|For instance, I'm thankful we have a real table now- unlike our first apartment!|
Credentials- I've been helping out with Thanksgiving for a while- pies since 5, cranberry sauce since 8, potatoes since 12 and finally the turkey in college. Now I've cooked it all myself the past 4.
Okeydokey, now let's get down to it.
What to Have:Amazing Flavorful And Moist Turkey
French Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Sparking Grape Juice or Cider (though a couple times we made a Spike Your Juice. It's pretty tasty, like sparkling juice with a little kick. I like it best after about 3 or 4 days since it's tasty and barely spiked, though I believe most would like it at around 7-9 days when it'll be more like wine.)
Things Kids Can Help With:I loved helping with Thanksgiving when growing up, so did my little sister. The three of us would be busy in the kitchen- making it easier for my mom. Luckily there's plenty of kid-friendly tasks that come with Thanksgiving cooking.
1. Stirring anything- I mean anything.
a. The garlic sauce into the mashed potatoes
b. The green bean casserole together
c. Pie filling
d. The cranberries (if they're old enough to know not to touch it!)
2. Mashing the potatoes- they're very thorough with it....
3. Sprinkling things in or on- the onions on the green bean casserole, sugar in the cranberries, ect ect ect.
4. Fluffing the stuffing.
5. Putting things in the serving dishes.
6. Setting the table.
7. Asking and/or fetching everyone's drinks.
How to Make It:
A Day or Two Before:
Soak the turkey in brine water, as with My Turkey Recipe.
The Night Before:Pie- I highly recommend making the pies the night before. It saves oven space, time and stress. My mother has always made the best pie crust, so I use Her Pie Crust Recipe.
Mousse pies before!
Cranberry Sauce- Honestly, I just use the directions on the back of the bag of cranberries. I usually actually make this the day of since it's easy for me to squeeze in, however, whenever I would help my mother cook we make it the night before to lower stress of the next day. Cranberry sauce keeps well in the fridge, so if you're trying to have little to do on Thanksgiving day itself, then absolutely do this the night before.
The Big Day:Set out everything you will need in little groups of what will need those ingredients. Start with the Turkey- follow These Directions to make the sauce. As the butter is melting cut the potatoes for the Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Pour turkey sauce over turkey. Don't throw away the brine you soaked the turkey in!
Once the turkey is in the oven begin boiling the potatoes in the brine the turkey was sitting in. I get a little paranoid about germs and food so I like to boil the water for about 5 minutes, add the potatoes and let it boil for another couple minutes. (This is usually when I begin the cranberries since I do them the day of.) Tidy the kitchen up a little is you're not making cranberries. Baste the turkey.
Pour the ingredients for green bean casserole (I just do the Campbell's Recipe since my husband doesn't like the fancy fresh ingredients version. I do make two alterations- I add liquid smoke to the mix and I put bacon on top with the fried onions- my husband loveloveloves both touches.) Mix everything together and pour into a pan.
French Garlic Mashed Potatoes. While the garlic and butter are heating put the green bean casserole in the oven. Finish making the garlic sauce for the mashed potatoes.
I don't know if it's luck or good planning, but about this time everything finishes up!
There may be a couple minute difference between two dishes, but I use my mother-in-law's trick of keeping things warm- throw a clean hand towel over it!
Since everything on the menu is very easy to Freeze we always plan on freezing some portions for later. It never works- we always eat it too quickly. Last year we did turn some of the Thanksgiving leftovers into Turkey Alfredo and holy cow that was amazing! I couldn't decide what I wanted more- leftovers or Turkey Alfredo. I craved it months after it was gone.
Anyway- good luck on your Thanksgiving endeavors and enjoy!