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Mr. Farmiga
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
2021-11-26, 20:04

Yeah, the store-bought stuff definitely changed things...the actual flavors we all know/expect, but also, as you say, the whole "being in the kitchen" and all that goes with it. I'm not usually part of that anyway (I help carry stuff, or load/transport from one house to another), but I think, after this one year off, Mom and my sister will probably go back to the regular way next years as well. It's just better/tastier.

No store is going to top the way one's mom has made mashed potatoes for 50+ years (skin-on, perfect chunkiness/texture, etc.), and all the other stuff too. But the ham and turkey were pretty good, to my surprise. We did do Cracker Barrel 2-3 years ago, but when they tried to do it this year, they could never get a human on the phone to take the order, after several attempts. So they went with Food City (Southeastern - TN/GA/AL/KY/VA - grocery chain) who'd been advertising their big meals (feeds 8-10, which was what we had). After this crazy year, with some family stuff/illness, I think everyone enjoyed the lower-key, hassle-free take this year. Maybe next year will feel "normal" again (I said that last year, didn't I?) and they'll feel like the big homemade, from-scratch thing again after a year off.