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Thanksgiving Made Easy: Some Helpful Hints on Planning a Disability Friendly Day

Published by Antwan Zibert

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Thanksgiving is, for many, a day of good food and good company. Having a disability shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying either.

With a little extra thought and planning, your disability won’t stand in the way of letting you enjoy the holiday, whether you want to help prepare the meal or just enjoy the company of others.

The Meal

Why put the burden of the entire holiday meal on yourself or your hostess? Make it potluck. The hostess makes the main course and each guest brings a side dish or a dessert. With a potluck, each of your guests is guaranteed at least one dish they love and you’ll get the chance to sample everyone else’s favorite holiday recipes.

You can also do dinner buffet-style. Purchase all of your favorite prepared foods in advance. On Thanksgiving Day, simply warm the foods according to the directions and set them out on a separate buffet table. You’ll save yourself hours of slaving in the kitchen and give yourself more time to savor your favorite goodies as you spend more quality time with your family and friends.

Preparing Dinner

There are always the tried and true methods of purchasing a complete meal and having it delivered to your home or going to a restaurant for your Thanksgiving meal. If neither of these is an option for you, though, there are some things you can do to make your part in the dinner preparation easier on you.

Potatoes and gravy. Try using instant mashed potatoes. If you’re screwing up your face and thinking about the way instant potatoes used to taste, take heart. There are a variety of potatoes, including Country Crock and Bob Evans, available at your local supermarket that are made from real potatoes, not dehydrated flakes. Ore-Ida has also recently introduced Steam ‘n Mash, real potatoes that are already peeled, cooked and diced. Simply steam the bag in the microwave, pour into a bowl and mash. Either of these options will save you a lot of time and energy. When it comes to the gravy, try a jar of Heinz Homestyle Turkey Gravy. Empty the jar into a gravy boat, toss the jar in the trash bin and your guests will never know the difference.

Desserts. Visit a local bakery and purchase your Thanksgiving pies. Order ahead of time and they will be fresh and ready the day before or the day of. If you prefer homemade, visit Allrecipes.com for the recipes of any kind of dessert you can possibly imagine. Look for pudding, cream or no-bake pies and desserts. These sweet treats can usually be prepared with minimal effort and can be dressed up to give a beautiful presentation and a wonderful homemade taste.

Getting Together

A big part of Thanksgiving is getting together with friends and family. However, if you’re in a wheelchair or have a mobility impairment, this can sometimes be difficult or even impossible.

If your family plans a big family dinner, ask around and find out which family member has the most accessible home. Ask if they are willing to host the dinner this year. If not and you have an accessible home, volunteer to have the family over to your house for dinner.

If you don’t want to have a big dinner at your home, suggest that each family enjoy dinner in their own home and everyone get together at your home for dessert.

With a little planning, all the work involved in putting on Thanksgiving dinner can be minimized and the day can be more joyful than stressful.

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