Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best Laid Plans


If this Thanksgiving is anything like last year's, my plan is to be better prepared so that I can enjoy my one day off, too. It's my belief that if I want to feel thankful after cooking for my brood all day, I need to lighten the burden a bit. Last year, I had an incredibly busy work night before the big day, which left little time for doing prep work I'd planned to do the evening before. I got up on Thursday at the crack of dawn to spend the entire day slaving in the kitchen. This year, I'm a little better educated about the combo of holidaze and hospice and I'm armed with a plan.

My general plan will be to do as much as humanly possible ahead of time. I will shop for food on Monday. I will not, I repeat not, bake the bread myself--I'll do like every other wise woman and hit the bakery. The turkey will be brined on Tuesday and roasted on Wednesday morning, sliced, smothered in stock and refrigerated in the dish I'll use to reheat it on Thursday. Sticky fingers will be smashed with a rolling pin if I wake up on Thursday and the pre-cooked turkey is all gone. While the turkey roasts on Wednesday, I'll prepare the fat laden-make ahead mashed potatoes and the mise en place for everything else I think I'll need on the big day. If Wednesday night proves light, I'll set the table, make the cranberry Waldorf salad and bake the pie (the crust is ready). This general plan will help ensure that Thursday will be enjoyable for me. Most of the items will need to go from fridge to oven with little fuss.

Come Thursday morning, I will sleep in and take an inordinate amount of time to sip coffee, read the news, watch the parade and chill. Later, while everything is reheating in the oven, I will sit and knit, or spin, sip the wine and laugh because I was so wise.

That's the plan. Now let's see how I can mess it up...

Photo: Google Images

15 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

Your plans are perfect. You are so right...Thanksgiving does not have to be hectic if you plan ahead. I have it even better because my husband will cook the turkey on the grill.

Rudee said...

My husband keeps my youngest daughter out of the kitchen and busy, NCMW. That helps a lot!

Rositta said...

Sounds like a great plan, now best of luck in keeping it. I haven't had a Thanksgiving dinner since we started going to Greece. Our Thanksgiving is in early October and I'm always away. Oh well, I'll get my turkey at Christmas at least...ciao

sapphireblue said...

Sounds like a good plan, but will it actually happen?

SkippyMom said...

With the exception of last year I have made Thanksgiving for friends and family for 22 years - and I truly find it one of the easiest meals I prepare because I have done it so often. And we have the full on menu, but it is all made the day of - I like the way it works [for me] and I can watch the parade and hang out with the family while it is going on.

The nicest thing is my family likes to help now and each has their own recipe to make [for the casseroles/I still do pies, rolls, appetizers, turkey and gravy] - I just have to keep the timing right.

There is no reason everything has to fall to you - get some help! :)

Brenda said...

I think this will be a great plan Rudee. Stick to it and make sure everyone knows you intend to enjoy your day also! Sometimes we just have to make our wants and needs known to others. I plan on doing something similar as you, and with only immediate family here this year, it should leave me with some free time. When we have company someone is always asking me for something. At least my family knows where everything is around here.

Queenmothermamaw said...

I loved Brenda's comment "at least all the family knows where everything is around here." One would think so, but with as many children and grandchildren someone is always moving around and even here someone will always pop up "where's the silverware Mom?" "Same place as always." "Where's that?" "Where do you keep your salt, Mom?" "Same place as always." They just have a habit, I guess. Gotta ask mom.
QMM

The Crusty Crone said...

Well, the plan sounds great. Good luck with it.

Amy said...

Gosh...I imagine I would sure like a recipe for cranberry Waldorf salad...

Lisa L said...

that sounds amazing...i've never thought to do the turkey like that..excellent idea! this year only one kid will be home and she's requested fish :)...

Gail said...

Great plan, my plan is to do nothing.

Joanna said...

Your plan seems perfect...and I hope it all works for you Rudee. It sounds absolutely delicious. (I've never brined a turkey; is it worth doing?)

Miss T said...

I like your plan, especially that part about relaxing in the morning, but I *know* that's not going to happen here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stephanie V said...

Good luck with that plan. It sounds good and all...our Thanksgiving seems so long ago now. It's nice, for us, to have the months in between to get psyched for the big Christmas dinners.

Jane said...

Sounds like a great plan. I have one too but I'm not totally confident. Haven't bought the turkey yet!