Of course I know better than to say I know more about cooking Thanksgiving than you do. But I AM just sayin’ that I’ve cooked probably 80 holiday meals in the last forty or so years, if you add up all the Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters then subtract the times we ate at Beaven’s parents' house. For some reason I’ve always been the holiday meal sponsor but I’m not complaining because I absolutely love it. It must appeal to both my love of control and food. By cooking the meal I get both wishes.
Here is how I go about the big meal:
- Start at the finish: get out all the serving and warming dishes first. Put post-it notes to say what will go inside them. Then work backwards:
- This is where everyone will sit
- This is where the food will sit while we eat
- This is what I will keep it warm in,
- This is what I will cook it in…do I have enough burners or room in the oven?
- what do I need to buy?.. make a grocery list
The turkey is the bossiest food you can invite to the dinner. It takes up the entire oven. Plan on this and cook around it. But: you can also cover the turkey in foil and hold it an hour. This gives you just enough time to cook the dressing and roasted vegetables.
Plan to put the rolls into the oven about the time you start calling everyone to the table. It will take 10 minutes to get everyone seated. Say the blessing and by the time you say “amen” the rolls will be ready.
- Those big turkey roasting pans can be used to keep the dressing warm.
- Mashed potatoes will stay perfect in a slow cooker set on low.
- Put the gravy in a coffee carafe. It keeps it warm and you can even pour from it.
- Buy a new can of baking powder and sage every November. You probably haven’t used any since last year at this time and it’s out of date.
It’s too hot in November but by Christmastime you will be able to use the outside BBQ grill as an alternative refrigerator. Remember to keep the lid on it or critters will eat your stuff.
I’ve got to go. I let my day get away from me and the grands are about to descend and I realize I have no food in the house for any of the other days besides Thursday.
I have an index on the blog for Thanksgiving food, including the turkey. You’re on your own.
PS- be very careful what you put down the disposer. It’s not used to potato peels or celery strings-- that sucker will stop up in a heartbeat and all the plumbers are out at their deer lease.