Monday, November 16, 2015
Thanksgiving Menu + Game Plan
Here is my menu and day by day plan...
1. Order pies (ie. call and tell my mum she is in charge of desserts. ;))
2. Order turkey
3. Plan menu (check)
3. Plan table setting, buy new linens or candles if needed.
1. Grocery store
1. Prepare Cranberry Sauce (this is my favorite recipe)
2. Prepare apple sauce (Mum's recipe)
1. Flower shopping for table and buffet
2. Last minute forgotten groceries run (inevitable) - usually Jimmy's job!
3. Start setting table
1. Make Herb and Apple Bread Pudding (recipe)
2. Blanch Green Beans, cover and refrigerate
3. Make glazed onion relish (my recipe)
4. Peel and cube butternut squash, refrigerate
5. Prep potato + fennel gratin (recipe)
6. Set out and label serving dishes in buffet area
1. Several hours before dinner: Prepare turkey (recipe) - making a breast instead of a whole bird this year since there will only be 6 of us!
2. Prepare gravy (star of my Thanksgiving dinner, recipe)
3. Bake gratin
3. An hour before dinner: peel and make make mashed potatoes, roast butternut squash (toss with pecans and dried cranberries before serving), finish green beans - warm them up by tossing in pan with olive oil and browned shallots. Warm up apple and herb bread pudding. (This all sounds like a lot, but really it is just putting things in the oven or tossing them in a pan. The only thing requiring minimal work is the mashed potatoes - Charlie's favorite! Uncork wine.
4. About 20 minutes before dinner, light candles and freshen up :)
I'm sure you noticed a theme with the recipes. Ha. I stick with my girl, Ina, for holidays like Thanksgiving. And if the recipe isn't hers, then it's likely my Mum's. I should note, I do have two ovens which helps a bit (even though one is teeny tiny) since the gratin, turkey, bread pudding, and butternut squash will overlap in time. Also, when planning a menu this big I have a wild card, an item that I'd like to make if time is running smoothly and I'm enjoying myself, but I can easily cancel too if needed. In this menu, it's the potato and fennel gratin. I'd like two potato dishes, but if it doesn't happen it really doesn't alter the menu much. I will just make it on Friday to have with leftovers instead. Also, we still need to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday and I don't want it to be fast food and take out, so I try to have easy nibbles for those meals so the boys (including Jimmy) can help themselves. It just isn't fun to be in the midst of prepping a holiday meal then stopping to prepare another.
Enjoy the prep and planning but don't stress the small stuff. Everyone enjoys the day more when the cook is relaxed and it's not all too perfect.