Since I was a kid, Thanksgiving has been one of my favourite holidays. A beautiful meal and family coming together is a true blessing.
Back in the day, we used to cook the whole meal and while it was always enjoyable, it’s also a lot of work. I soon came to realize this wasn’t the way I wanted to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holidays. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one because I started to notice a trend of various restaurants, caterers, grocery stores and hotels offering this service. Let’s face it, time is money and as much as I love to cook, I would rather do ANYTHING else than cook all day long. ESPECIALLY with kids!
I have tried a couple different services in Ottawa. In my opinion, the most popular ones are offered by the Brookstreet Hotel, NEXT restaurant in Stittsville, the NAC and Farm Boy, but there are many more! They all work on the same premise that they provide your turkey or ham, and you get to choose your sides. Most of them offer add-ons for desserts but I usually opt to buy my own.
The first one we tried was at the NAC and it was quite good but a bit inconvenient for us as it’s downtown and we are in the west end (otherwise no complaints). For the following few years we ordered through the Brookstreet Hotel. This location was incredibly convenient for us, and the only complaint was that it wasn’t available at Easter. We would order every Thanksgiving and Christmas religiously. They usually have 2 to 3 days available for pick ups depending on the holiday. You pay online, order exactly what you want and secure your pick up time. There are staff waiting like a little assembly line to get you in and out quickly, and bring your items to your car so you’re enjoying your food while it’s still hot. I have to say, the Brookstreet Hotel meal is incredible and has never failed us.
Last year for the first time we strayed from the Brookstreet Hotel and I was a bit scared. One of my husband’s clients had recommended Farm Boy saying it was amazing, and I figured it couldn’t be bad since they have excellent products consistently. Still I wondered if it could be as good as Brookstreet’s?
I took a leap of faith last Christmas and ordered it. I figured if we disliked it for whatever reason, we could always go back to the Brookstreet Hotel the next time. To my delight, it was wonderful, and so we have decided on Farm Boy’s turkey meal for this Thanksgiving! They too, make it super simple by ordering online and choosing your date and time. You have the choice of a turkey or ham, and four side options. The turkey comes with cranberry sauce and gravy, and you can choose from the following: chive mashed potatoes, cranberry apple sausage stuffing, scalloped potatoes, roasted honey carrots, roasted mixed pepper medley, roasted tri-colour potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and french green beans with garlic flower butter. The past two times I have ordered two of the mashed potatoes and two of the stuffings with the idea that those options are trickier to make and I can easily make my own veggie sides.
They also throw in their amazingly delicious pumpkin spice loaf and white cheddar jalapeño popcorn which is to die for!
Farm Boy makes it super simple for pick up – you just show up, give your name and they wheel out your meal for you. Everything is cooked but the turkey needs a couple of hours. It really doesn’t get any easier and for only $129.99, it’s a steal! Ok, I get it, some people enjoy being in the kitchen all day but not I, and this for my family is an absolute lifesaver. When you calculate what you would spend on food, and all the time you would spend in the kitchen, it really is a reasonable price. Also, a huge Kudos to Diego at Farm Boy. Impeccable customer service! A wonderful man!
What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Do you make an elaborate spread and truly enjoy it? Have you tried any of these prepared Thanksgiving dinners? I would love to hear about ones that I may not have already tried, although I’m pretty sold on Farm Boy! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all!