ONE MORE BITE
Don't Panic, It's Just Thanksgiving
If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, take a deep breath. It’s not as bad as it might seem. You don’t have to treat it as “Babette’s Feast” meets “Mission Impossible.” With a few easy guidelines you can cook, entertain and yes, enjoy the holiday, too!
First and foremost, now is the time to plan your menu. In planning, check out our Thanksgiving Menu and decide which prepared items and which fresh items you need to order.
Plan a timeline. Decide what menu items can be prepared ahead of time. Most desserts and vegetable casseroles can be made weeks ahead and frozen. Give yourself time and space to thaw these items in the fridge at least 24 hours before your dinner. Also, if using a frozen turkey, allow 5 hours per pound of thawing time. Note that a 15-pound turkey will take three days to thaw in the refrigerator.
Organize your space. This means plan where your guests will eat, whether you are planning a sit-down dinner or a separate buffet table. Also, organize your refrigerator and your oven. Do you have enough room in the fridge for all of your dishes and the turkey? Do you have enough room in your oven to reheat these dishes, or will you need to use the microwave and stovetop?
Do your shopping at least five days ahead. Get all of your ingredients for cooking in the house ready for preparation so you don’t have to deal with crowds and long lines at the registers with the last-minute shoppers.
Set your table three days ahead of time. Set out and label your serving platters and utensils, so you know exactly what food goes where.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Most guests are grateful that you’re hosting the holiday. They will probably be all too happy to prepare an appetizer, side dish or dessert. Go a step further and ask someone to carve the turkey. This will enable you to get the side dishes out on the table.
With these steps, a few organizational skills and Eddie’s chefs, you will be able to have one amazing and delicious Thanksgiving.