Countdown to Turkey Day November 24, 2010 The Eve of the Event

Heather says:

Tomorrow’s the big day. Are you ready?

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.
  • If you have several recipes calling for diced onions and/or celery, go ahead and chop it all today. Cover tightly before refrigerating.
  • Do not pre-cut your potatoes and toss them in the fridge, it’s a bad idea.
    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, exposure to air makes them oxidize.
  • If you’re using your own bread for dressing, go ahead and tear / cut that up today, too.
  • Cornbread for the cornbread dressing? Make that today, too.
  • If you don’t have 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, BUT put the plates / 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. If you have young children or pets, just don’t. Somehow or another they’ll just make more work for you or create an embarrassing fur / sticky fingerprint situation.
  • If you’re playing host to friends and family, check the guest bathroom. Make sure there’s enough TP, soap, and something to dry off hands that doesn’t look like it’s 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 roast your turkey, 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 for everyone?

familyPlease 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,  that 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 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


  1. Lucy on November 25, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

  2. Danielle S. on November 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    My last minute tip is….RELAX and enjoy yourself! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. @JayMonster on November 24, 2010 at 10:08 am

    A tip I just learned (and can't figure out how I never heard this before)… If you are roasting a turkey, put icepacks on the breasts for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking. Since the breast meat does not require as long of a time as other parts of the turkey, by starting it at a lower temperature, it "finishes" at a lower temperature (160 ideally for the breast) vs the dark meat (180 degrees ideally).

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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