The mad rush to create the perfect Thanksgiving feast

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Thursday, November 24, 2022
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CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The bakery counter was bustling at Ponzio's Diner and Bakery in Cherry Hill, N.J.

"We got pumpkin pie, chocolate cake and cheese rolls," said Shana Gadarian of Syracuse, N.Y.

"They have really nice turkey-looking cupcakes and the kids really like them," said Candy Kean, who came from Center City to pick up several desserts from Ponzio's.

Turkey dinners are being packed up here, too, for people who ordered a pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

"Every department is pretty much going full tilt from Monday to probably Sunday night," said Nick Fifis, partner at Ponzio's Diner.

Ponzio's bakery received about 1,000 pie orders for this Thanksgiving, and the bakery counter will be open Thursday for anyone who needs to pick up a last-minute dessert.

And of course on Thanksgiving eve, grocery shoppers are filling up their carts with some last-minute items.

"I wanted fresh flowers and then the odds and ends," said Linda Casole of Voorhees, N.J. "I needed shallots and dill, and little seasonings and things to finish the dishes."

And for those who like a low-key Thanksgiving, Rastelli's Market Fresh in Marlton will roast a turkey for you, to the delight of hundreds of people who don't want to do it themselves.

That includes Steve Strauss of Medford.

"Much easier," he said. "Paper plates. Plastic silverware - throw it all away."

The kitchen was busy as over 500 dinners will be picked up Wednesday and Thursday.

"I have personally made 3,000 lbs of stuffing this year. We've cooked 2,000 lbs of green beans. I made almost 1,000 lbs of mac and cheese," said kitchen manager Sean Joseph.

And for any last-minute emergencies, Rastelli's is open on Thanksgiving.

"It was kind of entertaining. People are saying, 'Are you open on Thanksgiving?' We're like, 'Yes,'" said director of operations Chris Mentzer. "They said, 'Oh thank goodness, a safety net. Just in case I mess something up!'"