Ok, it’s the last weekend before Thanksgiving and even though we might have smaller gatherings this year, you still need to prepare. Hopefully, these 5 tips (provided by experts) will help Thanksgiving Day be more enjoyable for everyone (except the person doing the dishes).
1.) Do all of your grocery shopping this weekend.
Whether you’ve done some shopping or none at all, get it done this weekend before the last minute rush. Everything will keep until the big day. Also, on the off chance you forget something, you will have time to get it without rushing.
2.) Prep everything for Thursday.
If you are using fresh ingredients, you can take this weekend to trim, scrub, cut, and chop almost everything. Anything that oxidizes and browns quickly (apples, potatoes, etc.), just wait til you get closer to Thursday. Store everything in zip top bags or resealable containers. Then on Thanksgiving day all you have to do is add and stir. It will look and be as easy as a cooking show on tv.
3.) Set aside all cooking utensils, pots, pans, and dishes.
Run the dishwasher and get everything you need ready. During the year things go missing, like silverware, whisks, and dishes that someone borrowed and never told you or you forgot about. Preparing this weekend will give you time to get what you need (or be the one borrowing it this time).
4.) Start defrosting your turkey Sunday
At some point in our life, we have all tried to defrost a turkey in a hurry or even cook a frozen bird. Big birds take time to safely defrost. The USDA recommends 1 day of thawing in the fridge for every 4 to 5 pounds. Do the math. If you have a 15-pound bird, you’ll need to start defrosting at least 3 days in advance. Place the turkey in the back of the fridge so it remains consistently cold while defrosting. Place the turkey in a pan and you might want to keep it on the bottom shelf to prevent any dripping juices from contaminating your other food. Once the turkey is thawed, you have 4 days to cook it. So, Sunday is the perfect day!
This is the perfect weekend to clean your house (especially the kitchen). Don’t forget to clean out the fridge and freezer to make room for leftovers. This year it’s more important than ever to clean and sanitize your countertops and most importantly, the oven.
Hopefully, these tips help make cooking on Thanksgiving day a little more enjoyable. Feel free to share any of your tips or recipes. Be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
-- Doug O’Brien