Thanksgiving can be a day to go all out — spend hours cooking a meal unlike any other, comb through your music collection looking for the perfect dinner mix, deck out the house in a way that would make Martha Stewart say “wow.” It can be the apex of home-cooking, the Oscar of entertaining, the Super Bowl of family gatherings.
Or, you can go the other way.
Don’t stress the dinner. Go out and let someone else set the table. Or, stay in and let someone else do the cooking. Instead of staying up late Wednesday night to fold cloth napkins to look like cornucopias, make this year about that other Thanksgiving tradition — camping out in front of the TV to watch the parade in the morning and then a game in the afternoon.
In past years, we have offered Thanksgiving feast recipe options from around the world (“International Feasts” Nov. 19, 2009), Thanksgiving advice from local chefs (“Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner,” Nov. 20, 2008) and a look at the wines that work for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals (“The Perfect Pour,” Nov. 15, 2007). (All of those stories and their recipes are available online at www.hippopress.com.) This year, we went the other way. We’re looking at the hassle-light, worry-free, totally laid-back Thanksgiving. We have a list of where to go to get served a meal you don’t have to lift a finger to prepare, where to get help on your meal at home by ordering everything from just pies or sides to the whole supper, where to go (or order from) on Thanksgiving if you’d like a meal that is turkey and stuffing free and how to organize a day of TV watching. And, because we just can’t help giving the dedicated DIY-ers some holiday advice, we look at the least-lazy way to get your Thanksgiving dinner: hunting the turkey yourself with a bow and arrow.
Sit back, put your feet up and contemplate giving thanks for a day of total relaxation.
Give thanks for not cooking
Where to get your turkey and pie // By Angel Roy
Not feeling up to the whole production? You can have your turkey and your clean kitchen too. Here are some of the area’s restaurants offering all the traditional Thanksgiving eats on Thursday, Nov. 25. Seatings often fill up fast, so reservations are strongly recommended.
• Alan’s of Boscawen, Route 3, North Main St., Boscawen, 753-6631, www.alansofboscawen.com, will offer both a buffet-style and a plated Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 6 p.m. The Grand Thanksgiving Buffet will feature fruit, assorted domestic & imported cheeses, crackers, vegetable crudité, peel-and-eat shrimp, turkey orzo, pumpkin soup, garden & pasta salad, homemade mashed potatoes & gravy, Fresh Yams, Peas & Onions, Fresh Butternut Squash, Pasta Primavera, Stuffing, Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib, Baked Stuffed Haddock, rolls and desserts. The plated meal is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings — turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh yams, peas and onions, fresh butternut squash, rolls, soup or salad, cranberry Sauce and your choice of dessert. Both dinners will be offered at half price for seniors and children. Large parties are welcome. Call for reservations and pricing.
• The Alpine Grove, 19 Depot St., Hollis, 882-9051, www.alpinegrove.com, will be showing the Thanksgiving Day football games and offering guests a buffet of sliced turkey, homemade stuffing and gravy, baked ham, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash, maple-glazed carrots, cranberry sauce with pumpkin and pecan pie for dessert. The buffet will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. and cost $19.99 for adults, $13.99 for children.
• Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, 472-2001, www.bedfordvillageinn.com, plans to offer guests a three-course meal that puts a twists on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For their first course, diners will have their choice of beef carbonade manicotti, potato dumplings with Pecorino mushroom sauce, butternut squash bisque, sweet potato and goat cheese tart, chicken sausage potage, crispy pork belly, pilgrim salad (baby green and roasted squash with apple cinnamon vinaigrette) and chicory greens with pecans, blue cheese crumbles and champagne vinaigrette. Hermit Brook Farms free-range turkey with caramelized onion and sage stuffing with fresh cranberry compote, roasted spaghetti squash with pan dripping gravy, horseradish-crusted baked salmon, filet mignon, crab-stuffed local sole, grilled venison medallions, Hermit Brook Farms roasted chicken and autumn vegetable lasagna will serve as entree options. Guests will have their choice of maple creme brulée, chocolate cheesecake, pumpkin gateau (cake) or sweet potato pie with corn ice cream for dessert. The three-course meal costs $58 per person and seatings will be held from noon to 6:30 p.m.
• Guests will be able to choose three sides to accompany their turkey dinner at Belmont Hall & Restaurant, 718 Grove St., Manchester, 625-8540, www.belmonthall.net, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sides choices will include squash soup, garden salad, turkey and rice soup, mashed potatoes, french fries, baked potato, butternut squash and carrots. The meal is offered for $11.99, with additional sides available for 99 cents.
• At Brookstone Grill, 14 Route 111, Derry, 328-9250, www.brookstone-park.com, a Thanksgiving three-course feast will be held from noon to 5 p.m.. For an appetizer, diners will have their choice of butternut squash bisque, pumpkin ravioli or spinach salad. Fall spice and herb-crusted turkey breast, Kurobatta baked ham and slow-roasted prime rib will serve as entree options. For dessert, guests may opt for pumpkin cheesecake, apple tart or chocolate mousse cake. A children’s menu will also be available. The cost for the dinner is $28 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under. Reservations are required.
