Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Timetable and countdown for T-Day.

By now your turkey should be in the fridge and thawing.  If not, there's always the cold water bath in the kitchen sink.  Just make sure you scrub that sink first before doing the thaw.  I remember one year having to do a last minute thaw, and it wasn't fun. 
I also like decorating the table.  Here is from one of our past T-Day celebrations.
I like to do as much prep work beforehand as I can.  Although I'm limited in fridge space, but I can make do.
Once I get the turkey out of the fridge, it does clear a lot of space on the 'day'.

This is my loose, and subject to change, schedule for the week.  

Tuesday:- Make a list of all the dishes you're preparing and check the pantry to make sure you have it all.   Make a last minute grocery list.   Go to the store.   Pull out all the serving dishes and make sure they're clean (especially if you only use them once a year and someone else did the dishes, you don't get any surprises this way.  Make Boozy Cranberry Sauce .

Wednesday: -    If you have room in your fridge, and you're making the potatoes, yams, or other baked veggies, make them the day before.   You can always reheat yams or sweet potato casseroles or mashed potatoes.  If you're baking pies, do them the day before.   You can also make my Vegetarian Stuffing the day before, it tastes so good the next day, in fact it tastes better the next day.

Or if you insist on making the stuffing on Thursday, chop the celery, onions, carrots and put them in baggies in the fridge overnight.   Toast the bread cubes for the stuffing, it'll keep overnight just fine.   
Thursday:  Check the list you made and assign a time value to everything you do.  Like this;
Depending on when you plan to serve the meal, you may want to modify it a little .   I usually plan on 20 minutes a pound for the turkey, with a fudge factor of 30 - 45 minutes.     A twenty pound turkey takes about 4-5 hours, 
7 am   Take Turkey out of fridge - I like to let it sit out at least an hour before putting it in the oven.
7:30    Take prepared veggies for stuffing out of fridge.
8 am    Have a cup of coffee, go over lists 
8:30    Peel and cook potatoes, mash them, stick them in a crock pot or the fridge so you can reheat them later on.  I use my Crock pots, a lot. 
9:00  Make stuffing while potatoes are cooking. 
Put the turkey in the oven at any time, so it will be ready and have time to rest before carving and eating time.   You know when you've got the meal planned for.
If you're like me and didn't have fridge space, this is when you go into hyper mode and get the rest of the veggies prepared.  

12 noon   Set table, clean up disaster area, AKA kitchen.  And don't forget to decorate the table. 
another idea Fresh look Thanksgiving centerpiece
or how about this,

2 pm  Nap or lay down for 20 minutes, breathe, read a book, relax.  Trust me on this, take at least that amount of time for yourself.  It really helps.

3 pm  Shower and change, put a large apron on, to protect your clothing.   Check Turkey temp and PANIC cause the temp is too low, then realize you didn't put the thermometer in far enough.  Push it a little further in, until it is in the thickest part of the joint between the thigh and drumstick.   If the turkey is browning too fast, put an aluminum tent over it.  Helps it to cook just a tad faster as well.  Watch that little pop up timer too.   And don't panic if the turkey is done before you're quite ready.  Just tent it with some aluminum foil, and put it back into the oven, after you've turned the oven off.  The bird will stay warm.
3:30 pm - Mix the rolls up, and form them into little balls, set aside to rest and proof. 

4:30 pm.  Take turkey out of oven, make the gravy, brown the stuffing, turn the oven up to 400 degrees to bake the rolls you made earlier, and let that poor bird rest for at least 20 minutes while you get all the last minute stuff together.    Carve, serve and pour yourself a large glass of wine cause you made it, and the food's all done on time and your guests are hungry and ready to eat. 

5:00  Sit down and eat and enjoy yourself and don't forget that pat on the back, you survived another Thanksgiving countdown.   And don't forget the wine.   Go ahead, pour yourself another glass, you deserve it. 
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Your Timetable and Countdown for T-Day looks great with very good information! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and don't forget to bring your Cookie Recipes to the Holiday Cookie Exchange Link Party!
    Miz Helen


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