A Less-is-More Thanksgiving for Busy Home Cooks

Ask any home cook what the most stressful meal of the year is and you’re bound to get the same answer: Thanksgiving. With its multitude of sides, expanded guest list, and, of course, that bronzed and beautiful turkey centerpiece, it’s basically the Olympics of holiday cooking. That’s why, this year, the John Brown Media team took a new approach when planning the Thanksgiving recipe feature for fresh, Hannaford Supermarket’s online and print magazine.

Rather than simply dream up a menu of dishes that would be as delicious as they’d be photogenic, we kept the busy home cook in mind every step of the way, concocting a low-stress, pared-down menu that still feels special and impressive.

To do so, we focused on ingredients that could pull double duty, ensuring that the sour cream in our Ultimate Mashed Potatoes could work its way into the Pumpkin Cheesecake with Tangy Whipped Cream, and the thyme that we added to our Classic Dry Brined Turkey would show up not only in our Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Thyme Glaze but also in our Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing with Fennel and Herbs.

Once we nailed down the menu, we turned to the next holiday hurdle: organization. A shopping list, broken down by department, contains all the ingredients readers would need to buy should they want to make our whole menu, while a timeline details what—and when—to prep ahead to make the day-of action feel manageable and, well, actually fun.

By devising a holiday menu that puts readers—and their time and energy—first, we further demonstrated that fresh is a publication they can turn to for convenience and creativity and that Hannaford is more than just a destination for groceries: It’s a brand that they can trust, whether they’re tackling everyday life or the biggest meal of the year.

Read the full feature here.