• Chez Vachon, 136 Kelley St., Manchester, 625-9660, www.chezvachon.com, will offer a Thanksgiving feast from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. A meal that includes turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, a choice of chocolate cream pie, pumpkin mousse pie, deluxe pumpkin pie or bread pudding and a drink for $10.99. Regular menu items will also be available.
• Reservations are going fast for Thanksgiving dinner at Colby Hill Inn, 3 The Oaks, Henniker, 428-3281, www.colbyhillinn.com, where spots are now only available for dining between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Guests will be presented with a menu of Colby Hill chicken, whole-grain mustard-crusted silver salmon, pan-roasted spiced duck breast, fennel-dusted grilled pork chop, butter-roasted turkey with apple and sage stuffing, mint-rubbed rack of lamb and sweet potato risotto. Soups, appetizers and desserts will also be served.
• A buffet will be offered at The Common Man, 25 Water St., Concord, 228-3463, www.thecman.com, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that will include roasted turkey and pork, salmon with maple butter, green beans amandine, mashed potatoes, squash, salad and dessert. The buffet costs $18.99.
• Guests at The Derryfield, 625 Mammoth Road, 623-2880, www.thederryfield.com, will be able to choose from family-style or an individual plated meal from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with seatings every half hour. Both meals will include turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash, seasonal vegetables, salad and rolls. The family-style meal will be offered for $21.95 per person and the plated meal $18.95 for adults and $16.95 for seniors and children under 12. Reservations are required.
• A buffet dinner will be set up fireside at Drumlins Restaurant at Stonebridge Country Club, 161 Gorham Pond Road, Goffstown, 497-8633, www.golfstonebridgecc.com. The buffet will include assorted breads and rolls, roasted parsnip and leek soup, garden salad, Granite State salad (with sugared walnuts, dried cranberries, aged cheddar cheese and cider vinaigrette), winter squash puree, garlic whipped potatoes, roasted carrots with caramelized onions, roasted turkey breast with stuffing and gravy, crab and lemon stuffed sole, sliced slow-roasted sirloin and assorted desserts. The buffet, which will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., costs $19.99 for adults, $15.99 for seniors, $9.99 for children.
• The Amoskeag Ballroom of Fratello’s, 155 Dow St., Manchester, 641-6776, www.fratellos.com, will be filled with a Thanksgiving buffet of garden and Caesar salads, turkey with homemade stuffing and pan gravy, fresh Atlantic salmon, garden vegetable lasagna, Chantilly mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, wild rice pilaf, candied butternut squash and pearl onions and peas. The carving station will feature all white roasted turkey breast and slow-roasted prime rib. Coffee and dessert stations will also be included. The dinner costs $21.95 for adults, $13.95 for children ages six to 12, free for children under 5. Seatings will be held at noon and 3 p.m. Reservations are required.
• A grand buffet will be offered for $29.95 at Granite State Restaurant and Bar at the Centennial Hotel, 96 Pleasant St., Concord, 227-9000 x602, www.thecentennialhotel.com. The buffet will feature assorted hors d’oeuvres, an artisan cheese display, Caesar salad, apple and arugula salad, pumpkin bisque, bread, carved ham, roasted breast of turkey with herb gravy and cranberry jam, braised leg of turkey, wild mushroom cornbread stuffing, roasted garlic and sour cream mashed potatoes, butternut squash ravioli, butter-glazed baby carrots with haricot vert and Brussels sprouts with applewood-smoked bacon and hearty greens. Apple and dried fruit crisp, pumpkin cheesecake, spiced maple pecan tart and chocolate cream pie will be offered for dessert. Seatings will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required.
• Greenwood’s At Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury, 783-4238, www.greenwoodsatcsv.com. will have a Thanksgiving buffet featuring chef carved roasted turkey with cranberry-maple compote and prime rib as well as Shaker fish and eggs, vegan strudel, salad, squash and cider bisque, mashed potatoes, pan gravy, apple chestnut stuffing, roasted root vegetables with butternut squash and cranberries, picked beets, green beans, corn casserole and creamed onions. Reservations required; seatings are from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The buffet costs $35 per person and $17.50 for children under 12.
• In addition to its regular menu, Hanover Street Chophouse, 149 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-2467, www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com, will offer Thanksgiving specials and a children’s menu from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• A newcomer to the area, The Homestead, 641 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-2022, www.homesteadnh.com, will host its first Thanksgiving dinner, with seating times at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m. Diners may selected plated meals of roasted turkey dinner, baked Virginia ham, roast prime rib, baked stuffed haddock, Veal Oscar, roasted leg of lamb and seafood fettuccine. All entrees include turkey soup, apple cider, mixed nuts, fruit, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, creamed onions, green peas, hot rolls, sweet bread, homemade pie and coffee.
