November 19, 2008


Tips for a Turkey Day with minimal trauma (JOHN KESSLER, 11/13/08, Cox News Service)

1. Make your menu: Think about every single item -- from celery sticks to tea -- that you want to serve and write them down on one page.

2. Turn your menu into a shopping list: Try to buy all the nonperishable items as soon as you can.

3. Turn your menu into three to-do lists: Some of the cooking you can do a week or more in advance, some a couple of days before Thanksgiving and some on the day itself.

In advance: Make pie crust dough, make and freeze stock.

A day or two before: Peel and cut potatoes and hold them in a bowl of water in the fridge, put out your bread or corn bread to get stale for stuffing, make bread dough, trim beans, make cranberry sauce, make pie filling, dice celery and onions for stuffing.

Thanksgiving Day: Boil and mash the potatoes, bake the pies, bake the bread, assemble the stuffing and cook that bird.

4. Do your turkey math: It goes like this ... 20 minutes per pound for a stuffed bird, 15 minutes per pound for an unstuffed one. So if you have dual ovens and guests coming at 6 p.m., no problem. You'll put your 16-pound bird in to roast just past noon. If you only have a single oven for baking pies and casseroles, then you'll need to adjust your timing. But figure this piece out early, and you won't panic.

5. Elect a logistics czar: The, ahem, less culinarily minded household member should figure out table arrangements, chairs and place settings.

Al Gore is available, but you'll need more pies...

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 19, 2008 6:14 AM
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