It`s that time of year again - time to gather with friends and family, turn on some football, put away the bathroom scale, and pig out like you haven`t since... well... last Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinners require a lot of planning in advance and at least a couple of trips to the supermarket.
1.As soon as you decide to host a dinner: Make up a guest list and invite your guests.
2.One week before: Do your shopping now.
3.One day before: This is when you prepare all of your side dishes and pies.
4.The big day!: Start preparing the rest of the food (especially the turkey) around noon, set the table, serve the meal, and take all of the credit for the wonderful meal.
Pick out a turkey
1.Make sure you pick out a turkey that is 4- to 6-months-old, Grade A, and USDA-approved.
2.Buy a frozen turkey at least 3 days in advance so that you can properly defrost it.
3.Once you buy your turkey, stick it immediately into the coldest part of your freezer and keep it there a couple days.
Roast the turkey
On Thursday morning, you`ll have a nice, defrosted turkey sitting in your fridge. Here`s what to do next:
1.Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2.Remove the turkey wrapper.
3."Wash" your turkey by running cold, wet, paper towels along its body.
4.Dry off the turkey with paper towels.
5.Pull out the neck from the body cavity and remove the giblets from the neck cavity.
6.Drain the juices and blot the cavities with paper towels.
7.Rub the outside of the turkey with a brush loaded with olive oil. Then rub on some salt and pepper.
8.Place the turkey breast-side up on a flat rack in an open roasting pan about 2 inches deep.
Stuff the turkey
We recommend that you stuff the turkey after it"s been fully cooked.
12 cups day-old bread, cut into ?-inch cubes
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 1/4 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 1/2 large eggs
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1.Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Then add the celery and onions and cook for about 5 minutes.
2.Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
3.Transfer the stuffing into a 9" x 13" buttered baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil.
4.Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil, raise the oven temperature to 400° F, and bake for another 20 minutes. The stuffing is done when the top is brown and crisp.
5.After the turkey is fully roasted, stuff the stuffing into it and serve. Any leftover stuffing can be served as a side dish.
Prepare the traditional side Thanksgiving dishes:
Make the desserts
For dessert, pumpkin and mixed berry. If you have time, make both.
Set the table
We advise that you properly set up the dinner table. Here`s how:
1.Make sure that you have enough space, chairs, and utensils for everybody. Guests shouldn`t have to sit in each others` laps and share forks.
2.Get out the fancy silverware, dinnerware, napkins, and glasses, and wash them all off.
3.Arrange the tableware at each seating nicely.
So there you have it: everything you ever wanted to know about preparing a Thanksgiving dinner. Eat, drink, and be merry!