Update on Thanksgiving preparations … 8 days to go!

Added these to the freezer:

  • Apple cobbler
  • Cherry cobbler
  • Steaks (for Wednesday night)

Making right now:

  • Baked beans, some to eat this week, some to freeze for next week, some to give away.
  • Spinach and kale quiche – for the Friday night meal, as an alternative to macaroni and cheese in case anyone wants to be healthier. I’ve found quiche is a great companion for ham.
  • Green bean casserole – I’m adding that to the Thanksgiving lineup. Everyone but me likes it. I don’t like one single thing about it, but it will disappear for sure between the dinner and the leftovers, so I don’t have to eat it.

Making in the next day or two:

  • Gravy. I cooked one of the small turkeys and rendered the seasoned juices and fat, will make a batch of gravy ahead of time because everyone always wants more. Even though I can make it with the turkey drippings on the day of, having extra is always best, especially with the leftovers and sandwiches so they don’t dry out.
  • Stuffing. I’ll chop the bread, celery, and onion and use the rest of the drippings to season it. I’ll put in in a pan to cook the day of. I’ve found that having it prepared ahead of time, but cooked the day of, brings the best results. Flavors mingle the best that way.

Putting on the calendar:

  • Tomorrow, I have the last things to pick up at the store. I always use fresh or frozen vegetables so I actually have to buy canned green beans for the green bean casserole (my thoughts on this idea – yuck!). Also, I’m going to get a large box of salt so I can brine the large turkey. I have some small cans of sea salt and they don’t get used up quickly because I don’t use much salt when I cook, but I don’t want to use them up for the brine. It will be cheaper to get a large box of Kosher salt. Also, I think I have enough, but just to be sure I’m going to buy extra paper plates. For the lunches and appetizers, I prefer to use disposable plates and utensils because there is so much cleanup involved in the dinners, and I don’t want to tie up the kitchen all day. It will be easier to have disposables and a trash can out all day in the middles of each day.
  • This Friday, I’m going to take the turkey out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator. I’m going to really have to be prepared. Right now the refrigerator is full of ingredients, so between now and Friday I’m going to have to prep and assemble those ingredients into packable dishes.
  • For the Wednesday, I’m going to make a brine for the turkey and store it overnight in an oven bag in the brine. I brine all kinds of meat and seafood and believe it makes a difference. I have heard from more than one source that brining the turkey will get a moister result. I’ve never made a dry turkey anyway, but every technique that improves things I should try, so I’ll see how it goes.
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