Thanksgiving is coming up and we could not be more excited to get together with our loved ones and create some amazing memories! While we love cooking, we also want to spend time with our guests, so here are some helpful tips on how to enjoy your day!
Choose the Right Bird
Choosing the right turkey for your needs is incredibly important. How many guests are you planning on feeding? Do you want leftovers? Should you prepare two small turkeys or one huge bird? For a larger party you will need about 1- 1 /2 lbs per person, per turkey. Smaller birds have a smaller amount of meat, so you will need to find 2 lbs of turkey per person. It’s best to have extras – because who doesn’t love a good next-day turkey sandwich?
Some folks don’t brine turkeys (example: the pilgrims did not use a brine!) and others swear by it. We’ve talked about our love of a good brine before, so you know where we stand on the issue. We suggest brining for 12-24 hours for a more moist, flavorful turkey. Add a couple of bay leaves and garlic cloves for extra flavor. Add sprigs of your favorite spices and let sit!
We cannot stress this enough! Seek out recipes in which you can prep ahead of time. Dishes that can be made and stored in the fridge the night before are key. Having certain items done will allow you to mingle with your guests so prep ahead of their arrival. Pies can be made a couple days before, and the same goes for side dishes.
It’s time to stop second guessing, you must accept the meat thermometer into your life! No one wants food poisoning on Thanksgiving! Keep a digital meat thermometer to measure the heat of your turkey and other protein dishes. You can learn more about the basics of cooking meat in this previous blog post.
Clear the Fridge
As trivial as this may sound, you don’t need your weekday yogurts and sack lunches crowding your turkey and pre-made sides. You need space! Clear out items you don’t need and do what you can to maximize your space. Designate a spot for the turkey and set aside space for the items you know you’ll need quickly.