Is a Fully Prepared Thanksgiving Meal the Way to Go?

Is a Fully Prepared Thanksgiving Meal the Way to Go?

Yunmi Park, Editor

Although everyone looks forward to feasting endlessly on Thanksgiving Day, making the meal is not as easy as pie. From cooking the turkey to a million different side dishes, the process of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner can be very stressful.

Luckily, there is a way to skip the hassle while still enjoying a feast at home. Through simple pickup systems, many nearby grocery stores and restaurants offer fully prepared Thanksgiving meals.

“With fully prepared meals you’re just heating everything up,” said Garett Melonion, the Prepared Foods Team Leader at Metropolitan Market. “You get to spend time with your family, time at the table. You’re not spending three days in the kitchen using every pot and pan.”

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many homes are excited to celebrate with friends and family for the first time in two years. 

“Even though there are some tighter restrictions in terms of vaccine requirements at restaurants and mask mandates, those have to do more with people gathering in public than they do in private,” said Melonion. 

Grocery stores recommend reserving a fully prepared meal as a way to beat the competition for buying ingredients, especially coming out of the pandemic. 

“Supply chains are not as strong as they once were, so there are shortages of turkey, broth, and other ingredients,” said Melonion. “It is the first where people are experiencing the notion that they can’t get everything they need on their table.” 

Whether it be buying a fully prepared Thanksgiving meal, preparing one yourself, or buying individual sides from a store, spreading the process out can help make things much less stressful. 

“Everybody has this idea that the closer you make something towards thanksgiving the better it would be but that’s not necessarily always the case,” said Melonion. “The more you can prepare in advance the better.”

Preparing a Thanksgiving meal can be a challenge for anyone, even for experienced home cooks.

“At the end of the day, cooking is hard,” said Melonion. “The people who do it really well make it look really easy, but it’s not. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of dishes.” 

Metropolitan Market is a higher-end grocery store chain that offers fully prepared Thanksgiving meals. They offer a Fully Cooked Turkey Dinner for 6-8 people with 7 side dishes for a total of $230.

“I think there are two things that people benefit the most from getting the meal at metropolitan markets,” said Melonion. “One is that it is incredibly delicious; it is a high-quality meal, with high-quality ingredients and preparation. A close second to the deliciousness is its convenience…I have never seen a system set up in a way that was more geared towards ease of use for our guests.” 

A fully prepared meal not only takes out the pressure to make each item, but it also allows people to focus on what the holidays are really about. 

“We are taking the anxiety out of it,” said Melonion. “And I think for a lot of people that is what they are ultimately looking for.”

If looking for options other than Metropolitan Market, stores such as QFC, Costco, and Whole Foods also offer fully prepared meals. 

“Obviously they would want to put a delicious meal on the table, they wouldn’t come to us if they didn’t trust that we would do that,” said Melonion. “But beyond that, they want to have that quality time with their loved ones.”