• If you can’t make a seating time or prefer to lounge on the couch watching football during meal time, don’t fret. The Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118, or 63 Union Square in Milford, 249-9222, www.redarrowdiner.com, will offer Thanksgiving dinner for 24 hours. The meal will include a choice of soup or salad, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and dessert for $11.99. A pork pie meal will also be offered for $9.99.
• Reservations are required for guests wanting to spend their holiday at The Red Blazer, 72 Manchester St., Concord, 224-4101, www.theredblazer.com. The restaurant will offer a buffet of roast turkey, baked Seafood Newburg, roast stuffed pork loin, homemade baked macaroni and cheese, apple stuffing, rice pilaf, mashed potato, green bean casserole, baked yams, baked butternut squash, cranberry sauce, salad bar and mini-dessert buffet. The first seating will be held at 11 a.m. and the last at 3 p.m. The buffet costs $19.99 for adults, $11.99 for children.
• Rick’s A Cafe & Grille , 143 Main St., Kingston, 642-3833, and Rick’s on Mill Pond, 92 Route 125, Kingston, 642-5556, www.ricksgrille.com, will offer an a la carte menu from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appetizers will include scallops wrapped in bacon, tuna tartar, seafood stuffed mushrooms, mussels scampi, oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, fried lamb chops, seafood cocktail, Napoleon of Chilled Boston Pork Butt, clam chowder, French onion soup and lobster bisque. Entrees include a rib eye, pork Osso Bucco, prime rib, shrimp tortellini, New York sirloin, filet mignon, roast turkey, Thanksgiving lobster and a Porter House. Reservations are recommended.
• Speaker’s Corner Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2 Somerset Parkway, Nashua, 886-1200, www.cpnashua.com, will offer a unique buffet with seating from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet will include hearty white bean escarole soup, New England Cobb Salad, beet and goat cheese salad, Caesar salad, carved turkey with pan gravy and cranberry relish, carved garlic herb slow-roasted top round of beef, Georges Bank haddock and rock shrimp Florentine au gratin, almond panko chicken, gnocchi with roasted red pepper, Kalamata olives and basil pesto-laced marinara sauce, mashed potatoes, home-style three-bread stuffing, buttered Brussels sprouts and pearl onions, whipped butternut squash, caramel apple pie, autumn spiced torte, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, espresso martini mousse, a medley of cheesecakes and warm banana rum raisin pudding. The buffet costs $25.95 for adults, $10.95 for children ages 5 to 12 and children age 4 and under eat free. Reservations are required.
• An a la carte menu will be offered at Valentino’s Italian and American Family Dining, 142 Lowell Road, Hudson, 889-9900, www.valentinosrestaurants.com, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appetizers will include turkey soup, autumn bisque, a sampler platter of onion rings, mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders, butternut ravioli, Caesar salad and garden salad. Three sizes of traditional turkey diners will be offered and served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, gravy and cranberry sauce. An Italian combo platter of lasagna, chicken parmesan, sausage and meatballs served with spaghetti or penne pasta with a choice of sauce and salad, shrimp scampi, chicken parmesan, baked haddock and two cuts of prime rib will serve as entree choices. For dessert, diners may choose a slice of blueberry, apple, squash, pumpkin, custard or chocolate cream pie as well as selections from the dessert cart.
• Seatings will be held on the hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for smaller parties at The Yard, 1211 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-3545, www.theyardrestaurant.com, while seatings for parties of seven or more will run at 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The Yard will offer a buffet of roasted turkey, house-made stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, baby carrots, butternut squash, yams, pearl onions with sweet peas, salad, fresh sliced fruit, assorted gourmet breads and desserts and hot apple cider. The buffet carving station will feature roast beef, turkey and ham. assortment of fine desserts. The buffet costs $19.95 for adults and $10.95 for children 10 and under. Children under 3 eat free. Plated meals of prime rib, turkey or baked haddock for adults will be offered for $16.95 and plated turkey and chicken finger dinners for children will also be available for $10.95. All plated meals include dessert from the buffet. A late-night menu will be available in the pub from 6 p.m. to close.
Know of another restaurant offering Thanksgiving meals or offering special meals for Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year’s? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Order your pie, bread — or the whole meal
Get that home-cooked feel without actually cooking. Restaurants, bakeries, cafés and shops are offering help for your Thanksgiving meal — everything from bread and dessert to the entire meal. Ordering deadlines are soon; here are some of the places to call.
• Looking to feed up to 16 friends and family members? The Alpine Grove, 19 Depot St., Hollis, 882-9051, www.alpinegrove.com, is offering a 22-pound turkey with stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, squash, carrots, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin pie for $149.
