Tired of slaving over Christmas dinner while others in the family enjoy themselves, I started looking into where to buy a fully-cooked turkey and all the trimmings this year.
Come to find I was too late for some places, including in Redondo Beach, an outfit that offers elaborate holiday meals that feed eight or more—so long as your order was placed by noon on Dec. 13.
Still, even when I investigated ordering online from sites that ship, I discovered a window of opportunity still exists. Granted, things like overnight shipping costs can add to some already hefty price tags.
But the search also had me thinking outside of the box. (Well, outside of the turkey, anyway.)
Like, who would have thought of Turducken?
Turducken—which some think of as a turkey stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck—is actually a partially deboned turkey (with all but the wings and legs removed) stuffed with boneless duck and chicken, and Cajun-style cornbread and pork sausage dressing.
Dean & Deluca
At least that’s the way it’s done at Dean & Deluca in St. Helena, Calif., one of the many online sites that will accept orders until 4 p.m. Dec. 22 and ship anywhere in the South Bay by Christmas Eve.
If you go for a frozen 14-pound Turducken ($100 just for the stuffed bird), expect to pay an additional $31.45 or so for overnight shipping. Don't forget—the bird needs to thaw.
Dean & Deluca, known primarily for its lavish gift baskets, also offers turkey roulade with cranberry stuffing, which is a butterflied turkey breast layered with pecan-and-cranberry studded cornbread stuffing ($75). Side dishes—from sweet potato casserole ($40) to creamed spinach ($30) to mini lobster and crab pot pie appetizers ($70-75)—cost extra.
OK, let’s get real—for those of us on a budget, anyway.
Albertsons offers a lot of bang for the buck. Both their Butterball turkey and Smithfield spiral ham dinners cost $49.99, including side dishes.
With the 10- to 12-pound Butterball comes enough mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing to feed eight; scalloped potatoes and a green bean casserole accompany a 6- to 8-pound ham.
For only $20 more, you can get a 5-pound Charlie’s Pride prime rib dinner that includes garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Rolls and pies are extra.
Albertsons is one of several markets offering dinners right up until Christmas Eve morning—if they have any left. If you're interested, it's best to call the deli department at any of the three Redondo locations and reserve your order soon.
As of Wednesday, Vons Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach were still taking orders for holiday meals, but only while supplies last. In Hermosa, for example, the deli department had only eight turkeys to start with. An 8- to 10-pound Vons turkey dinner includes 12 dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie for $39.99 with a Vons Club card.
All stores in South Bay offer the same three entrée meals, and like Albertsons, orders are taken in the service deli right up until Christmas Eve morning.
The Ralphs dinners include a 10- to 13-pound roast turkey with home-style stuffing, 12 dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy ($49.99); a 5- to 9-pound traditional ham with scalloped potatoes, dinner rolls, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes ($49.99); and a 4- to 5-pound prime rib with scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls and apple or pumpkin pie ($69.99).
Fresh & Easy
Economically speaking, Fresh & Easy on Rosecrans Avenue in Manhattan Beach offers a slightly different deal, in that they provide a choice of three side dishes from a selection of eleven items, such things as butternut squash risotto, roasted autumn vegetables, apple cranberry stuffing, and brussels sprouts with bacon.
Fresh & Easy’s turkey breast dinner (about 6 pounds for $50) serves eight and comes with gravy and a choice of three sides (as above)—same for the ham dinner (7 pounds for $45) and the prime rib dinner (4 pounds for $65).
The ordering deadline, however, is Dec. 18 at midnight. To pre-order online, visit holidays.freshandeasy.com, make your selections, and pick them up at a store location near you from Dec. 21 through 24.
Located on Silver Spur Road in —as well as on Rosecrans Avenue in —Bristol Farms is a popular source for holiday fare, and shoppers often see lines streaming out the door for turkey, hams, poached salmon and pork loin roasts.
Bristol Farms Holiday Offering accepts orders online until noon Dec. 22, so there’s time to peruse the main and side dishes, all of which are a la carte.
A whole roasted turkey dinner (8 pounds for six to eight guests; 13 to 17 pounds for 12 to 16 guests) is $5.39 per pound; a honey spiral ham, $8.99 per pound; roasted pork loin, $12.99 per pound; poached salmon fillet, $26.99 per pound; and Bristol Farms prime rib, $24.99 per pound.
Side dishes include various stuffings (about $7 per pound); potatoes ($7 to $12 per pound), vegetables (honey-glazed carrots, green beans almondine or steamed asparagus for $7 to $9 per pound), various cranberry sauces and gravy ($7 to $10), and desserts, including apple cobbler and pumpkin crumb pie (both $24.99).
To order by phone, call the Bristol Farms catering hotline at 888-726-7271.
At the HoneyBaked Ham store and website, orders are accepted until Dec. 19 online and right up until Christmas Eve at a store, so long as you go with your fingers crossed and hope they have something left.
The store will undoubtedly have a ham or two on Dec. 24, but side dishes start disappearing as early as Dec. 19 or 20, so “it’s first come, first served,” said the manager of the HoneyBaked Ham at 2861 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Torrance.
Whereas everything at the store is sold a la carte, online dinners may be ordered as a package. For $72.95, for example, you can request a 9-pound HoneyBaked half ham, a 2-pound package of sweet potato soufflé and a 2-pound package of green bean casserole.
Shoppers can also buy a whole roasted turkey, old-fashioned cornbread dressing, sweet potato soufflé, turkey gravy, green bean casserole and pecan pie for $69.95.
There’s also roast of pork loin chops ($59.95), and four cornish hens stuffed with mushrooms and wild rice ($54.95).
Be sure to look at the online combos, such as The Big Feast, which includes a 7-pound HoneyBaked half ham, whole oven-roasted HoneyBaked turkey, cranberry cornbread mix, gourmet mustard, dill mayonnaise and a 2-pound wheel of baby Swiss cheese.
The Big Feast costs $143.50, including shipping.
If you prefer to purchase directly from a HoneyBaked store, turkeys (oven roasted or smoked) go for $44-$54, depending on size. A quarter ham is $21 to $35; half a ham is $46 to $80; and a whole one is $100 to $125.
Side dishes, which cost $8, feed about five people; they include scalloped and mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked beans, creamed corn and spinach soufflé.
But if you’re buying a HoneyBaked ham, don’t forget the champagne mustard ($15.95).
It’s the best.