Photo by M. Sandoval

Easy Turkey Dinner

Here is my secret to an easy, stress-free Thanksgiving turkey: use the Crock-Pot! Everything else can be done 30 minutes before the turkey is ready, so plan some things to do with the kids until then instead of slaving away all day!

Roasted turkey makes a great sandwich! *Be ready for a nap!
Roasted turkey makes a great sandwich! *Be ready for a nap! Photo by M. Sandoval

I watched my mom, year after year, get up at 6 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven and then baste it every hour or so. I looked forward to the tender white meat that only your own mom could cook perfectly every time. After Thanksgiving dinner, I watched her tediously scrape all the leftover meat off the bones and store them in containers in the fridge for us to eat the next day; only, my dad was the only one who would eat the leftover dark meat! So much went to waste. All that work she did for one meal.

Since I had kids, I realized how much time and food was wasted on that holiday. Time that I could have spent with my kids, and food…well, who likes wasting food?? My daughter was born three weeks before Thanksgiving, one year, while I was on a track break from teaching. I was exhausted. A new baby and my son had not yet turned two. I thought about how I was going to manage to cook a Thanksgiving turkey on three hours of sleep per day. I wished the turkey would fit in the Crock-Pot. I thought about all the carving afterwards, and how we only eat the white meat. I wondered if I could get away with cooking chicken breasts instead. Well, guess what? The grocery store has “Boneless Skinless Turkey Breast Roast”. Somehow, they managed to roll some turkey breasts into elastic netting that drops easily and fits perfectly into my six quart slow-cooker. Genius. Eight hours later on low–voilà.

The great thing about this turkey roast is not only does it come out perfectly tender every time, but there is not a bite to waste! Two kids under ten, my husband and I finish the entire thing the same day. When my kids are with their dad (that’s a different story), my husband and I make these fantastic sandwiches with the leftovers. Gluten-free bread (my husband uses Hawaiian sweet bread/buns), thick slices of tomato, Romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, salt and pepper, and mayo. True deliciousness!

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