Tom's No-Sweat Rules of the Thanksgiving Road
Your Everything Guide to Thanksgiving
Your Everything Guide to Thanksgiving
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Marshacb December 8, 2013
Thanks Tom for the great "turkey warmer" tip. This was the most stress-reducing factor I've ever encountered. Not only did I not have to plan exactly when the bird should be finished and then worry when it cooked faster or slower than planned, and not only was the oven free for an hour afterwards, but that entire hectic of making the gravy from the pan drippings at the same time as trying to cook other things on the stove was alleviated. This was by far the most stress-free Thanksgiving I've ever gotten on the table – all due to your Turkey Warmer tip! Thanks again every so much!
KOH November 11, 2013
Thanks so much for the great ideas! I do Thanksgiving for approx 30 people every year! Advance prep work is essential. I did 2 "Judy Birds" last year (about 16 pounds each); had plenty of turkey and lots of leftovers. Smaller birds also cook more quickly than larger birds. Using the cooler to keep the birds hot is fantastic....best tip I've had in years. I do make my mashed potatoes the day before; found Martha Stewarts mashed potato recipe years ago and it's terrific. Lots of butter, half and half; requires a food mill. I make the potatoes the morning before Thanksgiving; let the potatoes cool; put them in different containers. The next morning I get the potatoes out at 6am...when I usually get up. Put the potatoes in crock pots on low; stir periodically and by the time dinnner is served they are piping hot. If they heat up too quickly just turn off the crock pots. Don't turn on high...don't want the potatoes to burn. Saves a huge amount of time.
cookinalong November 11, 2013
Tom, thanks for such practical and timely advice! The cooler idea is inspired! That's always the turkey day logjam. Timing everything around when the bird comes out of the oven, etc...Now a whole hour of free oven time! Heaven! Now going out to look for a cooler big enough for a 20 lb. bird. Do you think it would be weird to take the turkey shopping with me to test the cooler size?! :-)
grosenb562 November 11, 2012
Brilliant idea about the cooler. Thanks Tom. May your feast be eaten with gratitude and merriment.
pierino November 9, 2012
Great column Tom. Best wishes for the holiday.
EatArt November 8, 2012
While I am an omnivore, and the photo of the live turkey is very beautiful, I had trouble with seeing it as part of this article about Thanksgiving food. Clicking from live bird to roasted bird emphasized my discomfort. I realize it is somewhat hypocritical since I roast turkeys too, and I do appreciate the farm-to-table thing, but somehow, this really bothered me. Enjoyed your article though :)
Merrill S. November 8, 2012
Love the turkey/cooler idea. May try it this year!
It does work really well Merrill. The cooler I used held it at near temperature(165) for about an hour and forty five minutes.
Amanda H. November 8, 2012
Nice buns, Tom!
Thanks, even I have to control the urge to give them a squeeze when walking by.
MrsWheelbarrow November 8, 2012
Terrific advice, Tom. I would add that anyone who is making dessert... esp. pie... crusts can be made weeks ahead, rolled out, layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper, and stored flat in the freezer. Defrost as needed, just enough to soften, then press into your pie pan and you're ready to fill. I make six or more pies, and do all the baking at breakfast time, to keep the oven free later. I also use my gas grill like an extra oven, and roast my turkey, in a roasting pan, on the grill. We all need more oven space.
Absolutely! I do everything I can ahead of time so that come Turkey day I have nothing to worry about
nannydeb November 8, 2012
Great advise! I'll try the ice chest (turkey warmer) trick this year. Having a restaurant and catering background definitely helps, especially with the prep and organization. We are lucky that our next door neighbors visit family in Colorado every Thanksgiving and let us use their kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving!
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