In the Spirit of Cooking, Thanks, and Giving

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As we hurtle toward the holiday season and the next big holiday looms on the horizon, many of us have begun planning menus in preparation.

For more than twenty years, my husband and I have hosted family and friends at our home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our sit-down dinner crowd ranges between eight and fourteen people. One Christmas, we hosted an open house with more than forty people throughout the day and evening. Rounds of food were served from my modest kitchen, with one standard-sized stove, two microwave ovens (one borrowed from a friend), and a toaster oven.

No matter the number of guests attending, the turkey still occupies my conventional oven for more than five hours. I’ve never considered the microwave oven suitable for cooking, and it’s even questionable for reheating stuffing because it becomes rubbery. I own a high-end toaster oven, which is good for heating some appetizers. When I tried using it for cooking the appetizers, the open coils burned the outside before the food was cooked throughout. The operative word there is “toaster.”

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner at the Davis house this year will be more efficient with a powerhouse countertop oven that I’ve been using for two months. I didn’t anticipate using my Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop oven three or more times a week. The pan size is forty percent larger than a quarter-sized sheet pan and fits two pans at the same time. The 485 degrees Fahrenheit superheated steam keeps food moist and browns it at the same time. One of the coolest features is that you don’t have to preheat the oven or defrost food. Check out my review here. 

As I plan the menu and timing of dishes, I know I will be cooking the stuffing, roasted vegetables, corn soufflé, and an apple crisp in the Superheated Steam Countertop oven, as the turkey roasts in the conventional oven.

The Spirit of Giving

According to a 2017 survey by market research group Mintel, nearly one-quarter of Americans buy themselves gifts during the holidays. Some extra oven space to cook for your loved ones provides an easy justification.

Peter Weedfald, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Sharp Home Appliances, is more altruistic when it comes to holiday giving. One of the charities Weedfald personally supports is Westport, Conn. based Al’s Angels.

Nearly twenty-four years ago, Al DiGuido founded Al’s Angels and committed to doing all that he could with as many friends, family, and strangers as possible to help children battle cancer, rare blood diseases, and severe financial hardship.

“This organization is absolutely incredible,” says Weedfald. “They have a holiday toy drive, a Thanksgiving meal assembly, and toy wrapping events for the holidays.” In 2017, through forty-five volunteer toy drives, Al's Angels provided toys and gifts to more than 15,000 children. This year, Al's Angels will assemble, load, and deliver approximately 1,600 Thanksgiving meal bins for children and families battling cancer, rare blood diseases, and severe financial hardship in the tri-state area.

Weedfald’s contributions are often in cash, but during a recent email exchange with DiGuido, Weedfald said out of the blue, “’You know what, I'll send you one [Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven], and I'm going to pay for it.’ I told him specifically I was going to pay for it because sometimes people assume because I work for Sharp, just grab one out of the stock and send it.”

The Perfect Gift

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With more than half of all Americans over the age of fifty, many of us seek “the gift” for our adult kids or parents.

For as long as I can remember, two or three times a week my mother-in-law cooked two baked potatoes in her large, conventional oven. She preheated the oven, which would heat up her small house, then cooked the potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. For under $400, I recommend that “the Davis kids” buy her a Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven for Christmas. It couldn’t be easier to use, and she’ll definitely appreciate the energy savings, not to mention she can get rid of her old toaster oven.

Personal time and energy savings are two top concerns among Millennials. In addition to that, rents are high and apartment spaces are smaller. Need a great idea for the Millennial on your holiday gift-giving list? Take a look at my intro article and review of the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven. You’ll thank me!

Happy cooking and gifting!

Check out this video for some Thanksgiving cooking inspiration.

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