It’s that time of year again family and friends – It is time to begin your Thanksgiving Dinner planning! The best and most important advice we can give you is to write down everything you need to do and then prioritize. All it takes to pull off the hassle free dinner is some advance planning.
Year after year on the 4th Thursday of November our families sit down with family and friends for a celebration of the love of family and friends, a joyful reflection on the many reasons we have to be grateful and of course to enjoy a homemade turkey dinner, which armed with our Helpful Turkey Day Tips, you’ll come out looking like a pro on Thanksgiving Day.
Plan and work ahead
Many of the Holiday favorites can be made a day or two in advance without suffering. Take advantage of your freezer space. The more items you can prepare in advance the easier the day will be. You can even set the table a few days ahead too! The less things to worry about that day the better!
Devise a schedule whether you are serving a few or a large group, the day will run more smoothly and seamlessly if you stick to a timeline. Write down what time each item needs to go into the oven, onto the stove or be taken out the fridge.
Stay on top of your headcount, if possible!
Your brother in law was supposed to bring his girlfriend but now they are broken up. Your cousins were not going to fly in for the weekend but now they are. Thanksgiving guest counts can change quicker than you can eat a helping of green bean casserole, and don’t forget it’s better to have extra (not too much) than not enough!
Don’t go overboard, Keep it Simple
You don’t need 10 different cornbread’s, one will suffice. Making 6 different vegetables maybe cut that number in half. Decide your Menu carefully, keeping in mind your guests eating habits. Try new more challenging recipes if you are up for it but nothing wrong with going for the easy recipes.
It’s O.K. to sit back and pour yourself a glass of wine or enjoy the big game with your guests. Taking a break will help you feel refreshed and be that much better of a hostess! Remember just because you are hosting doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too!
We’ve also got some alternatives for some common kitchen troubles on Thanksgiving Day:
No Roasting Rack? Create a Bed of Veggies
If you find yourself with a turkey to roast and no rack, chop up some onions, celery and carrots into large chunks. Not only will they elevate the bird and serve as a makeshift roasting rack, they’ll also add some extra flavor to the drippings from which you’ll make the gravy.
Running Out of Fridge Space? Coolers For Extra Refrigeration
With all those dishes on the go — to say nothing of the beer and wine that needs cooling — Thanksgiving will jam-pack even the largest refrigerator. With that in mind, bring those summertime coolers out of storage and into the kitchen so they can do double duty in the fall as extra storage space for items that need refrigeration.
Mashed Potatoes Not Fluffy Enough? Add Baking Powder
If those mashed potatoes aren’t coming out as light and fluffy as you’d hoped, add a pinch of baking powder to the spuds — it reacts with the heat of the potatoes to form tiny air pockets that will add that extra-special fluffiness.
No Cheesecloth? Wrap the Turkey in Bacon
One tried-and-true method to ensuring moist turkey breasts is to soak a cheesecloth in melted butter and lay it over the breasts while cooking. An even more effective — and perhaps even tastier — alternative is to wrap the breasts in bacon, lattice-style, which offers the added bonus of infusing the delicious taste of bacon into the turkey.
Turkey Trouble? Slow-Roast the Turkey Overnight
In order to free up time on the big day, why not try getting the turkey into the oven on the day before Thanksgiving and slow-roasting it while you sleep? In fact, you can start roasting as far ahead as 48 hours (depending on size), at a low temp of 170F°. There’s less than 15 minutes of labor involved in the entire process, promising a tender, juicy bird at the finish line.
We hope all or even some of our tips are helpful in your preparation for Thanksgiving Day!