Not cooking on Turkey Day?

I’ve been eyeballing the holiday scene the last few weeks. It seems like every single year we start the holiday fast lane sooner and sooner. Yes, Sam’s Club starts putting out their Christmas decor for sale around Labor Day, but I understand that. Those are things they want you to think about adding to the front, or maybe inside, of your home. I don’t think anyone expects you to buy it and display it before football season even gets going. Not at all.

There is, however, some ridiculous impatience going on when it comes to the holidays. I was told a radio station in Florida started Christmas caroles mid-October. Even there, it’s slightly understandable because there are no seasons in Florida. Well, maybe two of them. Flip flops season and the first two weeks of January. That’s about it.

Starbucks rolled out their holiday cups at the beginning of November. Green this year. At least that’s what they say. I have a feeling we’ll see those traditional red ones after Thanksgiving, but then that’s just me. Ever the cynic.

With that in mind, I’ve found myself thinking about Thanksgiving and what exactly it is that I’d like to do for the holiday this year. A lot of local restaurants are starting to float the idea out there that they’d like to do the cooking for you. Either they are open for regular Thanksgiving service that day or they can prepare food for you to bring home. Sisters on Skidaway Road is one, K Bella Gourmet To Go on Whitemarsh Island is another, Smith Brothers Butcher Shop on Liberty Street and, heck, even Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse will whip up some sides for you if you are feeling particularly uninspired this season. At Savannah Tech? Well, they are just blowing it out. In the process they give you the opportunity to enjoy a Turkey dinner twice on Thanksgiving Week. Well, kinda sorta.

Are you familiar with the Turducken?

The Turducken. A de-boned chicken put inside of a de-boned duck, then all of it goes inside of a Turkey. It is widely regarded as getting its start in the New Orleans area. Have you ever tried one? I’ll admit, I haven’t, but I think watching one being made would be quite fascinating.

Every year Savannah Tech holds its Bistro Savoir Bake Sale on campus. Breads, desserts, cakes, pies and more all prepared by students and sold to the public at a fraction of what you’d pay for them at the store. I’ve had some of the products in the past, and they are wonderfully made. This year, the bake sale is in full swing (deadline to order is November 16), but they are also adding a Thanksgiving cooking class that sounds almost too good to pass up.

On Tuesday night, November 22nd, Savannah Tech’s Chef Jean Vendeville is going to conduct a class on campus. Not for his students, for you. Chef tells me he is going to show his attendees that night how to make a full Thanksgiving dinner, yes, including a Turducken. At the end of the class? Everyone in attendance gets to sit down and eat the meal that was prepared. A full Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday night. And wine to go along with it. Then to top it all off? They will send you home with a turducken of your own andouille sausage stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beens and dessert. What dessert? Three pies. Pecan, Apple and Pumpkin. Enough to feed 10 people. The bird is already cooked and will weigh about 20 pounds. All you have to do on Thanksgiving Day, is heat is all up, and Eat It and Like It.

Talk about no muss, no fuss.

There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to cooking classes. Chef Darin Sehnert’s Kitchen Table in Savannah’s Victorian District, is one. Darin does a fantastic job with his classes. Another is at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. Chef Peter Russo is very talented and runs a nice class there as well. Those two aside, if you enjoy cooking, how much fun would be to learn a new technique or two from the best instructor in the city and then enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner? Twice.

Of course, all of this comes with a price tag. $300 will get you the instruction, dinner that night, plus a dinner for 10 to take home with you. Do the math, break it all down. It’s a great value that offers you a good time. If you’d like to bring a friend/date/guest, they are welcome to join you for $50.00. That will include their dinner the night of the instruction as well and the wine pairing for all.

This is the kind of experience you need to plan for, you will need to make a reservation. So, if you aren’t ready to give Thanksgiving much thought, well, too bad. It’s only two weeks away. Have you given your menu any thought yet?

See you on TV,

Jesse

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Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.

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