Put the spatula down: Leave it to the pros this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, you may want to put down the turkey baster and leave the cooking to the professionals.

From the main course to dessert, more and more people are ordering prepared meals for the holiday. We went behind the kitchen at some of Quincy's local stores to find out why a packaged meal has become a packaged deal.

"Our turkey packages are very popular. It's simple and easy for people to do. We've got fully cooked heat-meat packages they can take home and warm up themselves. We also have the hot and ready to go on Thanksgiving morning," said Todd Curry, the kitchen manager with the Quincy Hy-Vee on Broadway.

Hy-Vee offers about seven different variety boxes that will feed the entire family, customizable to your tastes.

"Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls and pie are in our hot turkey pack," said Curry.

You could spend hours in the kitchen creating a Thanksgiving feast or spend the extra time with family and friends.

"Time and money are the two things I think work out better.Our cheapest pack is $34.95. Our hot turkey pack is $69.95. And I would imagine if you went shopping, you'd spend at least $100 to accomplish the same thing," said Curry.

Sometimes, even the cooks choose the take home box.

"I've taken many home, yes," said Curry.

If you're on the north side of town, you might want to check out JJ's Catering and Caf J, another source for pre-packaged meals.

"People can come pick them up the day before to reheat on Thanksgiving. Some people like the traditional meals with the turkey, dressing, noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, but some people like to get away from tradition and do roast beef or prime rib ," said Julie Louthan, co-owner.

Who could forget about dessert?

"Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin pie, cherry pie, pecan pie and the occasional gooseberry and mincemeat," said LeRoy Rossmiller, owner at Underbrinks Bakery.

Underbrink's staff are already in overdrive for the holiday season.The mounds of butter and icing are only getting higher as more orders come in.

"It's surprising at the end of the day on Wednesday, we'll still have a few pies left, so we have what we call a procrastinators list. We call them back and say 'hey, we still have a pie over here if you want it,'" said Rossmiller.

But don't count on it. Make it easier on everyone and put your orders in now.

Here's some helpful links as you prepare for the holiday meals:Food Network: Turkey and Stuffing recipes Souther Food: Thanksgiving Turkey, Side Dish Casseroles, Mashed Potatoes, Desserts, and More