Delegate Dinner: Thanksgiving

I absolutely LOVE entertaining family for Thanksgiving, but the thought of actually cooking the meal gives me hives. It’s not like a casual casserole will do…Thanksgiving dinner is basically the Olympics of cooking. HOWEVER, just because I don’t actually cook or bake doesn’t mean I can’t provide (aka order) a traditional Thanksgiving feast. There are so many wonderful resources now for gourmet food that are just as wonderful, if not better, than anything homemade (certainly better than anything I would make).

So, for all of you non-cooking hostesses like me, here is a list of my favorite places to buy delicious main courses, side dishes, and desserts that will leave you with a standing ovation. Many of these items can be shipped directly to your door, but plan ahead and order now as many places will sell out and/or have order deadlines. I’ve updated my list for 2020 to include both national resources and Nashville-area favorites, so there’s something for everyone. Happy ordering! 

NATIONAL RESOURCES

Greenberg Smoked Turkey, Inc: Thanks to one of my wonderful Instagram friends, I discovered Greenberg Smoked Turkey. While I prefer a traditional roasted turkey, the men in my family are obsessed with smoked turkeys. Thus, you can imagine my delight in finding this very well-reviewed and highly-recommended company that delivers these right to your door, ready to serve. Be sure to read the info on when to order, as these turkeys only stay fresh for a certain period of time unless you freeze them. 
2020 UPDATE: This is so sad – there was a terrible fire on Friday night at their shipping facility and they will be unable to ship turkeys for this holiday season. Prayers for this wonderful business; their turkeys are truly delicious. They will be back in 2021, so stay tuned. 

Perini Ranch Steakhouse: Paul’s grandmother sends these beef tenderloins to us for his birthday, and they’re TO DIE FOR. They’re cooked to perfection (medium) and you simply store them in your freezer and then defrost before serving at room temperature. You cannot go wrong with this brand if you love beef tenderloin. My sweet mother even uses the leftovers in beef bourguignon a few days later, and it’s incredible in that dish as well. The gift that keeps on giving!

Honey Baked Ham: If you’re looking to offer something besides turkey on Thanksgiving, look no further than Honey Baked Ham. They have stores in many cities, and you can also order hams (and countless other products) online. I love ordering these hams for family holidays because you can use the meat days later for yummy sandwiches and leftover recipes – another gift that keeps on giving. I usually order the  Bone-In Half Ham and it arrives ready to serve.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits: Y’all already know that I’m a big fan of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits. While I love all the varieties they offer, you can’t go wrong with their classic Buttermilk Biscuits for Thanksgiving. You simply freeze them upon arrival and then pop them in the oven before you’re ready to serve. They taste like you made them from scratch, and these too can be eaten the next day with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Savannah Classics Casseroles: Last year, another sweet Instagram friend suggested I try Savannah Classic Casseroles. You can find them at Kroger a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are yummy and an easy way to provide “homemade” side dishes for the holidays. They offer Sweet Potato Casserole, Broccoli, Rice & Cheese Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Twice Baked Potato Casserole, Cornbread Dressing, and Macaroni & Cheese. 

Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes: There is absolutely no reason to make mashed potatoes from scratch when Bob Evans offers the best mashed potatoes out there. Find them in the grocery’s chilled section, usually near the hot dogs and bacon. All you do is add a little butter (at least I do), and then warm in the microwave or over the stove for mouthwatering mashed potatoes. They even offer “family size” so you can buy them in bulk!

Southern Baked Pie: You can’t have Thanksgiving without pie! I’ve personally been ordering these pies for at least two years now, and I’ve yet to taste one that I don’t absolutely love. They offer both sweet and savory pies (and gluten free options too), and the pies are shipped right to your door. They arrive chilled and you can freeze them to serve at a later date. Many of them simply require defrosting to room temperature, and the rest come with instructions for warming up in the oven. I’m a huge fan of this southern-based, female-owned company!

