10 Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving
Once you have assembled your menu, look through all of the recipes and make a shopping list.
2. Make an itinerary!
This is the most important tip!!!!! Your family members might make fun of you for being overly obsessive compulsive, but you are in law school so you probably like doing stuff like this. Make a spreadsheet mapping out a timeline for every step of the meal. If you are constrained by having only one oven, consider how and when you will cook each dish.
3. Designate serving dishes ahead of time
Yet another tip that will make you seem a little obsessive compulsive…but very necessary, especially if you have limited serving dishes. I use post-it notes to label them.
4. Don’t overextend
Some of the most delicious side dishes are very simple like the recipe for mashed sweet potatoes below. Focus on quality over quantity (I learned this the hard way)
5. Work ahead of time
Stuffing, soups, and casseroles are all easy to make the day before, leaving you less to worry about on the big day.
6. Get plenty of wine
Every year Food and Wine announces the new best pairing with turkey- this year it is Syrah. Get whatever you like and it will pair wonderfully. Just don’t drink too much of it while you’re cooking (also learned that the hard way).
7. Make your own cranberry sauce
It is fast, easy and SO much better than canned.
8. Carve the turkey by slicing off the whole breast and cutting across the grain.
This technique makes for thicker pieces and retains more moisture than cutting of the white meat in thin slices.
9. Clean up as you go
Better yet, recruit someone else to clean up as you go.
10. Make Brussels sprouts (recipe below)
They are making a trendy comeback this year. Everybody thinks they hate them until they try them at your Thanksgiving dinner and they are then eternally grateful.
What are YOUR tips for a successful Thanksgiving?
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
makes 8-10 servings
3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons butter
<1/2 cup milk
Cover sweet potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Cook, covered, until tender, about 15-20 minutes, then drain potatoes in a colander. Transfer the potatoes back to the pan, combine with butter, and mash with a potato masher. If the potatoes are dry, add a little milk. Add salt to taste.
makes 8-10 servings
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt, then spread on a baking sheet, cut sides down. Roast for 40-45 minutes until the outer leaves are tender and browned. Transfer to serving bowl.
Melt butter over medium heat and cook until it browns, stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice to pan (be careful, it will splatter) then add Brussels sprouts to the pan and toss to combine.