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First of all, make sure your turkey will have plenty of time to thaw in the refrigerator. Never thaw on the counter!! Put it in a large plastic or glass dish and keep on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. This will ensure the least possibility of cross contamination.

I am a great list maker. Have a master list and schedule. Write down the entire menu, do your shopping list from there. I keep this list and schedule on my computer to use every year. Plot when you are going to prep and make each dish. Also include any changes or hints.

Set the table the night before. It’s also useful to maybe check early in the week to make sure you have enough dishes and serving pieces for your menu and guests. Cover the table with a clean sheet to keep dust off. Include trivets and pans for cooking also. It’s no fun scrambling on the busy day for an extra pot or trivet to put under a hot dish.

Many dishes can be made ahead of time. Bake pies two days before. Wrap well and store in fridge. Make the stuffing early in the morning. I use Brownberry® Sage and Onion Stuffing cubes, add sautéed onion and celery. Complete with butter and low sodium chicken broth and you are set. Always use low sodium broth, add salt as needed. Place in a disposable aluminum pan, cover and refrigerate. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes while Turkey rests.

Prep all your vegetables and appetizers the day before. You can even do the mashed potatoes on Wednesday. Refrigerate in a crock pot insert. Put in the crock pot in the morning, turn on high and check periodically. Once warm, keep on "warm" till serving. Heat a little butter and cream to stir in just before serving. If you are doing a green bean casserole, make ahead and just top with the final onion topping just before baking. This can bake with the stuffing. Doing Brussel sprouts? Roast halved sprouts in olive oil and minced garlic till browned and luscious the day before and reheat in the microwave. Use the microwave to your advantage during the Holidays.

Remember, most everyone is family so relax. Put people to work prepping and washing dishes. I have a small Bungalow kitchen so cleaning as you go along is a must! People do want to help so let them! Don’t try to be super Hostess and do it all yourself. Plus, I’ve found a bottle of wine keeps everything moving along just fine!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 10:34 AM by Dean's Team


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