Saturday, November 21, 2009

From the Kitchen: Thanksgiving, Before the Fact

Every year we have one BIG party (and lots of smaller, informal ones). We call the party the Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner. We invite loads of people over to watch the Michigan-Ohio State football game and eat a potluck-style Thanksgiving dinner. This always occurs on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and it gives us younger folks a chance to make all our family favorites to share with our friends. We're still in the generation that is never asked to bring food to family gatherings because either we're still in school (not me), unpredicable in our schedules (also not me) or we have so many little kids we couldn't possibly handle it (ME!!!). Except that we can handle it. Shhhh... don't tell! I'll employ that excuse while it lasts...

So, wait a sec... that's today! But by the miracle of blog scheduling, I am writing this on Thursday night and, at the time this is actually published, at 10 AM on Saturday, I will likely be busily preparing a 26 lb turkey and cleaning up before our 60+ guests arrive. But I've already made the gravy and bread dressing. "You can do that?" you ask? Oh yes... you can! I have a cookbook by Cooks Illustrated called The Best Make-Ahead Recipe and it deals with just such events and how to save time and eliminate the stress without sacrificing flavor. I'm a fan! It won't clean your house before company arives, but it might just save you enough time to do it yourself!

On Friday I'll make a couple batches of bread-machine butter rolls and possibly a dessert if I just can't help myself. I'll still have that turkey and a large spiral sliced ham to cook on the big day, but I've successfully farmed out the responsibility for the rest of the dishes and football appetizers to my guests, so it's looking more manageable than any of the previous 6 years we've hosted this event. Wish me luck! Go Blue!


Phydeaux Designs said...

Wow, 60 + guests! Have a fabulous time - you're on road to success with that 26 lb turkey (WOW)!!!

And Happy real Thanksgiving to you and yours! xo

Erin said...

Too bad that other team won! 60 guests is so many. I hope the food was tasty. This year I was invited to bring food to the dinner on Thursday but because of our 12 hour drive on Wed. my mom ordered the pies from their favorite place, so I got out of much responsibility still.