Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
Are you ready?
Have you been playing along with this year’s Countdown to Turkey Day 2012. What did you think? Was it thorough enough? What needs to be improved?
I keep getting requests for a Countdown to Christmas, but I look at all the various Christmas traditions and I am completely. and. totally. overwhelmed. by the mere thought of trying to figure out how to make you (general you, the specific you is a pleasant and wonderful addition to my life) happy.
Just for fun, here are some pics from last year’s pre-Turkey Day event. My pal Philip and I never got around to publishing all of the pics for this year, they are still sitting in a Dropbox folder -do you use Dropbox? They are an amazing way to share large files that won’t fit in email.
As per usual, I’ll be adding a few more recipes to the site for Christmas and next year. I also want to thank Butterball for giving me the opportunity to work with them (again!). The people running their Turkey Talkline (1-800-BUTTERBALL) are amazing and I had a wonderful time participating in their turkey training in Naperville, IL last year. Feel free to call them if you have ANY questions.
They are happy to help.
Seriously, I’d go as far as chipper.
For many families today is for baking and food prep.
Here are few last minute tips to help everything go smoothly.
Check the turkey now. Has it completely thawed?
Use the water bath method to finish defrosting the turkey.
Do not pre-cut your potatoes and toss them in the fridge, it’s a bad idea. If you must know they turn a horrid shade of dark grey.
If you want a head start on mashed potatoes, you can make them today and then bake in a covered, oven-safe dish to reheat (with lots of butter, please). Alternately, tomorrow morning, peel and dice the potatoes, then hold them in a bowl of cold water. Rinse the potatoes before cooking in salted water. The same goes for sweet potatoes and apples, exposure to air makes them oxidize. Oxidation doesn’t hurt anything, it’s just quite unattractive.
If you are pre-cooking your side dishes, don’t forget to check your Thanksgiving Day Timetable to ensure everything will be hot and ready to serve at the same time.
If you’re using your own bread for dressing, go ahead and tear / cut that up today, too.
Still looking for a traditional sage dressing? Try this apple, cranberry sage dressing. It’s wonderful. If you need a vegetarian dressing recipe, just follow that one and replace the chicken / turkey stock with vegetables stock, easy peasy.
Cornbread for the dressing? Make that today, too. Remember cornbread dressing is gluten free dressing, provided you use plain cornmeal and NOT cornmeal mix for your cornbread. Do you need a sweet cornbread recipe or a plain cornbread recipe for your dressing?
- Cornbread Dressing with Andouille Sausage – Excellent recipe
- Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Cornbread Dressing -Amazing recipe Don’t worry, you can use turkey stock if you don’t feel up to making your own shrimp stock.
If you don’t have young children or pets and you have a formal dining room vs the every day table, you can even go as far as setting the table. Put the plates and glasses on the table upside down or cover them with a large -clean!- sheet so they don’t catch any dust. Tomorrow, just before the guests arrive, flip or uncover everything. Do not pre-set the table if you have young children or pets. Somehow or another they’ll just make more work for you or create an embarrassing fur or sticky fingerprint situation.
If you’re playing host to friends and family, please check the guest bathroom. Make sure there’s enough TP, soap, and something with which to dry their hands. Please make sure that the guest towel doesn’t look like its only purpose is decorative. I can’t be the only person who worries about messing up someone’s starchy, frilly towel arranged over sea shells. Make sure the towel for hand drying is in an obvious, convenient spot. It’s better than having guests forced to wipe their hands on their pants.
If you have room, go ahead and chill any beverages that will be served.
If you choose to truss your turkey for roasting, it can be trussed today. Need a tutorial? See How to Truss a Turkey. Just don’t forget to take the turkey out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking.
Do you have any last minute tips?
Please remember even if nothing comes out right, your mom, sister, and drunk uncle Roy are driving you nuts, or if it’s just not turning out as planned, Thanksgiving is a celebration in the spirit of gratitude. The fact that we have friends and family willing to even begrudgingly come together is a sign we are truly blessed. If you know someone, perhaps a serviceman or woman far from home, set an extra place and welcome them and invite them to your table. It doesn’t matter how simple the meal, the intention is what matters.
We have two families in this life, the one we are given and the one we create; embrace them both this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from Home-Ec101.com.