10 Time Management Tips for Thanksgiving
The hardest thing about Thanksgiving is planning and time management. You want to make sure everything is done on time without freaking out about something getting cold while you have other dishes in the oven. Here are some tips I've learned over the years that might help
1. Make all your desserts the night before. Whether it's a pie, cheesecake, pecan bars, etc. These can all be made prior to turkey day.
2. If you make all your breads the night before, don't cut into it. I am specifically talking about your corn bread and cranberry orange bread. Once you cut them into pieces, they will dry out on the inside. Let them cool completely after you make it and put some plastic wrap over it and store it in a dry place in your kitchen. I wouldn't cut these until right before you want to serve everything!
3. You have a couple different options for parker house rolls. You can make the dough the night before Thanksgiving and store it covered in the fridge. When you remove it from the fridge the next morning, you'll want to punch it down and let it sit in room temperature for an hour before you roll it out and shape them. You can also flash freeze your rolls on the baking pan after you form them on the pan (unrisen). Then you'd just thaw them out, allow them to rise, and bake!
4. The first thing I make is my mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes Thanksgiving morning. These can sit aside or in the fridge and be reheated in 5 minutes on the stove. You can also bring these back to life by mixing in more cream and butter until you achieve the consistency you like. Have someone in charge of reheating your mashed potatoes and gravy once the turkey is out of the oven. You'll be too busy getting the turkey ready and putting your other casseroles in the oven
5. Set your table the night before Thanksgiving. This way everything will be ready for your guests and you don't have to worry about it the day of
6. When you pull your turkey out, you'll want it to rest for 15 minutes before carving into it and then the carving takes another 15 minutes. These 30 minutes are the most crucial. You'll want to make sure your green bean casserole, mac and cheese, stuffing, or any other casserole is popped into that 350 degree oven the moment the turkey is out of there. By the time your turkey is carved and on the table, you'll be able to pull out everything from the oven and bring it straight on the table
7. Get to know your recipes in advance. I'm not saying to sit down weeks before and memorize them or to make flash cards, but reach them over a couple times and get familiar with them. I've seen people spend a lot of times referencing recipes every 5 minutes, which takes up a lot of cooking time!
8. Set multiple timers for yourself. The worse thing is when you're working on one dish and forget that something is on the stove.
9. Store items that you'll need to reheat in the dishes you'll serve them in. This saves time and more dishes to wash after dinner.
10. Don't go heavy on the appetizers or think too hard about what to make. People will come to your house hungry and when they see food out, they will attack. This will ruin their appetite and they won't as much of the dinner you made. I usually stick with a simple cheese and charcuterie plate.