Hopefully you have today off from work and all your shopping is done.
If not, don’t panic.
Tip number one is to reset expectations. If you’re having family over, remember that they’re family and they really don’t care how the house looks. They’re there to see you. So just make sure that you have space to hang up coats, ensure that the bathroom they’re to use is clean, and vacuum the areas where your guests will be hanging out. Place clutter in a box or in shopping bags and move them to a spare room.
Tip number two is make sure your turkey is fully thawed. If it’s not, that’s ok. You can thaw it out this evening, and then keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roast, barbecue, or deep fry the bird.
USA Today suggests that you could even cook a turkey from the frozen state, and that it might turn out better because the frozen water in the breast slows the cooking, thus having the legs and breast meat done at the same time.
Just make sure you get the neck and bag of giblets out of the center cavity before you place it in the 325F oven.
Tip number three is to look for shortcuts. AllRecipes recommends some store-bought short-cuts for Thanksgiving:
- Pies: hit the local bakery or grocery store for some pumpkin, apple, or berry pies. Add homemade touches by serving with real whipped cream and a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
- Dinner rolls: whether they are frozen or fresh from a bakery, you can still get that “right from the oven” effect by wrapping them in foil and warming them at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, while you’re baking the stuffing.
- Easy appetizers: put out some fresh veggies, chips, or crackers with a delicious dip.
If you still haven’t shopped, try to get out this evening. The stores will tend to be packed until around 7pm. And tip number four is to have a list. Start now and then add to it as the day goes by. That way, you won’t have to run to the market tomorrow morning.
Tip number five is to find out if your store is open in the morning just in case you forgot something.
Tip number six is to consider using paper plates and plastic silverware to make cleaning up easier. If you do, purchase them today, and then set the table tonight if you can. It will be one less thing you have to do tomorrow.
Tip number seven is to make the stuffing or dressing today so it’s cooled down for when you stuff the bird, if you choose to stuff the bird. The turkey will cook faster if it’s not stuffed, but there are those people who love the stuffing with all the bird flavor baked into it.
Tip number eight is to prepare the potatoes today. If you do peel and cut up the potatoes, place them in a container with water. Then rinse them off right before you cook them. Your kitchen will stay cleaner if you don’t have peels all over the place.
Are you having a lot of people over to your place for Thanksgiving?