This is my first attempt at making the Thanksgiving feast. Can I freeze my apple pie and bake it tomorrow? Pros/cons? I'm looking for ideas, so I don't have to do all of the prep & cooking tomorrow. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!!
Go ahead and bake your pie today! It will be delicious tomorrow. No need to freeze or even refrigerate. Once completely cool, cover loosely and store on the counter. That's all.
This is a great year to start your TG planning notebook/journal. Write down the menu, guest list (head count), and what you did on which day to prepare. On the day after thanksgiving, add notes and comments about what worked and what didn't, quantity of leftovers, what you should do differently next year, including recipe tweaks, and any other logistics and advice to self. I started this about 30 years ago. Although I am not cooking for a crowd these days, reading the journal is great fun, and packed with memories.
I also keep all recipes that are keepers in the same notebook. Very handy, as for example, this morning when my grown son sent a text requesting something I made a few years ago, that he will be making for his grad school friends in Ann Arbor today/tomorrow. The recipe is not online, so it was a great help just to be able to grab the notebook, leaf through to find /scan/send it.
My mother kept a detailed notebook for every dinner party she hosted over a 50 year period.
Yes, packed with so many memories - as well as so much wisdom. (She included notes about what dishes specific people really liked or didn't, for future planning - such a lovely, thoughtful practice.) Happy Thanksgiving everyone and many thanks to our guest Hotline experts! ;o)
Search the Features section of this site for lots of Thanksgiving tips.
My short list of things you can do today and store for use/finishing tomorrow:
* cranberry sauce from scratch; store in fridge.
* par boil green beans +/or other sturdy vegetables like cauliflower; store in fridge, finish tomorrow with nuts, sauce, etc.
* home made bread or rolls - start dough today, let rise overnight in fridge & bake Thursday morning. Or let rise at room temp and bake later Weds.
* soup (if you have enough fridge space or live where garage/porch temp is under 40F or 4C) - start it today, finish with delicate herbs or last minute garnishes tomorrow.
Good luck, and don't worry (too much). Even the problemsare a bonus - think of the stories you'll be able to tell!
I'm a few minutes early for my turn at the Hotline, but I thought I'd jump in and echo: You have the right idea: Get as much done in advance as possible. The pie will be fine covered on the counter (unless you have a husband, kids, or dogs who can't be trusted). And a good cure for the jitters is a nice glass of wine and deep breaths. Repeat the mantra "I am smarter that a dead bird".
You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for the great tips and words of encouragement :) Happy Thanksgiving!!
I got divorced when my daughter was 2 and had never made Thanksgiving all by myself. We had no family around so I invited all sorts of friends so my daughter would think it was very special. Then, I thought I had gone crazy. I was so nervous. So, I started making meticulous notes about what I needed to do which I refer back to 13 years later. Don't be afraid to say yes to people who want to bring something (everyone has something they believe is essential for Thanksgiving) . People really do want to help. Tell them all you've never done it before. Everyone will think you are brave for doing it! One of the best tips I got from my ex- sister in law was to make the mashed potatoes in advance and put them in a crock pot on warm - frees up the stove. You will be fine and it will be great and all of your guests willl only remember how much they admire you.
And serve lots of wine!
MMH - what a good story! You were strong and brave that first year and since for your daughter and your guests. :)
And now you are paying it forward in helping Briana.
Wishing you and your daughter and all at your table a wonderful Thanksgiving!