Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s not about gifts, decorations or stress; rather it’s about taking the time to stop and count our blessings. It’s a day to remember all of our blessings and celebrate with the people we love. So, I am a firm believer that it shouldn’t be stressful. I always do my meal ahead of time. Every dish I make is assembled the day before and it just goes into the oven in the a.m. It is a special day but that doesn’t mean you have to go nuts. Cook within your culinary limits and keep it simple. Buy things that are just as good and more time consuming like pies & rolls.. This year we were host family at church and we did our Thanksgiving meal with friends from church.
First things first, make a menu. I made turkey, stuffing, refrigerator mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, apple & pumpkin pie. Then I made a grocery list & went shopping. Plan ahead to thaw your turkey. Roasting a turkey is easy.
I brine my turkey. I take 1 cup salt & boil it in 1 gallon of water & then cool. I added some cider & fresh rosemary & thyme and 1 more gallon of water. I put this all in a large pot and submerge my turkey breast side down. Brine for 24 hours. Rinse & put into a roaster with 2 -3 inches of water and simply top it with salt & pepper & whatever herbs you like. If you don’t want to brine it no worries, just remove from package, remove the neck and pack of organs. Season & roast. I roast mine 300-325 for 15 min per pound for a brined turkey or 20 min otherwise. (adding the water will be the broth for your gravy) You can rub the turkey with butter or olive oil & you can use a basic brine of just 1 cup salt / 1 -2 gallons of water. I roasted my turkey the day before my meal. And after it cooled, I removed it from the bone & used some of the broth to keep the meat moist. I reheated it the next day in the crock pot on low.
Mashed potatoes come in all forms… you can do instant, frozen mashed, already cooked in the refrigerated section. I peeled and cubed 9 large fresh potatoes, boiled drained and mashed them with 4 T butter & enough milk to make them smooth. Then I added 1 cup sour cream, salt & pepper & 3oz cream cheese and beat them until smooth & put them in a buttered dish and simply reheated them in the oven for our meal with my other casseroles.
Allow people to bring an item too. buy some fun disposable plates, make things ahead, buy ready made items… it’s about being thankful and being together. There are all sorts of recipe on this blog & on line for more ideas… Happy Thanksgiving!!!