Today my family celebrated Thanksgiving. We are going to be traveling over the actual holiday so we moved our celebration to today. I actually liked having it on a Sunday. I had all of Saturday to do my preparations and today was very stress-free. I know most people won't have this option for this Thanksgiving but my ideas could be used for other meals. Here are some things that I did this weekend that made things go smoothly:
1) I cut up all my veggies that I needed for my various dishes. I needed celery, onions and parsley for my dressing. I also made a roasted vegetable dish that required red and green peppers, red onions, cauliflower and broccoli. My oriental salad needed chopped green onions, so I got them ready also. And since I was already chopping, I cut up my veggies for the vegetable tray.
2) As previously mentioned I was making a roasted vegetable dish and I went ahead and put all my cut up vegetables into the dressing and let them sit overnight. They were ready to put on a pan and bake the next day.
3) I baked my rolls the night before. Usually the big hold up making the rolls is the time to let them raise. (I use Rhodes.) So I decided this year to put them out in the afternoon to raise and I baked them the evening before. They tasted just great - so I'll be doing this again.
4) I start my mashed potatoes several hours before dinner time. I prepare them as normal but I put them in a crockpot to keep them warm till dinner time.
5) This year for the first time I used crockpot liners. Wow. Talk about saving time during clean-up! I liked these alot!
6) I boiled my eggs for the deviled eggs the afternoon before. Then the evening before I cut them and mixed up the filling. I put the filling into a heavy duty zip lock bag and then didn't fill them till a few hours before dinner. Very easy and then throw the bag away.
7) And the biggest time saver of all - I roasted my turkey the day before. I use a roaster but it could be done in the oven just as easily. I let the turkey cool a bit and then refrigerated it. Then on the morning of the dinner I pulled the turkey out and sliced it and put it into the serving dishes. I covered them with foil and then put them back in the refrigerator till about an hour and a half before dinner. I put the turkey back in the oven at 200 degrees. (FYI - I made a 20 pound turkey and split the meat up into two dishes - white and dark meat.)
In case your interested this was our menu (incuding the items that were brought by family members):
Party potatoes (brought by sister-in-law Beth)
Crockpot stuffing (already posted on this blog)
Sweet potato souffle
Herbed corn (to be blogged later)
Green bean casserole (brought by sister Patty)
Vegetable casserole (brought by sister-in-law Beth)
Roasted vegetables (to be blogged later)
Apple salad (brought by sister Patty)
Deviled eggs (to be blogged later)
Veggies, dip, pickles, olives, cranberry sauce, cottage cheese
Apple dumplings (brought by step mom Laurie)
Cherry pie (brought by mom-in-law)
Pecan/chocolate pie (brought by sister-in-law Beth)
Pumpkin pie dessert (to be blogged later)
We had 23 eaters but could have fed many more! Extras mean that food goes home with people and that is a good thing!
I'll be posting some of menu items that I made at a later time. So stay tuned!