• Angela’s Pasta and Cheese, 815 Chestnut St., Manchester, 625-9544, www.angelaspastaandcheese.com, is hoping to let you focus on roasting your turkeys by offering the sides to complete your dinner. Customers may order turkey gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, whipped butternut squash, cranberry relish, “turkey” butter, salmon and pork pies, lemon-glazed raspberry scones and assorted rolls by Saturday, Nov. 20, for pick-up on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
• If you are looking to bake your own pie this year, Apple Hill Farm, 580 Mountain Road, Concord, 224-8862, www.applehillfarmnh.com, is still selling many apple varieties. Customers may also order fresh-made apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, maple custard, pumpkin, squash and minced meat pies and squash rolls by Sunday, Nov. 21, for a Wednesday, Nov. 24, pick-up. Apple, cherry and blueberry crumb pies are also available.
• Holiday pie offerings are abundant at Belmont Hall & Restaurant, 718 Grove St., Manchester, 625-8540, www.belmonthall.net, and come in such flavors as pecan, coconut cream, banana cream, vanilla brownie, pumpkin, apple, chocolate cream, raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, lemon meringue, raisin and blueberry. Pork, salmon and minced meat pies are also available.
• Black Forest Café, 212 Route 101, Amherst, 672-0500, www.theblackforestcafe.com, has begun taking orders for pies (apple, Dutch apple, pumpkin chiffon, cranberry apple, pecan and cranberry walnut crostata), cakes (chocolate mousse, white chocolate Frangelico torte, carrot, maple walnut spice and old-fashioned coconut), shortbread cookies and coffee cakes (lemon blueberry, pumpkin apple, date and coconut). For dinner, Black Forest is offering a boneless turkey stuffed with cornbread sausage pecan stuffing and two pints of gravy that serves six people for $49. Side dishes of cornbread sausage pecan stuffing, smashed sweet potatoes with caramelized onions, maple-glazed roasted carrots and parsnips, cranberry maple sauce and gravy are available. A complete dinner for four to six people that includes turkey and all sides is available for $110. Orders must be placed by Sunday, Nov. 21, at 5 p.m.
• For dessert, Bread & Chocolate, 29 South Main St., Concord, 228-3330, will be serving seasonal favorites including pumpkin cake, pumpkin tea bread, pumpkin tarts, apple, pecan and pumpkin pie, cranberry orange coffee cake, pumpkin maple cake, apple almond, chocolate walnut and chocolate pecan tarts, sticky buns and cinnamon walnut coffee bread. Orders must be in by Friday, Nov. 19, with a pick-up on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
• Bull Run Meats , 132 Bedford Center Road, Bedford, 488-5962, and Bull Run Beef & Specialty Shoppe, 1100 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 669-0891, are taking orders for turkeys (ranging fro m10 to 30 pounds) until Saturday, Nov. 20 for pick-up on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Customers may also choose between two types of mashed potatoes (garlic or regular), five stuffings (including bread, apple cornbread and sausage) and gravy. The shop is also offering more then 10 varieties of pieces from A Slice of Heaven in Epsom.
• Butter’s Fine Food and Wine, 70 North Main St., Concord, 225-5995, www.buttersfinefood.com, is taking orders for free-range Hermit Brook Farm turkeys for $4.25 per pound and Fox Country Smokehouse smoked turkeys for $4 per pound. Turkeys must be ordered by Friday, Nov. 19, and picked up on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
• Take home Thanksgiving dinner from The Common Man for $13.99 per person. The meal includes sliced roasted turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, sage stuffing, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, green beans amandine, rolls, sweet bread and a slice of pumpkin pie. Meals orders must be placed with the desired pick-up location by Monday, Nov. 22. Thanksgiving dinner to go is available at The Common Man, 25 Water St., Concord, 228-3163 and The Common Man, 88 Range Road, Windham, 898-0088, www.thecman.com.
• Turkeys weighing in at 10 to 36 pounds are available to order at Hart’s Turkey Farm, 233 DW Highway in Meredith, 279-6212, www.hartsturkeyfarm.com, with stuffing and gravy. Cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, whipped potatoes, squash, beans, beets, carrot relish, chutney, cornbread, rolls, pies (blueberry, chocolate chip, chocolate cream, mince, pecan, pumpkin, raspberry cream, squash and sugar-free apple), cheesecakes, sweet breads, chocolate and carrot cakes are also available a la carte. Hart’s Turkey Farm, 21 Front St., Manchester, 669-3333, www.hartsturkeyfarm.com, will offer a to-go dinner of sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, squash, beets, rolls and cornbread. Meals must be ordered by Saturday, Nov. 20, and picked up Wednesday, Nov. 24.
• Madeleines, 124 N. Main St., Concord, 224-5353, is ready to fill your orders for tarts — apricot, apple, pear and fresh fruit — as well as French-Canadian pork pie and gorton. Orders must be in by Friday, Nov. 19, and picked up Wednesday, Nov. 24, by 3 p.m.
