I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Before I tackle any large meal, I make sure that I have the recipes that I want to use picked out and I either test them out to practice or I make sure I am familiar with the techniques in the recipe so I am not setting myself up for failure. I also make sure that I have all the platters and dishes that I need to serve everything on. I then set the table. For me, for some reason, I don’t feel like I am having a party unless the table is set. So a few days before, I set the table and put all the decor out. This means plates, cups, forks, serving utensils, everything. You don’t want to be running around when your family and friends are around, you want to enjoy the fun!
In order to keep everything straight, and to help out anyone who is helping me the day-of, I write out sticky notes of what goes in each platter and essentially label the platters. It helps to set the flow of things too.
For Thanksgiving, I like the turkey smack dab in the middle of the table, and then the sides and salads scattered about. I put the drinks on their own table and do the same with dessert too. Even when I’m using my parents large 16-person table, I do the same thing. It allows for a better flow of things.
Now for the good stuff. The food, read your recipes and make sure you have all the dry/canned ingredients that you need 3-4 days before the event and then the day before, I pop by a grocery store and get everything fresh that I need and start cooking.
This thanksgiving, I will be using the recipes that I listed in last weeks post, so this is my timeline that I will be using this year. I work backwards, and hopefully it will make sense to you!
Thursday, November 27
5:00 – Thanksgiving Dinner!
4:55 – toss the salad, put brussels sprouts on platter, stuffing on the table, mashed potatoes on the table, and put apple pear crisp in the oven
4:05 – make gravy and mashed potatoes and keep warm over simmering water (double boiler)
4:00 – take turkey out of the oven and let it rest, put brussels sprouts, macaroni and cheese, and stuffing in the oven
3:45 – put potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil for the mashed potatoes
2:45 – check turkey for brownness, cover with aluminum foil if needed
2:30 – clean and cut brussels sprouts and prepare for the oven, make stuffing and put in a casserole to be cooked later, and assemble pumpkin gingerbread trifle and keep cool in fridge
2:00 – put turkey in the oven, and put rolls and cranberry sauce out on the table
1:45 – preheat oven for the turkey and prepare for the oven
Wednesday, November 26
make cranberry sauce
make gingerbread cake, and pumpkin filling for trifle
make brine for the turkey and brine turkey overnight in a large cooler
cut onions, celery, and carrots for the stuffing, put in plastic bags
prepare salad, without the dressing
Macaroni and Cheese
Apple Pear Crisp
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
Also, I am going to include a few screenshots of the timeline I made for an iftar that I hosted this past Ramadan. When it’s written down, printed, and in your hands it’s easy to run around checking things off as you go.
Well there you have it guys, that’s how I do Thanksgiving dinner. You see how simple it *can* be if you break everything down into manageable pieces and time it right.
One tip with the turkey though, you should keep checking it if you don’t have a thermometer that can stay in the oven. You don’t want a dry bird. So as soon as it’s done in the thickest part of the breast and the thigh meat – making sure not to hit the bone – it’s done. I always check in a few places, you only cut into a raw turkey once in your life before you learn never to do it again!
Good luck with Thanksgiving this year everyone!!! I am super excited to be celebrating it with my family and in-laws together. I hope to even sneak in a Disney trip. I seriously love that place.