Monday, November 23, 2015
Hi Peachies! Happy Thanksgiving week. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year because my son is off school all week, my husband only has a three day work week and we get to spend a lot of time together in the kitchen. Growing up one of the things I loved about the holidays was spending so much time in the kitchen with my Mom. We still do that but last Thanksgiving my husband (my fiancee at the time) & I decided to make an entire meal for his family. His parents weren't able to spend all that time in the kitchen standing and cooking and they weren't going to have Thanksgiving. We were just going to bring them leftovers from my family get together but my heart couldn't stand the thought of that so I came up with the brilliant idea to cook an entire meal for them. It was a lot of hard work, three days worth, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was worth it so that they could have a Thanksgiving worth remembering and not just sitting at home, alone, waiting on us to bring them some leftovers. Apparently last year went so well that we're getting to cook the Thanksgiving meal for them again this year & I can't tell you how much I love this new tradition we've started. And it's a double win because we're sharing some of it with my family, too. It means so much to be able to take care of the people who have raised us and taken care of us, and our son, all these years. Holidays should be stress free and more about spending time together and that's exactly how we try to make them for our parents. For us, it's fun just to be spending the time together and creating memories and laughter of our own.
To make Thanksgiving less stressful for us I have a few tips on prepping ahead of time.
Make a meal plan list
Check for all ingredients
Make a grocery list
Take list to store
(nothing irritates me more than having my kitchen in disarray, food everywhere, and finding out you need more eggs).
Since we transport all the food from our house to my in-law's we had an incident with the sweet potato casserole.
The marshmallows stuck to foil covering them and when we got there the marshmallows pulled off with the foil meaning
I needed more marshmallows. I didn't have them with me though so my hubby had to run out to go get me more marshmallows.
Then the same thing on Christmas Day except my Dad and hubby were deep frying the turkey and realized, as the turkey went in, that they didn't have enough oil so away they went on Christmas Day in search of more peanut oil. It took hours and many stores later but they finally found some.
Moral of these stories, don't be like us. Be prepared.
If your turkey is frozen, start at least three days before defrosting it
Two days in advance
Season bird and leave un covered in fridge
Cook your cornbread for dressing
The day before
Cook all casseroles
Pull turkey out 1 hr before roasting so it reaches room temp
Cut up veggies such as potatoes (for mashed potatoes)they can be placed in a bowl of water in the fridge over
night to prevent them from browning. Same for squash, carrots, etc
Start cooking your collards and dry beans. These tend to take the longest
Cook your turkey the night before because you'll be less stressed and rushed
The Morning Of
All that's left to do is warm up all your casseroles, beans, collards, and turkey
Make mashed potatoes, creamed corn, sauteed green beans, sauteed squash if you are because those things are not good warmed up
Biscuits, rolls, any bread is best if made on this day, too
Here are some more tips that might help you out if you're still stuck. I learned a few things from this, too.
These are Chef Michael Symon's tips straight off his Facebook page:
my turkey day 101 #symontday
1-season bird the night before and leave uncovered in fridge
2-get all veg chopped and diced night before & make turkey stock w/ wings and necks
3-set any casseroles & dressings the night before so they r ready for oven
4-pull out turkey 1 hr before roasting so it comes to room temp and chill is off(u should do this w/all meats before cooking) place in roasting pan and cover with butter soaked cheesecloth
5-start turkey so it is done atleast 1 hr before serving so it can rest cook at 425 for first 45-60 min 375 until thigh reaches 160 (about 10 min per pound)
6-while turkey is resting cook any sides in oven or stovetop & make gravy
7- when sides are done lay out on table or buffet
8- carve you perfect turkey and set on table or buffet
9- feast on turkey & goodies
10- move to couch and watch football...eat pie and drink espresso
**cpl of side notes...i never brine or stuff my turkey...there r tons of ways to do a turkey but this works best for me...also if u dont have a good meat thermometer u should get one as it will save you a ton of headaches & guessing..ignore that pop up thing in the bird it is not worth a sh**.....have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!
Get your Turkey on Ladies & Gentlemen.
Gobble till you wobble.