• The Meat House, 254 Wallace Road, Bedford, 472-5444; 920 Central Avenue, Dover, 834-6328; 16 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, 227-5261; 75 Portsmouth Avenue, Exeter, 418-6557; 2222 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, 422-6328, www.themeathouse.com, is taking orders for turkeys until Wednesday, Nov. 24. Customers may also order stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and pies – including pumpkin and pecan – from Valley View in Hebron, Maine and A Slice of Heaven in Epsom.
• Michelle’s Gourmet Pastries & Deli, 819 Union St., Manchester, 647-7150, www.michellepastries.com, is offering sweet treats for Turkey Day. Apple, blueberry, pumpkin, lemon meringue, coconut cream, chocolate cream, Boston cream, banana cream, cherry, pecan, and Key Lime pies as well as plain and fruit-topped cheesecake, Parisian satin, Raspberry Linzer and fresh fruit tarts can be ordered by Friday, Nov. 19. A preferred pick-up date of Tuesday, Nov. 23, or Wednesday, Nov. 24, must be specified.
• For parties of eight to 10 people, Paulie’s Neighborhood Butcher Shop, 38 Crystal Ave., Derry, 505-4558, www.pauliesbutcher.com, will offer a full dinner of a 12- to 14-pound whole turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, buttered green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy and pumpkin pie for $75. Orders must be in by Wednesday, Nov. 17.
• Pies can also be ordered from the Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St., Manchester, 626-1118; or 63 Union Square in Milford, 249-9222, www.redarrowdiner.com, in a variety of flavors — chocolate cream, coconut cream, banana cream, custard pumpkin cream, the diner’s “famous” brownie cream, death by chocolate, apple strawberry rhubarb, chocolate peanut butter, blueberry pecan, cherry, chocolate coconut cream, lemon meringue, Boston cream, no-sugar-added apple, raspberry and blueberry. Pork and salmon pies are also available. Order by Tuesday, Nov. 23.
• Complete Thanksgiving dinners are available at Twelve Pine Restaurant & Gourmet Marketplace, 11 School St., Peterborough, 924-6140, www.twelvepine.com, that will feed four to six people for $149.99 and 10 to 12 people for $269.99. The complete dinner for four to six people includes a whole roasted turkey, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted autumn vegetables, green beans amandine, turkey gravy, rolls and a choice of two homemade pies. Complete dinner orders must be placed by Friday, Nov. 19. Customers may order 12- to 30-pound whole Stonewood Farm turkeys by Wednesday, Nov. 17. A la carte offerings include baked brie en croute with chutney, crudites with crab dip, pumpkin bisque, roasted autumn vegetables, green beans amandine, roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberries, maple & ginger roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, cranberry orange relish, gravy and rolls. Apple, pumpkin, sweet potato and chocolate cream pies, cheesecake, apple strudel and holiday dessert platters are also available. Both a la carte sides and dessert must be ordered by 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21.
• Order a pumpkin, apple or blueberry pie from Washington Street Catering and Café, 88 Washington St., Concord, 228-2000, www.washingtonstreetcatering.com, with enough turkey, stuffing, squash and mashed potatoes to feed 10 people for $199.99. Pies are also available a la carte. Orders must be in by Thursday, Nov. 18 and picked up by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
Know of a restaurant, bakery or market offering last-minute Thanksgiving items or offering the same holiday help for Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year’s? Tell us at email@example.com.
Thanksgiving (pizza) pie
Where to go for something different on Nov. 25
Maybe turkey’s not your thing.
If you’re sick of cooking and sick of turkey and all the fixings, you will nonetheless have dining-out options on Thursday, Nov. 25. Here are some of the places that will be open but not necessarily pushing the turkey on turkey day.
• Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040, is open 24 hours.
• Amory Street House of Pizza, 253 Amory St., Manchester, 668-9444, is open from 11 a.m. to midnight
• Big A Pizza, Suite 3, 142 Nashua St., Milford, 732-0095, is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Café on the Oval, 241 Union Square # 2, Milford, 673-8599, is open from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for breakfast only.
• Capri Pizza, 33 Indian Rock Road, Windham, 432-3600, is open from 4 to 9 p.m.
• Cheung Kee, 665 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 626-1643, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• China Star III Restaurant, 80 North Main St., Salem, 898-1962, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Dragon Star Chinese Restaurant, 75 South Main St., Concord, 226-2423, is open from noon to 4 p.m. for pick-up orders only.
• Golden Dragon Restaurant, Simoneau Plaza, Nashua, 889-6122, is open from noon to midnight
• Grand China Restaurant, Veterans Memorial Pkwy., Salem, 893-9124, is open from 4 p.m. to midnight
• Grand Slam Pizza, 472 S. Main St., Manchester, 622-5522, is open from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. (there will be turkey and mashed potatoes on the menu that day).