Caroline’s Cakes: When we serve cake at our parties, you better believe it’s caramel cake. And if you’re looking for a good one that can be shipped directly to your door, then look no further than Caroline’s Cakes. These cakes are delicious, and their 7-Layer Caramel Cake is fantastic. They make great gifts and are the perfect dessert to serve at your dinner parties. You can thank me later.

Sister Schubert’s: If it’s good enough for Julia Reed, it’s good enough for me. The iconic hostess with the mostest often wrote about Sister Schubert’s frozen yeast rolls, and with good reason – they’re delicious.  A major bonus is that you can find them anywhere: Target, Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon Fresh. Even if you don’t include these as part of the main meal, buy a pack or two for leftover turkey sandwiches and sliders (Julia used to use them for tenderloin sandwiches – genius). 

NASHVILLE RESOURCES

Kristen Winston: I’ve worked with Kristen for years through Please Be Seated and her food is incredible. Lucky for us, we can buy the entire Thanksgiving spread through her website (note that the turkey comes fully prepped and ready to roast, but not cooked). There are tons of a-la-carte options for each course and everything looks fantastic. Pickup is Wednesday, Nov. 25 (there are also some delivery times available). 

Party Line: This is the catering arm of Henrietta Red so you know the food is amazing! I collaborated with Party Line for my July 4th shoot this year and was so impressed. You can buy “the whole shebang” or opt for an a-la-carte experience. This is a very elegant menu and you can also buy bottles of wine (genius – one stop shopping). Order by Tuesday, Nov. 17; pickup is Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Dozen Bakery: One of my favorite bakeries in Nashville has a wonderful selection of pies, sweets, breads, a few sides, and precut, toasted bread cubes for stuffing. Note that the deadline for placing orders is Sunday, Nov. 22 and pickup is the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25). 

Corner Market Catering
:
You can literally buy your entire meal here, bird included! They offer a whole turkey or just a turkey breast, plus all of the trimmings. A beloved Nashville gourmet shop, their menu hits the high notes and covers all of the bases (breakfast, too!). Place your orders by Wednesday, Nov. 18. Pickup is Wednesday, Nov. 25.  

Picnic Cafe: A Nashville institution, the Picnic Cafe is offering a large selection of casseroles, desserts, side dishes, dips, and breads. I also adore their chicken salad and breakfast casserole, which are perfect to have on hand for overnight guests. Their full Thanksgiving menu isn’t online, so be sure to call or drop by (they have holiday menu printouts that you can take with you). The deadline to order is Wednesday, Nov. 18. 

Tinwings
:  Located in The Nations, this darling gourmet carryout has a ton of menu items for Thanksgiving; as they say, it’s “everything but the bird!” They have a lot of fun add-ons like breakfast dishes and small nibbles that are great to have on hand, or to bring as a hostess gift if you’re going to a friend’s for the holiday. Order deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 18. Pickup is Tuesday, Nov. 24 and Wednesday, Nov. 25. 

Porter Road Butcher
: OK, so this isn’t actually cooked food, but their “holiday boxes” do make it easy to procure all of the meat you’ll need for the meal, from the turkey to the sausage for the stuffing to the bacon for the veggies and casseroles. They have several box options available including a rib roast and pork roast. The quality of their meat is excellent and they also offer things like stocks, broths, and local cheeses. 

The Food Company: Another go-to for weeknight meals, Food Company is catering the entire Thanksgiving spread, even the turkey. This is a really comprehensive menu with plenty of choices for starters, sides, and desserts, so you can rest assured there’s something for everyone. Order by Friday, Nov. 20. Pickup is Tuesday, Nov. 24 and Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Miss Daisy’s: This is a go-to for me when it comes to picking up weeknight dinners, and they offer a great holiday menu, as well. Similar to Corner Market, you can get the entire meal, bird included! They also offer ham and some unexpected sides like jalapeño cheddar grits. Yum! Deadline to order is Friday, Nov. 20. Miss Daisy’s is in Franklin so this is a great choice for folks who live a bit farther south. 

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