Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Days before Thanksgiving. What's the plan?

First things first, the bird needs a few days to thaw, unless you bought one "fresh," or chased the sucker around the back yard with a hatchet yourself. In the latter, case, I can't instruct you. I still have bad flashbacks from when my family butchered our own chickens [shudder].

Seriously, how do you manage the days ahead? I make a list.

Weekend/Days Before:
Clean House
Finalize Menu, consider number of burners, oven, oven temp. when planning, and time
Make Shopping List
Set Table (if you don't need it before then)
Make applesauce and freeze
Clean out fridge to make space

2-3 Days Before:
Shopping, Use List!

One Day Before:
Thaw applesauce
Bake Pies
Prep All Veggies for Next Day (clean, chop, measure, bag and store!)
Brine turkey if needed
Make any dressings for salad
You can make the gratin ahead and some veggie dishes cover and store in baking dish (fridge), allow time to come to room temp before baking next day! Usually, you can make ahead stuffings and casserole-type dishes, rolls/bread, pies, etc.
Run the dishwasher and empty so it is ready
Review your recipes for baking times and temp. Schedule your oven time.
Check for necessary equipment like a meat thermometer

Day Of:
Review your timing plan over cup of strong coffee
Ready, Set, Go!
Delegate, baby, delegate!
Serve, enjoy!

Day After:
Rest!

4 comments:

Paul said...

I appreciate your thoroughness in preparation for the big day. Reminds me of my mother. She was focused on getting those things done.

Expatriate Chef said...

Thanks, I still have to list the recipes and schedule all the steps by order of the prep. Crazy, but it helps. Have a good Thanksgiving! We don't agree on all points, but I do like that you drop by and discuss different views. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Lists are the only way I can do any big event. We are invited to my daughter's in-laws where the plan is for every thing to be local (if possible) and natural. Since we garden, we are bringing both kinds of potatoes and apple sauce. This is the first time I haven't cooked the whole thing in years.
Pam

Expatriate Chef said...

It's hard to give up cooking the event! We're doing mostly local as well, at least every major ingredient on the table will be including the turkey. I've had to revise the menu a couple times to allow for what is available. Still, it's a joy to do, even if a lot of work. Hope you have a good holiday!