• Great Buffet Sushi & Grill, 1525 S. Willow St., Manchester, 666-3688, is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• IHOP, 230 DW Highway, Nashua, 546-0400, is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• IHOP, 224 South River Road, Bedford, 296-0236, is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• IHOP, 2028 Woodbury Ave., Newington, 430-4981, is open from 7 a.m. to noon.
• Manchu Wok, 270 Loudon Road, Concord, 224-0385, is open from 6 to 10 p.m.
• Papa John’s, 223 S. Willow St., Manchester, 629-0060, is open from 10 a.m. to midnight. Specials include a large three-topping for $10.
• Peking Garden 2, 967 Elm St., Manchester, 623-6767, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Pizzeria Zacharia, 85 Runnells Bridge Road, Hollis, 881-5431, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Roland’s Restaurant, 94 Kinsley St., Nashua, 882-1441, is open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• Siam Orchid, 581 Second St., Manchester, 647-5547, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 9:30 p.m.
• 7 Star Pizza & Restaurant, 235 Main St., Nashua, 889-8810. The kitchen will be closed but the lounge will be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• Sweeney Post, American Legion, 251 Maple St., Manchester, 623-9145, is open for breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m.; closing for the day at 1 p.m.
• Tilt’n Diner, 61 Laconia Road, Tilton, 286-2204, is open from 6 to 11 a.m., reopen again at 1 a.m.
• Uno Chicago Grill, 593 Amherst St., Nashua, 886-4132, is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• The Wild Rover, 21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester, 669-7722, www.wildroverpub.com, will hold its annual Irish breakfast buffet from 8 to 11 a.m. to benefit the charities of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The breakfast will feature traditional Irish fare of scrambled eggs, Potatoes O’Brien, baked beans, black and white pudding, pancakes and honey caraway biscuits. The breakfast costs $9.99 for adults, $4.99 for children under 12. Children under 5 eat free. At noon, the Rover will offer a plated turkey dinner of turkey, mashed potato, squash, stuffing and cranberry sauce for $12.99.
Know of another restaurant open on Thanksgiving but not serving the traditional spread? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will appear in next week’s Weekly Dish column.
Extra butter, more coffee
Markets open on Thanksgiving
Forget the butter? Need more bread? Get a call on Nov. 25 from your parents letting you know they’ll be there in three hours, along with your entire family from Michigan?
Thanks to the hard-working people of some area markets and drug stores, you’ll have more food shopping options than just the convenience store at the corner gas station. Here are some of the area markets, local and chain, that will be open on Thanksgiving for at least some of the day. Plan accordingly.
• Bunny’s Superette, 75 Webster St., Manchester, 622-5080, will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Hannaford supermarkets (4 Jenkins Road, Bedford, 472-2627; 5 Colby Court, Bedford Grove, Bedford, 625-5431; 73 Fort Eddy Road, Concord, 228-2060; 35 Manchester Road, Derry, 434-5099; 859 Hanover St., Manchester, 624-4442; 201 John E Devine Drive, Manchester, 626-4567;175 Coliseum Ave., Nashua, 889-3700) will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Jeannotte’s Market, 2 Courtland St., Nashua, 882-0161, will be open, for the first year, from 6 a.m. to noon.
• Nickles Market, 1536 Candia Road, Manchester, 623-6463, will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Rite Aid at 165 North State St., Concord, 223-6713, and 20 Crystal Ave., Derry, 437-9799, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Rite Aid at 631 Elm St., Manchester, 623-4393, and 122 McGregor St., Manchester, 627-3822, will be open 24 hours.
• Shaw’s supermarkets (20 D’Amante Drive, Concord, 228-1440; 375 So Willow St., Manchester, 626-4347; 300 Main St., Nashua, 579-6966) will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Stop & Shop, 365 Lincoln St., Manchester, 623-3725, will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Walgreens (142 Loudon Road, Concord, 226-1890; 34 Nashua Road, Londonderry, 432-5995; 227 S Main St., Manchester, 666-8538; 615 DW Hwy., Merrimack, 423-9330; 571 Nashua St., Milford, 673-4341; 375 Amherst St., Nashua, 595-6365) will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Walmart, 85 New Hampshire 101A, Amherst, 672-3421, is open 24 hours.
• Walmart, 17 Colby Court, Bedford, 626-6733, will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Walmart, 344 Loudon Road, Concord, 226-9312, will be open at 6 a.m., closing time to be decided.
• Walmart, 30 Manchester Road, Derry, 434-3589, will be open at 7 a.m. and 24 hours after that.
• Walmart, 3 Commerce Drive, Hooksett, 644-8144, will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight.
• Walmart, 300 Keller St., Manchester, 621-9666, will be open at 7 a.m., closing time to be decided.
• West Street Market, 60 West St., Concord, 228-8288, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Z-J Market, 266 Bridge St., Manchester, 668-1251, will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Know of another market open for at least some of Thanksgiving? Let us know at email@example.com and it will appear in next week’s Weekly Dish column.
