News and Tribune

Lifestyles

November 25, 2008

THANKSGIVING DINNER FOR ONE: Our frozen turkey reviews

Turkey frozen dinners are one of the more pathetic things in life. They’re generally worse than other frozen entrees and feature unsavory versions of Thanksgiving classics such as instant potatoes and something called cranberry dessert.

Why would someone turn to the grocer’s freezer case in search of a Thanksgiving meal? Ah, you’re one of the unlucky few who work on holidays. Your only means of creating a Turkey Day feast is from the break room microwave. Maybe you don’t have a large family, or haven’t secured a dinner invite from one of your close friends. Or, maybe the thought of thawing a 23-pound turkey for three days and peeling 10 pounds of potatoes seems absurd.

So, if you’re in one of these categories but still crave a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day, we’re here for you. No, no — we’re not inviting you to our holiday dinner. A group of staffers and friends sampled eight frozen turkey dinners in search of finding the absolute best. The manufacturer might call it Honey Roasted Turkey Medallions, but don’t be fooled by the fancy name. At the end of the day it’s still a frozen entree — still pretty pathetic — but some are much better than others.



BANQUET TURKEY MEAL



RATING: 1.5 turkey legs



Banquet Turkey Meal — mostly white meat and gravy with dressing, mashed potatoes and peas

Price: 5 for $5

Nutrition information: 230 calories, 8 g fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 1060 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 15 g protein



“I hate peas ... and the peas were easily the best part of this meal. And the peas in question are a color I can describe only as “nuclear green” on the box.”

— Shea Van Hoy, editor



“The mashed potatoes look like paste and taste like the cardboard box the meal was packaged in. The turkey looks like cold cuts and the dressing was nothing but a few croutons scattered around the gravy. I thought this was the bottom of the barrel, and then someone confirmed it when they read ‘mechanically separated turkey’ from the list of ingredients. Even the tray is unttractive.”

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