Smart Tips to Help You Prepare for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most complicated meals to make. With the right tips and pointers, make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner stress-free. Follow the list below and get most of the work done ahead of time, leaving little to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Sort out your recipes

Review the list of ingredients for your Thanksgiving recipes and revise anything that is missing. Record the quantity of ingredients that you need, you don’t want to be running out to the store in the middle of preparing a meal. If you are making any new recipes, test them in advance to minimize possible blunders on the big day. If you’re worried you might misplace your recipes, print all of them out, place them in a binder or folder and label appropriately. This will make cooking easier and more organized.

Prepare your bird

Kick start the turkey preparation process. Depending on how you intend to prepare your bird, you can tackle a few tasks ahead of time.
Turkey 101
• Remove the heart, neck, liver and gizzard (inside the turkey) before you cook it.
• Cover the turkey with foil, to keep the bird moist.
• Cook the stuffing separately to avoid any health hazards.
Thawing Out
Your bird will take a long time to thaw out. The amount of time it will take depends on the method you decide to use.
• If you immerse a frozen bird in water, it will take 30 minutes for each pound.
• If you use the refrigerator, it will take a day for every five pounds.
• If you intend to brine your bird, you need to defrost it a day sooner.

Make the gravy

You can make gravy without having to roast the turkey first. Roast a few pieces of the turkey to get drippings and add them to the gravy last minute.

Freeze your mashed potatoes

Although potatoes may not freeze well, mashed potatoes are the opposite. Prepare the mashed potatoes as you usually do, but make sure to add more butter and cream to make them freezer friendly. Defrost your mashed potatoes a day or two before Thanksgiving. Reheat the potatoes in a microwave, slow cooker, oven or stove. If you find the reheated version a little watery, add a few drops of cream cheese or sour cream to remedy the problem.

Prepare the cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is one thing that some people tend to forget. Making it now could save you a lot of trouble. You can keep the sauce in the fridge or freeze it until Thanksgiving.

Make the pie

If you’re making fruit-filled pies this holiday, you can start now. Make the entire pie, freeze it in a pie dish and bake before Thanksgiving. It may not be possible to make the whole pie now if you are making custard-based dessert, but you can still prepare the crust.

Make the dinner rolls

Homemade dinner rolls are always a great addition to a Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily, you can also make them ahead of time. There are two ways to handle this: You can bake the rolls to completion, freeze and reheat them when needed. Alternatively, you can freeze unbaked rolls and bake them on Thanksgiving Day.

Bake the bread and toast the nuts for the stuffing

If you stuff your turkey with special bread or cornbread, now is a great time to prepare it and stash it in the freezer. You can toast the nuts and put them in the fridge or freezer as well. You can make homemade stock and store the freezer weeks before Thanksgiving.

Ensure your cookware and kitchen tools are ready

Making sure all of your cookware and kitchen tools are ready before the big day arrives is essential. Do you have enough pie dishes? Do you need a roasting pan? Now is the perfect time to figure out what is missing.

Create a Thanksgiving strategy

Your Thanksgiving dinner preparations will always be unique depending on the size of the turkey or the number of dishes you decide to cook. The turkey may cook slower or faster than last time. Each dish has its unique requirements, which may overlap with the others.

For example, you may find that some things have to go into the oven at nearly the same time, and yet they require different temperatures to cook. Attempting to handle such challenges as they come may lead to culinary casualties. Planning is crucial if you want to prepare everything on time.

Consider creating a Thanksgiving prep list, it will lay out all the tasks you need to do and the specific times in which you will do them. Knowing what you should do and when you should do it will avoid last-minute rushes and ensure that you complete everything on time.

Preparing for Thanksgiving is not an easy task. You may think that you have plenty of time to get ready, but putting off preparations until it’s too late will not do you any good. If you start preparing early, you can save yourself a lot of hassle on Thanksgiving Day. Start preparing now and make turkey day a stress-free holiday.

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