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KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN - THANKSGIVING WEEK FINAL PREPARATIONS

It's the last of our countdown to Thanksgiving!  Below are things you should be doing now that you've had the chance to get all your shopping done.

Monday

Depending on the size of your frozen turkey it will need to be thawing in the fridge now. You need one day for every four pounds of turkey. That is why I love the boneless breasts. They thaw in two days! Make sure all your china, silverware, cookware and utensils are set up.

Tuesday

It is time to buy the perishables. Get your rolls, vegetables, milk, cheese and cream today to avoid crowds on Wednesday.  If you are doing any baking yourself, today is the day to get that task off your list.

Wednesday

Now we start cooking! Make the stuffing. I cook a traditional stuffing using Brownberry onion and sage bread cubes. I make three bags (family loves it and I must have leftovers)! Sauté one cup finely cut each onions and celery till soft. Heat one quart low sodium chicken broth with one pound unsalted butter. Add three quarters of the broth mixture to the bread cubes and vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well then let sit for a bit for the bread to absorb the liquid. You want it to be a little wet so it bakes up nice and moist. I usually bake it for 30-40 minutes till it has a nice toasty crust. Set up your relish and crudités trays. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you do veggie casseroles prepare today and bake tomorrow. Make any dips; they usually taste better the next day anyway. Set the table and cover with a clean sheet, no dust and ready to go on Thursday. Have all your pots and pans, serving dishes and utensils ready. Saves time scrambling tomorrow.

Thursday

Put the turkey in the oven. Follow manufacturer's instructions concerning cooking time and figure for it to be done 45 minutes before you want to eat. It needs resting time and also gives you time to carve and get the rest of the meal out. Mashed potatoes can be made earlier and either keep it warm over simmering water in a double boiler or microwave to warm. The microwave is one of your biggest friends on Thanksgiving. It is great for making gravy. Combine gravy ingredients and cook in the microwave. Cook in one minute increments and stir every time. KEEP AN EYE ON IT AT ALL TIMES! It can boil over. This is a good job for one of those people always asking "What can I do to help?"

Most of all relax and have a good time. Any disasters will be fondly remembered for years to come. Most of your guests are family anyway so they shouldn't be too critical. If they are, guess what? They can cook next year! Happy Thanksgiving!

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013 6:53 PM by Dean's Team

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