Words of advice on Thanksgiving Eve

My social media feeds are full of photos of gorgeous pies and beautiful roasted turkeys. This is the first year in over a dozen that I haven’t made a huge meal (I even cooked a whole feast for just two of us during Covid lockdowns), instead I’m taking it easy, going to a friend’s place, and only make a couple of side dishes. The stress level is much lower, but truth be told I miss the hustle and bustle of pulling it all together (but not the housecleaning).

To everyone who is putting forth a Herculean effort of preparing a big dinner, I lift my glass for a toast. I’ll also provide you with mealtime advice from several sources:

  • It’s okay to serve some store bought items for your meal. Even Julia Child was known to serve an appetizer that required nothing more than opening a package.
  • Listen to Turkey Confidential from The Splendid Table, which features excellent tips from Francis Lam, Claire Saffitz, Rick Martínez, Maneet Chauhan, and Jesse Sparks.
  • Get out the serving utensils and pair them with your bowls and platters before you start dishing everything up (getting them together the night before is ideal).
  • Use a slow cooker to keep mashed potatoes warm so you can make them well ahead.
  • Use an insulated cooler for extra refrigeration space (or if you live in a cold area like I do, just put the stuff on your back porch which is exactly refrigerator temperature).
  • Practice good food safety for your leftovers.
  • If you discover you are out of something, consult this ingredient substitution guide (warning: it’s not actually a substitution chart).
  • Serve a truly terrible meal while softly sobbing if you want to get out of hosting dinners forevermore.

Happy Thanksgiving to our US Members!

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  • Fyretigger  on  November 23, 2022

    This is a trick of my sister-in-law; large sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing are kept warm by covering them in plastic wrap / cling film and setting them back on top of pans of hot water on the stove. In the case of the potatoes, it can even be boiling water.

  • hillsboroks  on  November 24, 2022

    For years we brined our turkey in a big turkey brining bag using Martha Stewart’s brine recipe and put the whole thing in our biggest cooler in the garage so that the refrigerator was clear for all the other necessities of a Thanksgiving meal. This year it will just be the two of us and I was delighted to find a 6 pound turkey that will be a cinch to roast.

  • anya_sf  on  November 25, 2022

    Love that last suggestion – LOL!

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