Time seems to be moving with leaps and bounds. It feels like I glanced away and when I looked back Thanksgiving was within sight. I can’t be the only one who feels like this.
We have a full table this year, and I don’t want Mark and me to have our heads in the pots cooking, while our guests are charmed by each other and emitting laughs that I wish I was part of. I have FOMO (fear of missing out) and when I have people over, I want to be part of it all.
That emotion makes me good at planning parties. My goal: do it all, or as much as I feasibly can before the doorbell rings.
Back to turkey day: what’s on the menu and how can I streamline it without endangering the flavor?
Everyone always asks, “What can we bring?” Wine is the usual answer, but how about wine and appetizers?
La piece de resistance, the turkey: Mark is in charge and he has this mastered—I stay away. The stuffing and mashed potatoes are his too.
I can make cranberry sauce a week or more early. I have to remember to put it on the table.
Vegetables are my purview. Instead of making three different dishes, as I was considering, I’m chopping an assortment of root vegetables and scattering them on a sheet pan, sprinkled with aromatic spices.
I can make the basic gravy early by using the broth from the giblets. Once the turkey is out of the oven, I’ll add the pan juices to finish it off. Quick and easy.
For dessert, pecan pie is a must and I like the one I make far more than anything store-bought. That isn’t a problem since I can make it early. And I’m currently obsessed with making rustic, salted, caramel apple pie, so I’ll add that to the menu, putting it together early and cooking it the day of.
Getting the house ready is also a task that needs to be planned and done ahead of time. I’m hardheaded about getting as much done as I possibly can. Otherwise, I’m frantically hopeful that everyone will be late so I can take a nap.
I’ve discovered, the hard way, that trying to do everything just because I can doesn’t work. My goal now is to make it easy and totally irresistible.
Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your family and friends and the wonderful food you serve.
Le Kitchen Cookbook
Everything you need to know to be a good cook.
by Adeline M. Olmer
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