When Thanksgiving is around the corner, your home starts to fill with joy. Everyone starts looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner and tasting that delicious, lip-smacking turkey.
If you have been entrusted with preparing the Thanksgiving dinner for your family, you better know how to roast a turkey. However, apart from the mammoth task of roasting the turkey, there are many other things that you need to take care of.
The United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Liberia, as well as less formally in other countries including the Philippines and Brazil, celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It began as a day set aside for offering thanks for the harvest and the previous year. Harvest festival holidays with similar names are celebrated in the fall all around the world.
Thanksgiving is observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada, as well as during the same time of year in other countries. Thanksgiving has been celebrated for a very long time as a secular holiday, despite its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions.
What is the importance of Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is important because it is a joyful, secular occasion where we express our thanks, which is something we don’t do nearly enough these days It also signifies the conclusion of the harvest season. Paying tribute to the crop and other blessings that took place the previous year.
Thanksgiving displays a sense of cultural and societal togetherness It’s the perfect day to spend time with loved ones and give thanks for everything we have. Thanksgiving serves as a reminder to be thankful for all the good things in life, such as cherished family, friends, and coworkers, as well as a healthy lifestyle and body.
To help you simplify your thanksgiving preparation, here are five tips that will help you prepare the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Prepare your arsenal of kitchen tools
The cookware and other kitchen tools are akin to weapons in the arsenal of any good cook. Before you start cooking, it’s always best to gather your kitchen tools and other necessary items in advance, so you know what you have and what you don’t, and can plan your dishes accordingly.
Gather the cooking pans, trays, knives, pots, and other tools like a grinder, blender, microwave, etc., and be ready for the action. Preparing all these will help save time and be more efficient in the kitchen.
2. Let the turkey thaw
If you have a frozen turkey, you have to thaw it before you roast it. Thawing the turkey is one of the essential parts of preparing a turkey. The thawing time varies with the weight and size of the turkey. Allow at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. It means if you have a 16-20 pound turkey, it’s best to thaw it in a refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
3. Get the fresh vegetables
The freshness of the vegetables decides the taste of any food item. That’s why it’s essential to purchase fresh vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner. Be it potatoes, mushrooms, or beans, choose fresh veggies to make delicious sides to complement your Thanksgiving turkey.
4. Remember to make the cranberry sauce earlier
Cranberries and Thanksgiving go hand in hand. Any Thanksgiving dinner is incomplete without cranberry sauce. As Thanksgiving preparation can easily overwhelm anyone, it’s best to prepare it beforehand, so you don’t forget it. You can freeze it and store it in the refrigerator until Thanksgiving dinner.
You can also do the same for mashed potatoes. As it’s not always good to freeze potatoes, you can mash the potatoes instead and freeze them until the big dinner.
5. Create a schedule of things that needs to be done
When you are rushing through your Thanksgiving arrangements while also roasting the turkey and preparing everything else, you are bound to miss a thing or two. So, create a schedule of all the things that need to be done on the big day. Also, make sure you create a list of items that need to be bought from the market.
Don’t forget to ascertain the number of dishes that go in the oven; you need to plan them too. It might sound too confusing, which is why planning ahead helps. Instead of stepping on different stones at a time, prepare your tasks ahead of time.
These are just a handful of tips to keep in mind. Aside from learning how to roast a turkey, make sure you keep these in mind to ensure you and your family have a delicious meal, making for an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner.
Benefits of being prepared before Thanksgiving
- Less hassle- You will experience less hassle and be less likely to panic if something goes wrong if you are sufficiently organized before Thanksgiving.
- Organized- Making preparations in advance will improve organization. You won’t have a constant stream of future thoughts in your head.
- More time to prepare- The ability to prepare without feeling rushed by time will undoubtedly change the game.
- More meals to cook- If you have a large family, planning ahead will help you have a choice of meals to prepare for them.
- More time to design the dining area- It’s best to plan ahead if you’re artistic and desire a lovely eating area so that you have enough time to conceive and implement your desired Thanksgiving theme.
Meals/dishes you can prepare ahead of time
- Gravy- All types of marinades, sauces, brines, etc., can be prepared up to four or five days in advance with little to no quality loss. As the day wears on, flavors are more likely to get better.
- Desserts- Make sure to prepare cakes, pies, and cookies that can last for a few days. This will keep your oven open for the turkey and greatly reduce your worry on the big day.
- Stuffing- Making stuffing in advance has a noticeable flavor improvement. You can save a ton of time because the flavor is still good after few days.
- Casseroles- Classic casseroles like green bean or broccoli-cheddar are excellent to prepare the day before. These reheat well and making them the day before to give the flavors time to blend is excellent.