Give thanks for the remote
Your holiday TV schedule
For some odd reason, Thanksgiving has become a celebration of turkeys. While these often flightless birds are cute when they’re named Tom, they don’t have to be the star of the day. Especially since the holiday lends itself perfectly to a vegetable: the couch potato.
That’s right. Thanksgiving is an American festival, and what’s more American than football on television? Perhaps apple pie, but there is plenty of that too. Yes, there is a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. The day is jam packed with three televised professional football games — and the key to catching all the action is to have a plan.
“It comes down to planning out your day,” said Josh Nason, a former Boston blogger who now writes a Mixed Martial Arts blog at joshnason.com. “Where are you going to be? Football comes first. Sure, there are parades, but they’re in the morning and most people are still hung over from the night before.”
But why does football go with Thanksgiving even better than a side of cranberry sauce?
“I think sports (particularly football) and holidays go well together because usually after stuffing our faces with food we all feel like the 300-pound lineman trying to chase down the nimble quarterback,” Joshua Spaulding, sports editor for the Granite State News, wrote in an e-mail.
Spaulding admitted that he prefers watching sports live but there is something about television that has become a staple of America. Jim Bonyman, a pop culture expert who led trivia nights in Manchester for more than a year before retiring recently, said many people spend more time with their televisions than with their families. And much family time these days is in some way connected to the boob tube. Bonyman said he gained a fascination with pop culture while watching sitcoms like The Brady Bunch with his parents and older siblings.
“A lot of life revolves around TV,” Bonyman said. “There are a lot more happy endings on television than in life.”
Nason pointed out that the first game of the day begins on CBS at 12:30 p.m. and features the New England Patriots versus the Detroit Lions.
“You’re going to want to be in the best viewing environment for this game,” Nason said. “The Patriots game works perfectly for Thanksgiving because Pats fans like to get together and tailgate for games. Thanksgiving is the ultimate tailgate.”
Unlike a typical Sunday game, the football game on Thanksgiving Day is watched by even the most casual fans. Some regulars are pretty hardcore. How should they adapt to watching a game with family?
“The first adaptation I have to make is put on some pants,” Spaulding jokingly e-mailed. “Because really, that’s the most important. However, I yell at my TV when I am alone and I yell at my TV when there’s people around — and that’s just when watching Survivor. When it’s game time, I sometimes get a bit more animated.”
And if by the third quarter Aunt Ruth is still asking which team is the Patriots, should you answer all of her questions?
“I always answer the questions, but I do so while making it obvious it’s a stupid question,” Spaulding e-mailed.
Nason suggested enlisting the services of a younger brother or cousin to be the designated football teacher for the day. But what do you do if you’re not a regular fan but want to impress your family members with your insight?
“I don’t watch football regularly,” said Bonyman. “I’ve been manned out of many conversations because I don’t know what is going on. I’ve learned all you have to do is watch 15 minutes of SportsCenter before the game and then just shout out things you heard and people will be impressed.”
All of these tips are helpful if, in fact, there is a television available. What happens if, horror of horrors, you end up with a family that enjoys conversation?
“I usually go to family members who are real scholars and intellectuals,” Bonyman said. “Their living room has a piano and not a television. My move is to usually play Legos with the kids or fetch with the family dog.”
Bonyman also suggested taking two shots of Nyquil and then blaming the outcome on the turkey, but this is not advised. Nason reminded that technology has made it so you never have to get that desperate.
“You can stream live video on your smart phone and watch the game from there,” Nason said. “There is always wireless Internet. Just tell everybody your stomach hurts and then sneak away to check the scores.”
The New Orleans Saints take on the Dallas Cowboys at 4:15 p.m. on FOX. Nason said this is a good time to take a nap because, at 1-7, the Cowboys are awful. Spaulding had some harsh words for the Cowboys’ injured quarterback, Tony Romo, who has dated both Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson.
“The Cowboys should always play on Turkey Day,” Spaulding wrote. “Mainly because Tony Romo is the biggest turkey of all.”
One of the keys to having the stamina to watch all of these games is to make sure you eat. Obviously, with so much on TV you won’t have time to sit down for a traditional meal. But that’s OK. Thanksgiving dinner is very versatile.
“You might want to make a Gobbler,” said Christopher Bernard, director of catering at Hart’s Turkey Farm —The Forrest Gump of Turkey, according to Bernard. “This consists of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce all on a sandwich. We use a sourdough bulky, but you can use whatever is around.”
Bernard also suggested making a turkey croquet, which is an old French recipe. Bernard said you grind up turkey, potato and spices into little hockey pucks and then fry them and serve with gravy. This could be a great snack as you wake up and take in the Cincinnati Bengals versus the New York Jets at 8:20 p.m. on the NFL Network.
“By this time you’ll be getting a second wind and can root against the Jets,” Nason said.
