many foods, and we don’t overeat as much as we used to. We get to spend more time enjoying one another and less time doing dishes. It is a win-win for time, money and waistlines!

There are several favorite family dishes that don’t get served, like my Aunt Pinkie’s pumpkin log. I try to make it during the holidays and share it with coworkers. Then, I still get the fond memories of my aunt without having to make one more recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas day.

Is over-serving a contributor to overeating at your house?  Would a set menu help reduce overeating during your holiday?


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