View Full Version : Thanksgiving at my house...am I crazy???
09-23-2005, 07:30 PM
This is the first year that I haven't been home for thanksgiving. BF and I recently moved to FL from NC to finish up our last year of school and due to work we don't have enough time to travel home for thanksgiving and make the trip really worthwhile (we'd have to leave the day after thanksgiving to come back to FL). In the 6 years that we've been dating we've always divided up thanksgiving between families.
This year we've decided to just stay in FL and have thanksgiving here at our house. My mom and her BF as well as my aunt and uncle and my brother will all be coming here for the holiday. This is going to be *very* different because usually my WHOLE family gets together.
This is the first time we've done thanksgiving dinner on our own and I think we may have gotten in over our heads. I do NOT cook, fortunatly, BF is a great cook and really enjoys it. I know my mom and aunt won't hesitate to jump in and help with the cooking.....
Does anyone have any suggestions to help make this stressful time a little easier?
09-24-2005, 08:38 AM
Congrats on hosting your first holiday!!
My mom hosts over 30 people in her house for Thanksgiving - to make it easier on her (and with less pre-cooking) she makes it semi-potluck. One person is in charge of a vegetable, another the bread and rolls, another the wine, and another the ... you get it. She, in turn, hosts and makes the turkey. This way, she has nothing else to worry about, except the bird, and hands her kitchen over to whoever needs it to finish/heat/whatever their offering.
The turkey is the relatively easy part. Don't overstuff the bird (because the stuffing will expand when cooked, and if it is too full, it won't fully cook), and make sure to tent it with lots of foil.
If you are need of a stuffing recipe, I usually make mine with celery, apples, some spices to taste, dried up bread (dried overnight in the oven is a great way to do this), and some chicken broth. Sometimes I think I add carrots and other vegetables. "Sweat" the vegetable, and then add it all together - not too much chicken stock or else the bread will get soggy.
I have also seen Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) not use stuffing at all, but stuff her bird with whole and large vegetables/fruits like lemons, limes, peeled cloves of garlic and such.
09-24-2005, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. We always have fried turkey (in the turkey frier) so I don't have to worry in that department.
Luckily for me it's gonna be no where near 30 people (although usually it is). Also everyone coming is staying with us so potluck wouldn't really work.....although that is GREAT idea for other holidays we might have.
09-25-2005, 08:39 AM
Several years ago, my husband and I got really ambitious and had about 20 out of towners for thanksgiving dinner. Our house at the time was pretty big, but the kitchen was not. So, there just wasn't room for more than 1 person to be working and rather than having my own personal meltdown, I just got it all done before they got there! Here is what we did to mitigate the hysteria:
-Prepared and froze as much as we could in advance. Most casseroles can be done this way. For the things that wouldn't freeze, we did a day in advance and put in the 'fridge, if possible.
-Set the table and arranged things like serving dishes a day or so in advance. We weren't racing around the day of to get all of this together.
-Cooked the turkey early in the day. We needed the space in the oven to cook everything else!
Allow your out of towners to bring things like wine or goodies. This will let them feel like they are contributing (you won't get that "what can I do") and appetizer like goodies will keep everyone occupied.
Oh, and make sure you thaw your turkey!
Good luck---it really will be a lot of fun!
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