Thanksgiving is on October 14. For those of you who are seasoned home cooks, you know how to stay organized to minimize stress, and maximize time spent with your guests. However, for first-timers, here are some key things to keep in mind if you want to keep your sanity.
1. Don’t cook something you’ve never cooked before
You would never run a marathon without training. So why would you cook something new without testing it out first? You will already be stressed about feeding a group of people, you should be making something you’re confident in.
2. You don’t have to cook everything
While it’s impressive if you can cook every single dish, your guests will have just as much fun if some of the dishes are store bought. You could even ask your guests to bring appetizers, side dishes or desserts, and make it into a group effort. This makes it less stressful for you, and it’s also easier on your wallet.
3. Not everything has to be cooked on the day of the dinner
Planning your menu is key for a large dinner. Look at all your recipes and figure out what can be made ahead of time. A lot of recipes tailored for Thanksgiving dinners will tell you if you can make the dish ahead of time. For example, stuffing needs to be cooled before it is stuffed into the turkey, so this can be made the day before.
4. Know how big your oven is
Nothing is worse than bringing home a turkey and finding out it doesn’t fit in your oven. Unless you have multiple ovens, it is pretty safe to assume that the turkey will take up all your oven space. Make sure you plan your menu so that not everything needs to go in the oven at the same time.
5. Plan your time carefully
Work backwards from when you want to serve dinner to figure out what time to put your turkey in. Cooking time varies depending on whether you are stuffing your turkey or not. Check out this chart to get a general idea of how long it takes to cook a turkey. Also, get a thermometer. You don’t want to guess if the turkey is cooked or not.
Here are some of my favourite Thanksgiving recipes to get you started.
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Perfect Roast Turkey
- Brussel Sprouts with Vinegar-Glazed Red Onions
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter
- Lemon Loaf
What are some of your favourite go-to recipes?