Wednesday, November 25, 2009

12 Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving

1. Don't bother with an elaborate first course. It will only fill your guests up and leave them with less room for the mail event!

2. Cook your stuffing outside the turkey. This will not only give you deliciously crispy stuffing but will help you avoid spoilage. If you cook your stuffing in the turkey then you MUST remove it from the turkey cavity before refrigerating leftovers because stuffing left in the turkey can spoil.

3. If you are serving a lot of different dishes to a lot of people, create a menu that can be served room temperature.
The children at the table will thank you (as will the adults who won't spend their entire meal blowing on their children's food!)

To clear up space in your oven: All mashed casseroles that contain brown sugar and margarine can be heated up in advance and left on top of the stove for at least 30 minutes because they will retain their heat.

Get oven recipes that take longer done first so that then you can prepare recipes that require the stove top at the last possible minute.

If you are planning to make 2 Turkeys: Make 1 turkey on Wednesday and 1 on Thursday morning to leave oven space for other cooking (If you have a single oven, you may want to start Tuesday night or very early on Wednesday morning!)

7. If you make your turkey in advance, leave it whole (unsliced) and wrapped in the refrigerator to help it retain moisture and remove from fridge as early as possible before your meal and allow it to come to room temp.

8. Make sure that you know in advance if you have any nut-allergic guests (ditto with other allergies such as wheat and soy) and the severity of their allergy. You may want to leave the nuts off of some of your recipes such as Pear Pie, Sweet Potato Casserole or Brussels Sprouts--they will be different, but just as delicious!

9. Begin your meal at the traditionally early time (somewhere between 4:30 and 5). Any children or older adult guests will start to misbehave or nod off if you start much later.

10. Many pies, cookies and even cranberry sauce can be made in advance and frozen.

11. Pie doough can be prepared and put in the fridge 2-3 days in advance.

12.Try to relax and enjoy your family and friends- in the end that’s all that matters!

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