Turkey Day cook-fest, how do you prepare?

As Turkey Day approaches (I’ll explain why I call it that soon), I am beginning to gather new recipe ideas, my mom’s recipes (including “The Soup” — which I may post, pending approval of the secret recipe) and merge old classics, I wondered, how do the rest of you plan for this day(s) of cooking?

Conventional wisdom leads us to believe you shop for everything the day before, prepare a few things Wed. and finish up the big things, like the Turkey on the day-of.  I suppose this all seems obvious, but what if you have limitations on space, burners, fridge space etc.?  If you are doing a gathering of multiple families (not like the Corleone’s and the Sollozzo families) that live in close proximity, it would make the most sense to prepare various dishes and then bring them together like a pot luck, making it easy on everyone.  If you have relatives flying in from out of town, I don’t think Aunt Mary’s apple pie will keep well in overhead compartment on the plane.

Before I offer any more advice, or in this case, give no actual advice, I will rant a little about Turkey Day, and the name of Thanksgiving.  Sure the term really refers to being thankful that you are with your family, friends, loves one, etc. and are able to celebrate in front of a huge array of food and more importantly wine.  But I still chose to call it Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving, or the story we were told in grade school is a bunch of bologna.  I highly doubt the pilgrims sat down and had a nice meal and a piece pipe with the Indians.  Its more likely we sought out how to grow crops that slaughtered them without mercy, hardly the PG version we are told.  Anyway, I am still glad that I get to spend the day with family and friends and eat my mom’s famous soup and watch football.

Back to planning.  As we all probably know, grocery shopping the day before is horrible and so crowded.  I recommend, while does require an extra trip, buy all perishable and other items you can easily store a few days ahead of time, that way, all you are buying are the fruits, veggies and items you need.  Second, go early, its worth it.

When it comes to cooking, if you have the space, cook things the night before that you can.  You can even uses coolers filled with ice to store certain items the day of to save room in that fridge.  Finally, my advice is to look around online for thanksgiving planners, recipe lists and other places that provide breakdowns of all the essentials.  Last thing you need is to remember you forgot the cranberries as you slice into the bird.

Once the big day arrives, I’ll post some tasty dishes that I’m making this year, along will recipes from years ago.  Hope everyone has a safe holiday and enjoys stuffing themselves with tryptophan.

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
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