Prepping for Thanksgiving

This year I'm cooking my first thanksgiving for a crowd.  Last year I cooked a thanksgiving meal for the two of us (complete with seemingly standard cornish game hems) since it was our first turkey day away from family.  One time in high school I did most the actual work since my mom had hurt her back; but that time she sat in the kitchen giving directions the whole time.  Luckily it is a pretty small crowd, at most we should have 8 people; and we are actually cooking at a friends house so I don't need to freak out about cleaning the house.

So far I'm over thinking the meal as is my habit (I first started thinking about the menu about a month ago), but I've only tested one recipe, The New Best Recipe's mashed potatoes, though I only used half the butter or half-n-half called for and at the last minute I switched to the cheddar-cheese mustard version while we plan on having the roasted garlic version on Thursday.  I might manage to try The Best Light Recipe's roasted garlic mashed potatoes early this week but maybe not.  And now that I've seen Girly Mae's Chipotle Pumpkin Pie recipe I wish I was planning on making pumpkin pie.  Oh well, maybe for another holiday.

Our menu:

white bean-rosemary dip with pita chips & raw veggies

Roasted Turkey (probably brined)
Cranberry-orange sauce
Canned cranberry sauce (there is always someone in the group who wants canned shaped "sauce")
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cornbread stuffing with sausage, apples and maybe cranberries
Baked sweet potatoes (aka yams)
some sort of steamed green veggie
Green beans with dill & bacon
Honey-wheat rolls

Pumpkin bars
Apple pie (with a crumble topping)
Pumpkin pie

We picked up our turkey from the Farmer's Market yesterday (if we didn't have that turkey to pick up the pouring rain probably would have kept us away), then we went out and bought extra-large ziplocks to use as brining bags.  This morning I put the turkey on a cookie sheet in the fridge to start defrosting and determined that I had a tub that would fit the turkey and fit in the fridge.  The rest of the prep will occur as follows (I think anyway):

Monday: finalize grocery list, divide by preferred stores, make cornbread for stuffing

Tuesday: grocery shop, make pie crust & put in fridge, make cranberry-orange sauce

Wednesday: make brine, put turkey in brine, prep the stuffing and put in casserole dish for baking, make white bean dip and pita chips

Thursday morning: bake pie, prep turkey for baking, drive over to friends house, put turkey in oven, start mashed potatoes, let cranberry-orange sauce come to room temp, throw stuffing and sweet potatoes in the oven, steam green veggie, set up Thanksgiving buffet.

I can do this right?  I mean I only have to make one of the pies; the mashed potatoes and veggies can be made while the turkey is in the oven, the stuffing only needs to be put in the oven the day of…  Other people are bringing the pumpkin desserts, the rolls, the green bean dish, and the can-berry sauce.  Keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂

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November 19, 2007. Tags: , . Thoughts.

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