1. Turkey: Buy a cook-in-the-bag turkey breast roast. Turn on the oven. Throw it in. If your guests or house pets don’t see you carve it, they will never know your dinner never gobbled (or, more precisely, that it is the unholy conglomeration of many separate gobblers).
2. Mashed Potatoes: Buy instant. Just add boiling water and enough butter and cream cheese to mask the slightly musty taste.
3. Gravy: In the can.
4. Cranberry Sauce: In the can. Be sure to actually place in dish and mash until the dog-food-esque shape is unrecognizable.
5. Stuffing: Stove Top. Consider adding craisins.
6. Buttermilk Rolls: In the can. Look for Pillsbury or other similar rolls. Plop on baking sheet and set the timer.
7. Pumpkin Pie: Because pumpkin pie freezes so well, buying the Cadillac frozen model is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
• If you start the evening with a bottle or three of good wine, by the time you serve dinner, your guests will be predisposed to expect quality and will be inebriated enough to overlook telltale signs of corner-cutting.
• Consider making one of the above dishes from scratch. Then, regale your guests with stories of the painstaking creation. They will assume you slaved over the other dishes, as well.
• Use your best dishes and silverware (or rent place settings from a party shop). Again, heighten guests’ expectations of quality.
• Be sure to dispose of all boxes and cans before guests’ arrival.
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