The Thanksgiving countdown. Have you pulled your menu together? It is time, my friend. Two more days and we’re just two weeks away from the Almighty Day of Gluttony. So get to it. Pull out all those November food magazines that you have collected over the years (knowing that you’ll make that next year). We’ll next year is here.
I met a family last year in one of my cooking classes that envolved everyone in the menu making process. These were serious foodies and they culled the mags and gathered the recipes. Best of all, one person did all the shopping (personally, I would do that chore on-line at www.Valumarket.com ) then everyone gathered at (Mom’s) house and cooked all day together. Now THAT sounds like what Thanksgiving Day should be like.
In our family, we rotate hosting the big day and break the meal into manageable portions. Then we come together and enjoy the feast. Tony and I are hosting this year and the tasks have already been deliniated. We are opting to do a savory sweet potato dish this year instead of the pecan and brown sugar encrusted one of years past. Smashed sweet potatoes with chevre and chipotle chilis will fit the bill. Get this recipe by visiting my website www.cookwithmary.com and check under Fox41 recipes.
Mom will make pumpkin pie and another sweet, I’m responsible for the side dishes, breads, etc. My brother takes pride in his roasted turkey and since that is the most easily delegated portion of the meal, I am happy to save the oven space. Hopefully, my sister Sheryl will be bringing the libations and an appetizer or two.
I’ll delegate the table setting to my darling daughter and my charming son will be in charge of avoiding any real responsibility. I figure if we let the dog lick the plates and give someone an opportunity to load the dishwasher, everything is taken care of.
From this point forward, the most efficient thing to do would be to break out the lists of things to do and put them in priority and make ahead categories. Try to commit to doing just one thing every day. Perhaps buying and toasting the bread cubes (I love the premium white bread from Breadworks for this) or making and toasting the corn bread. Once toasted, these can be frozen and brought out the night before you make the stuffing.
Depending on your desserts, you may be able to make and freeze (cheesecakes, pie crusts, cake layers) and wait to embellish them the day before or the day of the event.
Make decisions about things you would rather purchase, like fresh breads, wines, etc and go ahead and order those. Make sure you make a note as to pick up dates and special holiday hours for the wine shop or bakery. Better yet, perhaps one not-so-handy in the kitchen person could be in charge of picking up all the goodies and delivering them to the hostess at an agreed upon time.
If you are looking for a great make ahead appetizer, see my post for the Parmesan Cheesecake (Cheesecake and a pair of used shoes). This is a fabulous make ahead and freeze crowd pleaser.
Lots more ideas coming your way. Meanwhile, make your reservation for the Easy Yeast Doughs class set for this Friday at 11:00 – 1:30. You’ll have all the recipes and skills you need to prepare yourself for breakfast, lunch and leftovers with all then things learned there.
More ideas coming tomorrow. Don’t miss a beat. Sign up to receive my blog posts as they are penned.