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Instant noodles equals instant dinner, even on Thanksgiving.

While economic times are tough and we know that some of you won’t be going home this Thanksgiving, we’re here for you.

Not being able to be with family this time of year is hard, but there are ways of making it a bit more tolerable. Fill your apartment, house, whatever with the smells of Thanksgiving and give your wounded college soul a little taste of home — even if you can’t be there.

Some pointers:

Turkey

So we know you’re not going to make a whole turkey for yourself and whatever roommates or friends are stuck with you in Boulder. With a big, or even small bird, you’ll end up eating turkey leftovers for weeks. We have two suggestions for you:

1. Go find some pre-cooked, thick-sliced turkey and gravy. There are a couple different brands of it and it’s pretty darn cheap. (We promise it’s not as scary as it looks. It’s not the same, but it’s pretty good.)

2. Go the rotisserie chicken route. King Soopers and Safeway both sell them. And these birds in a bag are small enough that you won’t have too many leftovers. You may think chicken is “against tradition,” but, hey, you’re in college, time to make your own traditions.

Sides

The side dishes of a Thanksgiving meal can sometimes be the most difficult to make, and to choose from. Well, we have a few different easy options for you. And most are rather inexpensive and will take no time or effort at all.

1. Stove Top stuffing — OK, even the most inept cook can make Stove Top. If you can boil water, and pour in the mix, you’re set.

2. Instant mashed potatoes — They’re truly not horrible, we promise, and so easy to make it’s ridiculous.

3. Gravy — It comes in a can or a jar, heat and pour. Done.

4. Rolls — Grab some in a tube. The only thing you can do wrong is burn them.

5. Corn — Open can, drain a bit, pour in pot, heat, add butter, salt, whatever. Done.

Dessert

Many will agree that Thanksgiving is nothing without pumpkin pie. Here’s a super easy recipe that has the Cool Whip in the actual pie. (But it’s OK to add more on top, too.)

You’ll need: 1/2 cup cold milk (any kind), 1 package vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 21/2 cups thawed Cool Whip (no difference if fat free or regular) and a ready made graham cracker pie crust.

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and pie spice together with a wire whisk for one minute. (It’ll get very thick, that’s a good thing.)

2. Whisk in canned pumpkin.

3. Stir in Cool Whip.

4. Spread into pie crust.

5. Refrigerate until set.

Voila! — a pretty darn easy, at home, college-budget, Thanksgiving meal.

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