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Letters to the editor, mailbox, mail, letter

Anyone else considering a short-cut Thanksgiving? You know, having a turkey burrito or better yet, reserving a table at the Golden Corral buffet? It’s the go-to for Thanksgiving has-beens. If kids look at Thanksgiving as just a big nasty vegetable meal, some adults see it as a big nasty day of food prep — for the chronically unprepared. As I age I feel myself slipping into that category.

But this doesn’t have to be another Thanksgiving you nod off chatting with Aunt Ruth because you were up at dawn stuffing the turkey. Make your Thanksgiving dinner preparations easy. For example, you can save time and energy using turkey bags. I’m very thankful for turkey bags (also thankful no one has ever called me that). Turkey roasting bags help you cook your bird fast. They’re especially great if your frozen turkey isn’t quite thawed. Let’s face it: better your turkey cooked—than your goose.

Several notable women have also helped to lighten my load and shorten prep time for Thanksgiving. One of my most admired is Mrs. Rhodes. Mrs. Rhodes has amazing rolls (not to be confused with anatomical features). You can find Mrs. Rhodes Dinner Rolls in the freezer case. Along with Mrs. Rhodes, I greatly esteem that French woman…a scientist…first name Marie—oh yes, Marie Callender. In her lab, Marie discovered the correct chemical formulation for great pies. Actually, Marie put me out of the pie-making business and allowed me to do other businesses like, well, reading novels and having manicures. A few in my family have complained though. They miss mom’s tough pie crust (the mafia could have used my crust to break some teeth).

Rather than succumb to guilt, I figured out how to deftly lift a frozen Marie Callender pie out of its factory made tin plate, and sit it in my own glass pie plate — making it look as if I’d made the pie myself. TIP: Marie Callender’s frozen pies are not an exact fit in normal pie plates, but if you let the pie thaw a little, you can spread the dough and filling out with your palms. One important thing to remember: when the compliments come about your delicious pie, just smile. There’s no reason to be dishonest.

I’m also thankful this Thanksgiving for packaged dry gravy mix, Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, and Schillers seasoning salt. Say what you will, you purists, those of you who never, ever venture into the inner aisles of the grocery store where all the bad processed carbs lay. You may be willing to chop till you drop, or veg till you’re a drudge, but some of us want to enjoy Thanksgiving.

Ultimately though, it’s not what you eat, but what you do on Thanksgiving that makes the day special. Do talk, and do laugh, and do love. And, if that doesn’t work — do nothing. That’s my goal now: restful Thanksgiving followed by a peaceful Christmas. Enough said.

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Diana Hooley is a writer and former professor at Idaho State University.

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