Friday, September 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner Potluck Entrees that Travel Well

Taking the main dish to a holiday dinner can be challenging but some potluck entrees carry better than others.

If you get elected, or if you volunteer, to take the main part of the Thanksgiving dinner to someone else's home, you need to consider two main things. The first thing you need to mull over is, which main dishes travel well. The second big consideration is, what kind of container or packaging will work best to make sure your entree gets to dinner without dumping all over your car.

Non-Traditional or Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu?

Some people do not especially like turkey, and the company is really what the day should be about. If you don't want to make a turkey, and the other Thanksgiving guests are not "into" turkey, consider another type of main dish. If the get-together you are attending is not a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you have a lot of extra main dish options.
  • Lasagna - Lasagna travels well because it is made in a long, low baking dish. If you have one of the glass baking dishes with an insulated carrying case, it will most likely still be hot when you reach your destination. Another option is to prepare it and take it unbaked, and then bake it when you reach your destination.
  • Roast beef, ham, meat loaf - These are just a few alternative meat suggestions, you can really pick from anything you like, or even anything you find on sale. You can transport meats in a slow cooker or in a baking dish with an insulated case.
  • Hot dogs, shredded chicken, sloppy joes - Sandwich meat is easy to carry in a crock-pot, and easy to serve, too. Just don't forget the buns.
  • Tacos or fajitas - If you prepare the meat and take it in a slow cooker everyone else can chip in with vegetables, sour cream, and cheese. Then everyone can have fun putting their favorites together.
  • Chicken and noodles - Or any of your other favorite pasta dishes. Avoid tall casserole dishes, unless you have something to wedge tight against the sides to keep the food from spilling out. Pasta with meat makes a filling meal, and everyone else attending the pot-luck get-together can bring desserts and side dishes.
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner
If the get-together is traditional, and you have to make and transport a turkey, you might need to get creative in order to get it there. After all, those aluminum turkey roasters can be flimsy, and not everyone has a sturdy roaster that can be packed up in a vehicle and toted across the miles. You can:
  1. Get a big, sturdy roaster that won't tip over.
  2. Take your chances with a foil roaster. If the turkey gets there without dumping, you won't have to worry about retrieving your pan before you go home.
  3. Slice the turkey; fill a baking dish with a cover and an insulated carrying case to keep the sliced turkey warm.
If you have the pleasure, of preparing the main part of Thanksgiving dinner, but you are going to someone else's house, you need to figure out what you want to take, and how you are going to get it there safely. If you have any doubts about keeping the food at a safe temperature while making a long drive, either pick something else to take, or cook it and let it cool, pack it in an air-tight cooler with a lot of ice, and re-heat it when you reach your destination.
Some related articles you might find helpful are ideas for: desserts that travel well, busy bag ideas to keep the young ones entertained, and emergency kit food ideas.

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