Cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home and taking it to someone elses home for the feast.

My husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving for about 15 years usually for 15 to 18 people doing the majority of the cooking. This year there will only be 6 of us and we are planning to cook at home and take the food to my 98 year old mothers house. We are considering doing some of the cooking the day before. Perhaps the turkey, sauerkraut, potatoes and stock. Prepping the vegetables but roasting them the day of as well as making the gravy on Thanksgiving. Any thoughts and recommendations on this plan would be greatly appreciated. Love your website! Frannyt

  • Posted by: frannyt
  • November 5, 2019


frannyt November 6, 2019
Very helpful suggestions, especially about the turkey. Thanks so much!
Nancy November 6, 2019
A presentation method (if memory serves, from Ina Garten) that lends itself both to use both at home and away:
1) Fully roast the turkey the day before, let it rest, while resting make the gravy.
2) Carve turkey, put in a low casserole dish with the gravy, cover, refrigerate.
3) Take to the party day-of Thanksgiving and warm in oven.
If you spatch cock the bird, take the turkey & gravy separately so you get the skin crisping when you reheat the turkey.
One suggested change to your plans -
Roast the potatoes day-of and the other vegetables day before.
I find potatoes, especially roasted ones, taste MUCH better eaten soon after they are cooked, while most other roasted vegetables are equally good a day or two after cooking.
Nancy November 8, 2019
FrannyT -
See also this helpful article from last year (Dec 2018) about make-ahead side dish suggestions
frannyt November 9, 2019
Thanks for all the good ideas!

Gammy November 5, 2019
Hi Frannyt! I can see with 15 years of serving a large Thanksgiving dinner, you are definitely a pro! As long as you are not wanting a presentation bird at the table, I would definitely cook the turkey ahead of time, perhaps spatchcock the bird so it will cook more evenly and you can break it down into more compact pieces for traveling (don't forget the foil for reheating). Or you could cook just a turkey breast if no one cares for dark meat. Remember to deglaze the cooking pan for those marvelous turkey juices, as gravy is a must! We love fresh cranberry relish (recipe on the bag of fresh OceanSpray cranberries), (make a day or 2 ahead). What about a dressing casserole than can be put together the day before and heated/cooked at your mom's? Dessert... can you find a frozen pumpkin pie to bake at mom's... would fill the house will Thanksgiving smells. Will your mom be helping in the kitchen?
frannyt November 5, 2019
Thanks for your suggestions. My Mom will not be helping in the kitchen but she will definitely be eating in the dining room!
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