What to Prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner at Home
Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Don’t let the holiday stress get to you! Here are preparations you can do days ahead so you only have a few things to worry about when November 22 arrives:
- Check your kitchenware. Spell holiday disaster: your stove or oven not working on Thanksgiving! To get that dreadful thought out of the way, check your kitchen equipment. Do you have enough tools to make the food you’re planning to serve? Is your oven working? You need a professional to get it examined. With your kitchenware working at its best, you’re always ready for a feast!
- Make and freeze the sauces. You’re probably thinking this isn’t the way you do things at home. But, it’s actually quite practical considering you’re the only one preparing dinner. Making your sauces, whether it’s gravy or cranberry sauce, days before can save you more time during Thanksgiving. Don’t slave away in the kitchen this holiday!
- Make and freeze the mashed potato. Freezing potatoes isn’t a great idea, but the freezing MASHED potato is. Make your go-to mashed potato recipe ahead of time. Put it in a bowl, wrap it with cling wrap, freeze, and reheat it on the night of Thanksgiving. The cling wrap prevents crystallization.
- Make the pie crust. If you’re planning to have pie, make the crust ahead. Wrap it in cling wrap and freeze. Again, it’ll save you more time so you can spend it with your guests. After all, it’s what the holiday is all about, right?
- Buy the turkey. Avoid the holiday rush and buy the turkey days before Thanksgiving. You can even choose the best one with all the turkey choices you have. Now that you’ve done some preparations, it’s time to do the actual cooking. On Thanksgiving, you’ll have less time in the kitchen and more time mingling with your guests. Here are a few of the things you need to do on the day:
- Make the pie. Because you made the pie crust ahead, you can proceed to make the filling. Thaw your crust and line it in your trusty pie pan. Pour the filling and bake.
- Thaw the turkey (3 ways). Thaw your turkey hours before. You can thaw it in three ways.
- You can thaw it in the fridge. Allow approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 10-pound turkey will take about 2 days to thaw completely.
- If that’s too slow for you, you can use cold water. Allow approximately 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. A 10-pounder will take about 5 hours to thaw completely.
- If that isn’t fast enough for you, you can use your microwave oven. Read the user manual for your oven to get instructions for thawing a frozen turkey. Times and power settings will vary from model to model. In general, it could take an hour or more on the defrost setting, depending on the size of the turkey.
And there you have it! These are just some of the things that you can prepare before Thanksgiving comes. Do you have tips you want to share? Let us know how your Thanksgiving went. Comment below!