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Today is Thanksgiving Eve, and the official kick-off to the holiday baking season in our home. More importantly, it is also a huge holiday meal prep day. I currently have the turkey defrosting in the kitchen sink with a steady stream of cool water. I have a produce drawer full of vegetables to prep for stuffing and other side dishes. There is so much little stuff to do today so that tomorrow is relaxing and I can flip between the Macy’s Parade and the 6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade, get the turkey in the oven, and enjoy the day with family.
This year, there will only be seven of us for Thanksgiving dinner, but I still cook as if there will be 15-20 people. I love to cook, and I love being able to send my in-laws home with leftovers and having enough leftovers so I don’t have to cook again until Saturday or Sunday. Yup, I’m that person. If I do all the work one day, I need a few days off after that.
Our Thanksgiving Menu
We have a fairly traditional Thanksgiving meal, and it doesn’t vary much from year to year. I am adding a few extra side dishes this year, but making smaller batches of them so I don’t really overdo it.
Herb Roasted Turkey
Sweet Potatoes with Apples
String Bean Casserole
Homemade French Bread Rolls
Apple Crumb Pie
A Chocolate Dessert – I haven’t decided what I’m making yet
The Game Plan
Since I’ve been nursing an injury the last few days, I didn’t get to grocery shop as normal. Heaven help me, I am going to the grocery store this afternoon once Steve gets home from work to do my usual weekly grocery trip, plus Thanksgiving shopping.
Before grocery shopping
- Dice the bread for stuffing
- Prep the vegetables for stuffing
- Make the compound butter for under the skin of the turkey
- Make the pie crusts
- Chill the cranberry sauce
After grocery shopping
- Peel the potatoes and get them in water so they don’t brown
- Make the apple pie filling
- Bake the pies
- Make the chocolate dessert
- Brine the turkey
- Chill the wine & cider
- Pull out all of the serving pieces
On Thanksgiving Morning
- Make both stuffings
- Stuff the turkey and rub the compound butter under the skin
- Turkey needs to be in the oven by 11a
While the turkey cooks
- Make the bread dough for the rolls
- Assemble the string bean casserole
- Assemble the sweet potatoes and apples
- Make the mashed potatoes
While the turkey rests
- Set the table
- Bake the rolls
- Cook the side dishes
- Make the gravy
Just as everything else is finishing up, it’s time to carve the turkey and sit down to dinner.