Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cooking for a Holiday - Thanksgiving, Part VI - The Schedule

At this point, the pumpkin is cooked, pureed, and waiting in the freezer for its moment of glory.  Half the shopping has been done.  The pie crust is in the fridge.  The turkey is on order.  And starting next Saturday, the pace picks up, and that means we need a schedule.  Seriously, write it down on your calendar.  It'll give you a sense of control.

The schedule:

Saturday before Thanksgiving:  Shop for perishable ingredients i.e., everything else on the shopping list that you haven't already bought.
Sunday before Thanksgiving:  Make cranberry sauce.  Chop up the bread for the stuffing.  Take a container of pumpkin out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost.
Monday before Thanksgiving:  Roll out pie crusts and line pie pans. 
Tuesday before Thanksgiving:  Bake pies.
Thanksgiving Eve:  Pick up turkey from the butcher.  Prepare sweet potatoes.  Prepare vegetables for stuffing.
Don't worry, I'll tell you how to do all this stuff.  Now, if you do it all according to the schedule, here's what you have left to do on Thanksgiving Day:

Put bird in oven.
Assemble and bake stuffing.
Make mashed potatoes.
Make succotash.
Make gravy.
Bake sweet potatoes.
Whip cream (after dinner, while enjoying a nice Sambuca) for pies.
Make coffee.

This sounds like a lot, but it's not, because you've prepared everything ahead of time and you're (mostly) just assembling the ingredients and throwing stuff in the oven.  The succotash isn't much harder than cooking frozen vegetables, gravy is fast and brain-dead easy, my kids can whip the cream, and my husband, Anthony, can peel potatoes and put them in a pot of water before the football games start.  Yeah, there's a few things to do, but overall you should be on cruise-control.  I don't even have a lot of clean up at the end of the day, because I bake everything in aluminum foil baking pans which go right from the table into the fridge after dinner.  I don't give a damn about how my "table" looks.  If you're looking at my dishes instead of my food, you're missing the point and I'm going to guess that happens to you a lot.

Anthony does the dishes (at halftime), since he won't buy me a dishwasher.  Well, he would, if I really pressed the point, but he would view it as moral weakness.  I kid you not.  If we ever meet up for a drink, I'll tell you the story about the electric can opener.


  1. You are very organised my friend!! I need to jot down a similar schedule for Christmas :-) sending you tons of love! Ps. I have practiced walking in high heels on cobblestones, and also walking on one heel and one toe because the other heel had been torn off!! Baci, Coco et La vie en rose fashion blog - Valeria Arizzi

  2. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww I don´t want the recipe, I want to come over and feel your warmth of all your family around.
    I wont eat the bird, but I will have plenty of sweet potatoes, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    How I would love to be a bird to fly to you, not the one in your oven of course.
    Mil besos hermana en América


Comment here. Be nice.