Thanksgiving is a bittersweet holiday, a day in which you spend hours polishing the silver, setting the table and, of course, cooking the meal, only to have everyone sit down and eat it in 15 minutes. I used to spend more time being annoyed, alone in the kitchen, standing over a hot stove than I spent being thankful.

So when my boys were old enough, I asked each of them to pick a dish that they wanted to make for Thanksgiving. And just like that, I had company in the kitchen. Not only did I have company, but they were all cooking a part of the meal, which lightened my load tremendously. Genius! Well, maybe not genius, but it was certainly one of the smarter moves I’ve made during the holiday season.

It had a ripple effect at the table, too. Once everyone in the family became invested in the meal, they were much more interested in lingering over it. After all, it takes time to debate which dish is better and whose knife skills are more honed. It’s fun to see them take so much pride in their culinary achievements.

Of course, the next day the spell is broken as everyone shuffles into the kitchen and makes a turkey sandwich. The day after that, we’re sick of the big meal and ready to re-emerge from our food coma.

While we still need to eat, no one is interested in a plate of mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. I’m not interested in cooking anything elaborate or time-consuming. I’m looking for a quick and easy meal that tastes nothing like Thanksgiving. Frittata fits the bill in every way.

A frittata is an Italian egg dish that’s kind of a cross between an omelet and a crustless quiche. It can be filled with any number of ingredients, making it perfect if you need to clear out the fridge. Leftover pasta, rice, or even torn pieces of corn tortilla are tossed with beaten eggs, a little cheese, maybe a little meat and any kind of sautéed veggie for a hearty, but light meal. The whole thing takes less than 30 minutes and the cleanup is minimal. Now that’s something I can be thankful for any day of the year.


Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.