Okay, Dear Readers, it's here. The day before THE day is here. It's time to relax and enjoy the preparations. Yep. RELAX. Thanksgiving is a joyful, no agenda, kind of day so just relax.
This morning I made Apple Cider Donuts, fed the birds, cleaned and refilled the bird baths and stomped about my muddy, mucky garden. I began to poke around and what do you think I found? Carrots! LOTS and lots of carrots! I thought the frost had gotten them but nope, they are glorious! Ugly yes, but glorious. They smell of pepper and sweet earth. I have really missed getting my hands dirty. This unexpected harvest will become part of our Thanksgiving table somehow. I did not plan for them but it's important to be relaxed and open to possibilities in the kitchen. Maybe I will roast them since a roasted vegetable is not currently on my "menu." Yes! Roasting it is!
Now, for today, here is what you could be doing to make tomorrow a bit easier.
1. Prep the turkey for Urkey Day. Remove all the bits inside and place them along with onion, peppercorns, herbs and a little carrots and celery. (You're not making soup so be mindful how many carrots and celery you add.) Cover the whole thing with water, bring to boil and then simmer it a couple of hours. (This will be used in your stuffing and at the bottom of the roasting pan when you roast the turkey. Now, place the bird in the refrigerator to dry until tomorrow morning when you cook him. (I also stuff some paper towels in his butt.)
2. Make pie crusts. Roll out the crusts between sheets of parchment and store them in the refrigerator until your are ready for them. Make any crust decorations and chill those too. Bake any pie crusts that need to be blind baked.
3. My sides are done but if yours are not, do those today. IF you are serving appetizers, have those ready or better yet, assign those to someone else and have some easy back up ready like, GASP, purchased cheeses and/or dips and crackers with dried fruits and nuts.
4. Make and chill the stuffing.
5. Set the table, including all the serving pieces. Make sure the wine(s) are properly chilled.
6. Let everything go. Urkey Day is about giving "thanks" and sharing a meal with people you love. You are ready. You have done all the work ahead of time so you can be part of the party.
Please share any day before THE day tips in the comments section.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor