A Thanksgiving Feast Without a Stove: A Tale of Culinary Creativity

No Stove, No Problem How I Masterfully Cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for 20 People sans Stove

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 20 people without a stove

Woman standing in kitchen Courtesy of the author

Once upon a time, in a new house filled with excitement, there was a kitchen conundrum. The stove and oven refused to cooperate and work simultaneously, leaving us in a Thanksgiving pickle. And let me tell you, my dear fashionistas, hosting a fabulous feast without a functioning stove is like trying to strut your stuff without your favorite pair of stilettos – it’s a daunting challenge!

Now, picture this: Thanksgiving was just around the corner, and we had not one, not two, but twenty guests ready to feast in our dazzling new abode. I had gone all out, darling, with matching silverware and extra chairs to impress. But, alas! The stove and oven decided they would sing a different tune. One would light up, while the other decided to take a nap. Quite the divas, wouldn’t you say?

With a heart unwilling to risk culinary catastrophe on such a momentous occasion, I set out on a quest to find a new range. A clearance center became my mecca, where I stumbled upon a breathtaking high-end floor model. Oh, how I fell in love! But, as luck would have it, during the stove’s installation, one stubborn burner decided to burst into flames. Imagine my dismay! The delivery men quickly put out the fire, but alas, they couldn’t fix the gas leak. They left us with our “final sale” purchase and took the half-working stove with them, leaving us stove-less and perplexed.

The gas company swooped in like the fashion police and red-tagged our stove just days before the big bash, deeming it hazardous. Panic surged through me like a shopaholic on Black Friday. But fear not, my style-savvy comrades! I was determined to forge ahead with our Thanksgiving feast, stove or no stove.

I began my conquest by seeking out delectable side dishes that required minimal heat. The turkeys – the main stars of the show – were outsourced to my ever-reliable parents, as we weren’t quite ready for a culinary adventure in deep-frying or smoking. No, no. Instead, my trusty slow cooker, grill, and toaster oven became my glamorous accomplices in this unconventional cooking escapade.

I scoured the depths of the internet for recipes that would inspire awe in my guests, even without a sizzling stove. Cornbread casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, cheesy scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese – my culinary arsenal flourished! And let us not forget the vibrant grilled vegetables, a medley of eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers, adding a burst of color to our fashion-forward Thanksgiving table. The stuffing, baked to perfection in the humble toaster oven, was like slipping into the perfect little black dress – simple, yet unforgettable.

Coordinating this eclectic menu required the precision of a fashion show director styling a runway extravaganza. Each recipe demanded its own cooking time, with finicky finishing touches to ensure culinary perfection. And of course, darling, we couldn’t forget the pies. Baking is my guilty pleasure, and the thought of outsourcing this sacred task was utterly unthinkable. So, the night before Thanksgiving, armed with homemade pie crusts and perfectly measured ingredients, I marched over to my parents’ house and whipped up a divine chocolate pecan and a pumpkin pie. Simply scrumptious!

As luck would have it, before we knew it, six guests regretfully canceled their attendance, giving us more room at the table – and an abundance of leftover turkey, darling. Our family reveled in the mouthwatering flavors of the slow-cooked side dishes, a testament to my impeccable coordination skills with not one, not two, but five slow cookers. Bravo!

And thus, my fashion-forward friends, that fateful Thanksgiving became etched in our memories as the last one spent together before the storm of COVID-19. Since that glorious year, I’ve held onto some traditional family side dishes, cherished cornerstones that honor my beloved mother-in-law’s memory. Yet, the slow cooker sides have become a staple in my holiday repertoire, adding a touch of glamour and simplifying our feast for the masses. After all, who doesn’t appreciate home-cooked sides straight from the burner?

So, my fabulous readers, let us toast to the power of creativity, the unstoppable force that turns a kitchen disaster into a memorable triumph. Remember, fashion isn’t just about what you wear; it’s about how you approach life’s challenges with style and elegance. And oh, how sweet the victory tastes, especially when it’s served with a side of laughter and love. Cheers!