Post # 1
I’m getting ready to host a “small” thanksgiving dinner. Here is how I am getting ready:
Making a list on a wipe board of how long each things go in the oven and at what temp (to coordinate cooking schedule).
Clearing out the dishwasher to all plates are ready to go right in after dinner without having to run a load first!
Possibly making a dessert or two the night before.
Sipping cranberry bellini’s while cooking with my friend!
Any other tips from the hive?
Post # 3
Soup and stuffing/dressing can be made a week in advance and frozen (just remember to put ’em in the fridge to start thawing on Wednesday morning!).
Actually, if ANYTHING on your menu can be made in advance and re-heated (without sacrificing taste and/or texture), I recommend doing so. It really does make Thanksgiving a lot easier. Especially if you have a temperamental oven.
Setting the table a day or two early can’t hurt, either.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2010 - Claxton Farm
Don’t make mashed potatoes in the food processor! This was my first major Turkey-day goof.
Post # 5
Delegation!! I’m delegatin’ like a mofo!
Post # 6
Post # 7
We hosted Thanksgiving for both of our families (11 people) last year without any help so we *somehow* figured it all out. The wipe board idea with a list of when to put things in/take them out is a great start. Remember that the turkey takes up a ton of room in the oven and it cooks at a different temp than other things so if you can make something early do it! Plus, a lot of leftovers taste even better the next day.
We’ll be making the Baked Mac’n’Cheese & Green Bean Casserole the night before and warming them up in the oven for a few minutes after the turkey is out (while we’re letting the juices set in) – pies can be prepared early too!
Good luck, just remember to let people bring food if they offer – it’ll save you a lot of headaches 🙂
Post # 8
I made gravy today and I plan on making two pies the day before. The recipe for the gravy I made today is here:
I also am going to make a dressing that is cooked in a crockpot to free up the oven for other things. That recipe is here:
I’m cooking the turkey in an electric turkey roaster and then I will transfer it to the oven to get the skin more well done for the last 45 min. This will also free up the oven for other things.
You can also prep the potatoes the day before. Good luck! Have fun!
Post # 9
I like to make snacky items (like cranberry bread and veggie/fruit trays) and dessert a couple days before so I have more time on Thanksgiving. The night before, I brine my trukey, make mashed potatoes, and cut up all the veggies I’ll need for the next day (you can keep chopped onions, celery, carrots, etc… in ziploc baggies so that preparation the next day is easier).
I also like to delegate setting the table. That’s one task that almost anyone can do, so don’t feel bad about asking for help!
Post # 10
Great tips everyone!
@GaBGal: How to you make a cranberry bellini? Those sound devine!
Post # 11
Turkey cooking bags! I think Reyolds makes them. You find them in the aisle where foil and plastic wraps are sold. You just lay the bag in the pan, toss the turkey in the bag, make a few slits on top and pop it in the oven! I tried it last Thanksgiving after a friend raved about using one and man it made life easier! The turkey was moist and clean-up was so much easier!
Post # 12
I am making a ton of stuff the night before and beginning to thaw my turkey tomorrow evening and then marinate it tomorrow night through wednesday… I will pop it in the oven early Wednesday since I have to work in the evening… I will also make a bunch of the other stuff Wednesday night so that all I have to do is warm it up when we’re ready to eat…
Post # 13
@AnnieAAA – We just mix champagne (prosecco is good too) with cranberry cocktail. I either through a splash of cinnamon or fruit nectar in it too. They just sound fancy hehe
Post # 14
I like your wipe board idea – way to keep everything very organized. One quick tip I am using Enjoy Bordeaux’s Pair My Meal tool to pair wines with my appetizers and of course the main course. They have a lot of options under $25 which is nice.
Post # 15
You already have a ton of great ideas, but I’ll just reiterate that you should do as much cooking ahead of time as possible. I always make my pies, cornbread and casseroles the day before. I specifically scout out recipes that say they can be prepared ahead of time. It makes Thanksgiving day so much easier and more calm. It also allows my husband and I to relax in the morning, read the paper, have some breakfast and watch the parade.
Post # 16
If you have a small oven, do a check to make sure all your dishes will fit in it at once. If you need to fit more you can get a triple wire rack from Bed Bath and Beyond that lets you stack casseroles 3 high.
Also if you’re brining your turkey you can get a plastic 5-gallon contractor’s pail at home depot and it will fit inside perfectly. If you are in a cold climate (below 30 degrees) you can snap the lid on it and set it outside overnight to brine so it is out of your fridge. The lids are super hard to get off so no animals will be able to get in!