And if none of these tips work, Bonyman reminds everyone of the words of who else but a television star: George Costanza of Seinfeld.
“Act annoyed the whole time and people will leave you alone,” Bonyman said.
Now for something completely different
The least lazy Thanksgiving? Hunting your own bird.
By Jeff Mucciarone
Not surprisingly, hunting a turkey with a bow and arrow is difficult, particularly so at this time of year, when archery is the only allowed method of hunting. There is a shotgun season earlier in the fall and the big time of year for turkey hunting is the spring, when shotguns are allowed.
“It’s very difficult,” said Mark Ellingwood, wildlife programs administrator with the state Fish and Game Department. “The success rate is fairly low.”
Hunters usually take 200 or so birds per year by bow and arrow. A select number of hunters use the bow and arrow in the spring as well, as a matter of challenge, but Ellingwood said that’s a small minority.
The problem is that a bow and arrow requires hunters to be in relatively close range of the bird, but approaching them is difficult because turkeys have excellent eyesight. During spring, turkeys will respond to mating calls, which makes it easier to get birds in close. Not so in the fall. The birds are rather vocal, but they don’t respond to calls, said Seth Stevens, manager at Brian’s Archery in Barrington.
It’s not just getting close to the birds and being a good shot — modern bows are capable of incredible accuracy — it’s also drawing the arrow back and getting in position for the shot, all without the turkey noticing, that makes it so difficult, Stevens said.
Stevens said most killed turkeys this time of year are incidental harvests by people hunting deer who happen to come upon turkeys. In fact, he said he doesn’t know anyone who goes out at this time of year with the expressed purpose of getting a turkey for Thanksgiving. His store has registered a number of birds this fall, but they’ve all been incidental kills by deer hunters.
That said, there is a population of folks who do go out in the fall specifically to bag a turkey. Ellingwood said the fall turkey hunting population is growing.
There’s a poetry and a sense of tradition to it.
“I just think it’s a wonderful thing to do,” Ellingwood said. “This tradition extends well before the presence of Europeans in this country.”
Turkey hunters are likely to spend plenty of time scouting potential hunting areas, noting the presence of turkeys or their food.
“You wouldn’t simply wander into the woods in hopes of encountering a turkey,” Ellingwood said.
People who are dedicated to the pursuit are more or less scouting year-round, watching flocks’ habits. A good acorn crop this time of year means birds are likely to be fairly well dispersed among oak trees looking for acorns. That means they won’t be in many of the places people associate turkeys with: pastures, open fields and orchards, Ellingwood said.
“Turkey flocks are somewhat consistent in their movements and behaviors,” Ellingwood said. “It’s not a bus traveling stop to stop, but they are creatures of habit.”
Aside from the bow and plenty of arrows, hunters would want a blind and camouflage. Hunters would want to figure out where turkeys are likely to be feeding — they’re usually in large groups at this time of year. Hunters can set up in the early morning or the evening to try to intercept birds as they come in and out of the roost.
If you can put the pieces together, hunting wild turkey provides an opportunity to put the most natural, organic and healthy food source on the table this Thanksgiving, Ellingwood said.
Turkeys bred for the table are large-breasted in comparison to wild turkeys. Wild turkeys contain mostly dark meat and can be a little tougher and drier, but it’s tasty. Stevens said many people will deep-fry the wild birds.
“[Wild turkeys have] adapted to survive the rigors of New Hampshire,” Ellingwood said. “Clearly any domestic bird couldn’t.”
Wild turkey is leaner with less meat, but “when properly cooked, it is certainly comparable and many say better. It reflects the landscape in ways no domestic creature could,” Ellingwood said, adding that on the organic front there couldn’t be a better option.
As society modernizes, people tend to lose touch with the landscape in ways that don’t always favor hunting interests, Ellingwood said.
“Our forefathers and the native peoples that preceded them depended upon this natural, healthy, nutritious food source long before it became a traditional celebration,” Ellingwood said.
The turkey population has grown tremendously, particularly in the last 10 to 15 years. The Connecticut River valley is a top area for turkey hunting, Stevens said.
Turkeys were reestablished in New Hampshire in 1975 by Fish and Game with the release of 26 birds in Walpole. The population grew slowly and modestly until the early 1990s and from there it has accelerated exponentially, Ellingwood said.
“It looks like it’s beginning to stabilize,” Ellingwood said. “The growth curve has flattened off in the last couple years.”
The state has also relatively recently introduced a new shotgun season in the fall, with about five or six management areas allowing the use of shotguns. Hunters have taken more than 675 birds with shotguns this fall. Ellingwood said that number reflects the recent addition of a number of management units in southeast New Hampshire.
Fish and Game keeps particular tabs on females to make sure they’re protecting the spring turkey populations.
Along with a general hunting license, turkey hunters must purchase a turkey license, which is good for the spring and fall seasons. The state does offer bow hunting education courses. Visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us.