Heading to a Thanksgiving dinner where someone is expecting you to bring something? Just want to bring something to be nice and polite? For many Thanksgiving meals, the fun comes from everyone in attendance bringing something of their own. For college students who don't have access to cooking facilities or a lot of money, though, bringing a dish everyone will like can be a challenge. Don't worry, however -- there are quite a few easy items for college students to bring to Thanksgiving.
- Cranberry sauce. Easy, easy, easy. Grab a can of it and mush it up in a nice dish. See if your local grocery store is selling more of a homemade version in the deli section. Or, if you really want to get creative, grab a bag of cranberries and make your own cranberry sauce with water and sugar, to taste.
- Rolls and fresh bread. Around Thanksgiving time, most grocery stores sell bags of half-cooked rolls or breads. You finish them at home, usually by baking for 30 minutes or less. You get yummy, fresh, homemade-tasting bread without all the fuss. Additionally, you can always sport for the rolls and crescents that come in a tube; those can usually be found by the butter.
- Green bean casserole. Ah, the classic Thanksgiving dish. It's easy to make from scratch; you just need canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions (which you can buy in a little packet). If you're really short on time, some companies sell a frozen version of green bean casserole in a package (usually by the other frozen veggies). Either way, it's a traditional dish that takes virtually no time to make.
- Dessert. You can always grab something from the grocery store on your way to dinner. Or, if you have a little more time, you can pre-order something ahead of time.
- Cheese and crackers. Everyone gets munchy while waiting for dinner to get ready, and practically everyone loves cheese and crackers. Grab a few kinds of cheese, a few kinds of crackers, and you're ready to go.
Veggies. Similar to the cheese and cracker idea, a veggie platter can be a great way to snack while waiting for dinner. Most grocery stores offer veggie platters that are already read-to-go in the produce section. You can also call ahead and order something that will suit your particular situation.
- A nice bottle of wine. If you have absolutely no access to a kitchen, have terrible kitchen skills, or just don't have time to grab food right before Thanksgiving, you can buy a bottle of wine in advance. It doesn't have to be super fancy or expensive, too. If possible, consider getting a wine that comes from your region of the country. And with plenty of great options for under $10, a bottle of wine is a sure hit.
- Bring a cultural dish of your own. Heading somewhere new, but want a dish that you're always used to having? Don't be afraid to make something of your own that represents your own family or cultural tradition.