Before you start cooking your bird tomorrow… did you read my turkey safety tips?
The winner of the roasting pan was Susi – hope she gets some use out of it!
Her advice: “We invite people that we love and want to spend time with, don’t stress about whether everything is perfect and celebrate what we are thankful for – fantastic friends, plenty of food and good health.” Nicely said.
I asked my readers to give me some advice on how to make Thanksgiving dinner a success, and these are some of your tips. Thanks, and happy Thanksgiving!
- Ann said “We actually like to deep fry the turkey! I love it because the mess is all outside and it doesn’t take all day!” She blogs at Ann Crabs.
- Jeanine starts planning early. “I do the prep work for many of my dishes two days before so I won’t feel so rushed on Thanksgiving Day. I also let other family members handle dessert.”
- Yvonne said “We never have to plan the menu for Thanksgiving Dinner because we have the same thing every year. My ham and turkey are put into a paper bag and rolled up tight. Then I cook it overnight in a very low oven. The paper absorbs grease and also browns the meats. Easy. Always put on rack nearest the bottom of the oven and tuck paper ends firmly on bottom. Make sure paper is not touching sides or racks.” What a unique idea! I’m definitely going to try this!
- Rochelle likes to make the easier side dishes the night before. “This way Thanksgiving Day isn’t so overwhelming. Also, for pumpkin dishes, I bake my pumpkin a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Then I freeze it. The day before Thanksgiving, I put it into the fridge so it can thaw and I can bake with it.”
- Debbie does as much as she can ahead of time. “I get loaves of stuffing bread. I break them up, and dry them out. I make stock and freeze it for the stuffing. I chop the onions and celery ahead of time and freeze it, too.”
- Tiff also tries to prepare as much as she can the night before, “so that on Thanksgiving morning I can watch the Macy’s parade without worrying about the upcoming food I have to prepare.” I love watching the parade! 🙂
- Marci, she starts “early that morning adding garlic in the bird and making the stuffing– I bake the bird with the stuffing inside and baste it a lot throughout the day– usually about 45 minutes before I remove it from the oven– I take the cover off the top so it can brown.”
- Ginny realized that “in years past the kids get crabby waiting for food. The day before, we pre-plan already made snacks throughout the day to keep the kids from getting to that starving point without having to cook anything additional on Thanksgiving day.?” Why didn’t I ever think of this?? Ginny blogs over at Hey Gin….
- Kimberly says that “one thing I do is get everyone to bring something since we have so many people in our extended family now. I involve my kids in helping and try to do as much before the big day as possible.”
- Nan Lara thinks that “the thing that makes it a success is I cook my turkey the way my mom did… with mayo on top… and I ask family to bring dishes so I’m not cooking it all.”
- Renee and her sister plan their menu in advance and “share the “burden” of Thanksgiving dinner (and all other holidays) equally so know one gets too stressed or financially burdened. Team work works for us!”
- Amanda likes to “keep it casual! No stuffy clothes, no worry about setting everything just right like a Martha Stewart spread… just a good meal with everyone who’ll come join us. Everyone brings something they like to share almost like a potluck but it’s not necessary. Neighbors that don’t want to come over but don’t have anywhere to go or anyone to come visit always get a plate and a hug. We try to make sure if we’ve got it, they’re taken care of, too. Biggest thing though is keeping it casual, everyone at ease with full bellies makes for a good day.” Sounds like a great time!
- Vicki does not change the menu because “family members get upset! I do the bird and everyone brings a side dish.”
- Joey shares – “In our family, we keep things less stressful by dividing up the cooking! lol..I usually do the turkey, and family members bring the pre-decided side dishes haha. It also helps to plan a night or two before by getting things prepped to make the actual cooking on the morning of, much easier!
- Flufferwuffer (cute name) says “Plan, plan, plan ahead! That way, you won’t forget to make an important side dish, OR run out of time/oven space.” Flufferwuffer blogs at Cheap Geeks Anonymous.
- Trisha Lynn advises to “do a lot of prep work ahead of time so you wont feel so rushed and aalso if any mishaps happen you wont feel so chaotic and you can take care of it!”
- Ellen likes to “make ahead as much as possible and keep it in the freezer.”
- Heather says that “the only reason our Thanksgiving dinner is successful is because I DON’T COOK. I take that back, I’m responsible for bringing the deviled eggs. I say the best way we make it a success is we all know who everyone’s specialties are and that person is responsible for bringing whatever they are best at making: me-deviled eggs, mom-homemade pie, dad-stuffing, grandma-EVERYTHING!!?”
Again, Happy Thanksgiving!! I’m thankful for such wonderful readers.