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Thread: Thanksgiving Stress

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    #1

    Thanksgiving Stress

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    Yup and its not even November
    DH and I are having his family over for Thanksgiving as well as a few Marines. I of course don't mind at all and it was actually my idea. I told DH I am maxing out at 15 and we are at 13 right now. I will plan for like 20 though, because I know DH. I will get that phone call the day before asking if so and so can come because they have now where to go. And of course I will say yes!

    Anyway I am stressed about it though. I can cook great and I am excited about that but I am worried about the timing. I plan to cook as much as possible the day before but still. I have always cooked with my mom and grandmother but never "alone".

    I don't know any helpful hints, tips, tricks you ladies have to offer


    Oh also the cost! Any tips for shopping.
    DH family is not so much the offering a helping hand type
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    #2
    you could assign a few dishes to people that are coming over, now the single marines though maybe one person could bring the green bean casserole, another a pumpkin pie... ect... good luck with everything!
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by erickson007 View Post
    you could assign a few dishes to people that are coming over, now the single marines though maybe one person could bring the green bean casserole, another a pumpkin pie... ect... good luck with everything!
    yyyaaaaa see this would be great except DH family is traveling 6 hours sooooo ya

    But thank you
    If only they were closer
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    #4
    costco shall be your best friend lol and most of the stuff you can do the day before so thats a lot of pressure off...i refuse to cook a turkey so i dont know about that part but i dont even like it so lol


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    #5
    i was definitely thinking costco

    and start looking for coupons for things I can buy now
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    #6
    Is there Winco's in SoCal? They usually have pretty good prices there. But don't buy your fruits/veggies from there. They go bad really quickly.

    I would probably start by sitting down and making a plan. What has to be cooked where? For how long? At what temperature? We've had double ovens for the last 10 years so I don't even know how to start without them.
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    #7
    For nine years, I cooked either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for 40. I miss that!!

    The biggest hint I have is the turkey. Skip the Norman Rockwell presentation and go for easy!! The night before, put the turkey in the roaster pan breast side DOWN. Cover tightly with tin foil (maybe add a little water, no more than a cup). Put it in the oven at about 300 or 325 degrees. Ignore it!!

    Around 10:00 or 11:00 AM, your turkey is done. Pull it out and slice it up.

    Cooking it breast side down will result in juicy white meat.

    My very first Thanksgiving that I cooked, I got up at 5 AM like my mom did. I then attempted to prepare the turkey. I could not get the &*&%$ piece of plastic that was keeping its legs locked off the damn bird!! Tired, frustrated, confused, I flipped through my magazines for the butterball turkey hotline. Couldn't find it! (Side note, why DO things hide in magazines? You can never find them when you want / need them!)

    So I picked up the phone and called information to get the number. The operator was very kind and apologetic and told me that they don't have 800 numbers. At that point I burst into tears!

    Picture it: 5:30 AM, my DH walks into the kitchen, sees me crying on the phone and says "Who are you talking to?!?!" ROFLMAO!!

    The operator tried to walk me through it; she was so sweet!

    I can't remember if I got it off or not, but I know I got the turkey cooked. HOWEVER, I had gone exploring in one end of the bird to pull out the turkey dick (okay, it's a neck, but to be fair - what DOES it look like? I rest my case!).

    When all was cooked and ready, and we started carving, guess what I found? They hid MORE stuff in the OTHER end of the bird!!!

    So to this day, I do my turkey the night before, upside down, and forget about the junk inside. It all cooks and you can take it out after the turkey is cooked. Won't hurt anybody and it's a hell of a lot easier to get to afterwards!
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Songtan Sally View Post
    For nine years, I cooked either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for 40. I miss that!!

    The biggest hint I have is the turkey. Skip the Norman Rockwell presentation and go for easy!! The night before, put the turkey in the roaster pan breast side DOWN. Cover tightly with tin foil (maybe add a little water, no more than a cup). Put it in the oven at about 300 or 325 degrees. Ignore it!!

    Around 10:00 or 11:00 AM, your turkey is done. Pull it out and slice it up.

    Cooking it breast side down will result in juicy white meat.

    My very first Thanksgiving that I cooked, I got up at 5 AM like my mom did. I then attempted to prepare the turkey. I could not get the &*&%$ piece of plastic that was keeping its legs locked off the damn bird!! Tired, frustrated, confused, I flipped through my magazines for the butterball turkey hotline. Couldn't find it! (Side note, why DO things hide in magazines? You can never find them when you want / need them!)

    So I picked up the phone and called information to get the number. The operator was very kind and apologetic and told me that they don't have 800 numbers. At that point I burst into tears!

    Picture it: 5:30 AM, my DH walks into the kitchen, sees me crying on the phone and says "Who are you talking to?!?!" ROFLMAO!!

    The operator tried to walk me through it; she was so sweet!

    I can't remember if I got it off or not, but I know I got the turkey cooked. HOWEVER, I had gone exploring in one end of the bird to pull out the turkey dick (okay, it's a neck, but to be fair - what DOES it look like? I rest my case!).

    When all was cooked and ready, and we started carving, guess what I found? They hid MORE stuff in the OTHER end of the bird!!!

    So to this day, I do my turkey the night before, upside down, and forget about the junk inside. It all cooks and you can take it out after the turkey is cooked. Won't hurt anybody and it's a hell of a lot easier to get to afterwards!

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    #9
    I suggest picking a few of your favorite dishes instead of trying to do 25 different dishes because so and so likes it this way or that way. Biscuits can be made ahead of time and frozen. Pies can be done ahead of time too! When I do my turkey I buy a terry cloth wash rag and soak it in veggie oil. I put the cloth over the breasts and baste it every 1/2 hour removing the cloth for the last 1/2 hour. The breast down approach works ok. Its not my favorite though.
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    #10
    Unless you really, really like to make your own cakes/pies, get them pre-made at the grocery store, or ask your guests to bring them (they'll travel just fine).

    Don't forget that you'll need at least two days to thaw the turkey (you probably know that, but someone else reading might forget about that part).

    Casseroles can be made the night before and stored in the fridge, but pull them out early enough that they can make it to room temp before you have to stick them in the oven.

    You'll need to let the turkey sit for about 30 minutes before carving, so that's a good time to get the casseroles in the oven and boil the potatoes if you're mashing them (use Yukon Gold and cut into inch-size chunks before boiling).

    Last year I got a tabletop roaster-oven thing and it was GREAT. I can fit a bird up to about 18 pounds in there and it frees up the oven for the casseroles, stuffing, etc.

    If you're going to have that many people, you might want to have a turkey and a ham. Do the ham in a big pot on the stovetop, boiling it with brown sugar and maple syrup added to the water.

    If you're making a vegetable tray, you can cut the veggies up a day or two before and store them in covered containers filled with water. They'll be nice and crisp-crunchy that way too. Or, assign that to someone else (the grocery stores are open on T-day).

    Ask your neighbors if you can use some of their fridge space, if they won't be filling it all up.

    Ask other people to bring drinks (especially beer and wine). That's the expensive part, and they'll feel like they're helping but they won't feel obligated to do a lot.
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