Kicking the Can: A Move Towards A Fresh Food Thanksgiving

What is it about the holiday season that makes us pull out the canned soups and provisions when we've relied on cooking from the farmers' market the rest of the year? Does tradition trump cooking from scratch? Why buy bagged stuffing mix and cans of cranberry sauce when we can make them ourselves, and even better tasting at that?

This Thanksgiving, make a game plan to tackle some of the prep work ahead of time (see our tips here and here) and kick the can. Once I started making homemade cranberry sauce, albeit with a recipe that yielded enough of the stuff for four Thanksgivings, I couldn't believe the difference. It had chunks of real cranberry, and no indentations from the can! That's one dish that can be made days ahead of time. And while making the turkey ahead of time isn't the best plan, cleaning and slicing all of your vegetables and caramelizing onions will save you tons of time on the big day.

Will you kick the can for Thanksgiving this year?

Read more: Giving Thanks For Can-Free Cooking at NPR

Related: Thanksgiving Prep: Start Today!

(Images: Faith Durand and Emma Christensen)

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