Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving for $42.26?


Each year, the American Farm Bureau Federation figures the cost of Thanksgiving dinner for ten people as a gauge of food prices in the nation. This year, the cost has risen to $42.26, a $4.16 increase over last year.

Who are they feeding, anorexic pygmies?

And what are they feeding them, a turkey burger, half a sweet potato, three cranberries, some corn, a roll, and a slice of pumpkin pie?

I’m cooking for fourteen to twenty people as I’m still not certain who is going to show up, but I’ve already spent over $180 and have not even made the last minute run to the store to get the things I forgot. Due to connections with a friend, I’m not purchasing the turkey (a nice 22 pounder), so that was not figured into the price. I would be approaching $200 if the turkey was included.

But according to the Farm Bureau, at twenty people I should only be out $84.52.

Maybe I’m doing it the wrong way – from scratch. I started cooking last weekend by baking the bread to make croutons for the dressing. I’ll make the cornbread part of the dressing on Tuesday and crumble it in with the bread Wednesday morning.

The only things coming out of a can are the cranberry sauce, and pumpkin and blueberries for the pies. The blueberry pie is a last minute addition since I found out my brother (who loves blueberries) is coming with his family.

The menu so far:

  • Turkey
  • Dressing
  • Sweet potato (with brown sugar and marshmallow topping)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green beans (steamed with almond, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, not green bean casserole)
  • Broccoli with cheese (homemade cheese sauce, of course)
  • Corn casserole
  • Cranberry sauce (both whole cranberry and jelled)
  • Sourdough rolls (baked from scratch that morning)
  • Blueberry pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Two-layer pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie

By the time I’m done cooking, I’m sure there will be a couple more dishes added on. It never ends up as simply as it starts.

And now the challenge will be to find enough seats if everyone shows up at the same time. I can seat sixteen, but if all twenty show up, some people are going to have to stand at the bar.

Let my heartburn begin!

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