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Local P.O.s list holiday meal guideline for troops

The U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box can hold all the ingredients for an entire Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday turkey dinner. The meal is easy and gives that "flavor of home" that so many away for the holidays yearn for.

Care packages and reminders of home are a big morale boost for military service members. Be sure to package and cushion the items securely within the box. The Postal Service supports the troops, and customers save $2 on Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Boxes addressed to APO/FPO/DPO addresses. For tips on packing, mailing restrictions, proper addressing to military installations and support services for military families, go to http://www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm.

All ingredients listed below represent canned or dried food items:

1 box of dried whipped topping mix

1 box of no-bake pumpkin pie dessert

1 9-inch tin pie pan

1 box of dried stuffing mix

1 package of instant mashed potatoes

1 quart boxed milk

1 16 oz. can candied yams

1 12 oz. jar marshmallow topping

1 14 oz. can of vegetables

1 16 oz. can of cranberry sauce

1 package cornbread mix

1 package dried, turkey gravy

1 package butter-flavored shortening

1 canned turkey or chicken (can be found at many specialty food stores)

Total approximate cost - $25

Turkey or Chicken - Heat to desired temperature. Season to taste. Pumpkin pie - Follow directions on box for crust and filling. If no butter is available, substitute butter-flavored shortening provided. Press crust mix into provided tin pie pan. Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate.

Whipped topping - Follow directions on box. Add vanilla (optional) for flavor. Refrigerate.

Cranberry sauce - Open can, place on plate, and refrigerate.

Cornbread - Follow directions on box, adding water to mix. Bake according to directions for 15-20 minutes.

Candied yams - Open can. Heat according to directions. Pour marshmallow topping to taste.

Stuffing - Mix with water and cook according to packaging directions. If no butter is available, substitute butter-flavored shortening provided.

Mashed Potatoes - Mix with boiling water and mix according to packaging directions

Gravy - Mix with boiling water and stir. Vegetable - Open can and heat until hot.

Vegetable - Open can and heat until hot.

The U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box can hold all the ingredients for an entire holiday turkey dinner.

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