Feast day is on the horizon! For me the tricky part of any big meal is in the timing. You want everything to be ready around the same time. Here’s some tips:
- Make a time table. And write it down! Then use a timer to keep you on top of things.
- Prepare in advance. Pies and many side dishes can be prepared in advance and cooked or heated up before dinner.
- Big meats, like turkey, should rest a half hour before carving. This gives you critical time to heat those prepared dishes and put on finishing touches. If you have someone carve the meat before everyone is at the table you have another 10 minutes or so!
- Warm and hold. When the turkey is out and resting, turn the oven off and use it to hold warm food like potatoes and stuffing. Just make sure the dishes are oven proof and cover the food tightly so it doesn’t dry out.
- Delegate. You don’t have to do it all! Give people tasks to help.
- Wash as you go. If you can keep the cooking and prep dishes under control you’ve cut your cleanup down by half.
My big challenge every year is remembering how long to thaw and cook the turkey. So here’s a great set of tools for you from Butterball. Their Calculators and Conversion Tables include tools to calculate how much turkey to get, how long to thaw it, and how long to cook it!