Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving Planning: My Cooking Timeline

I thought I'd share my cooking timeline with you, this is the only way to get everything done on time. Thanksgiving has crept up quickly and my cooking starts this weekend. If you don't recall, I posted my menu on October 31 and my general timeline to get through November on November 1. I ordered my ham today from our local butcher and that will be ready for me to pick up on Wednesday after work. I have dinner at 2pm, it's the only way to get everything done on-time and not go insane. My turkey will take a minimum of 4 hours and a max of 5.5 and needs to rest for at least 20 minutes after it's done, so I assume 5 hours, with 30 minutes in the oven to crisp the skin. My last hour is VERY tight, but it's the only way to get everything to the table warm and on time.

* Modifications Since 11/1

My Menu:
Turkey, brined and basted with a sage orange butter
Ham, with a brown sugar glaze
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes
Egg Noodles
Green Bean Casserole
Corn on the Cob
Cranberry Sauce
* Touch-of-Grace Biscuits

Hot Buttered Rum
Hot Apple Cider

and for dessert...
Pumpkin Pie
Buttermilk Pecan Pie
* Apple Pie (spiced apples made and canned already)
and Ice Cream (already bought)


Make Butter mixture for Hot Buttered Rum
Add spices to Apple Cider.
Make Sage Orange Butter mixture for the Turkey
Pull turkey out of deep freezer and place in pan in the refrigerator to defrost

1 Wash and/or iron any linens, as needed
2 Pick up all perishables and anything else you haven't bought already
3 Clean out your fridge and freezer to make room for all the make ahead dishes
4 Make a meal for Wednesday night that can just be heated up quickly
5 Write down everything you are serving on small pieces of paper, assemble all of your serving platters and utensils and put the corresponding slip of paper with them. Borrow additional items, if needed.
6 Clean out your ice trays and start making extra ice for Thursday.

Put together the centerpiece

1 Dust and vacuum the rooms you will be using
2 Clean the powder room
3 Have all dishes washed and put away (you will want an empty dishwasher ready to go) and counters wiped down and ready for service

Set up the tables and chairs for Thursday
Make cranberry sauce
Make the glaze for the ham
Assemble dry brine ingredients
Assemble dry dressing ingredients
Make punch and put in downstairs fridge

1 Put the turkey in brine solution, if applicable
2 Set the table
3 Have all dishes washed and put away (you will want an empty dishwasher ready to go) and counters wiped down and ready for service
4 Consult your timetable for tomorrow
5 Go To Bed Early! You will need to wake up early to get everything done on time.

Make pecan pie
Make apple pie
Assemble Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes without the topping
Assemble Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes without the topping

Rinse Turkey thoroughly, pat dry and cover with Sage Orange Butter and put in the Roaster by 8am
Relax until 11:00am
11:00am Coat Ham with glaze and put Ham in downstairs oven (it's precooked and just needs warming)
11:15am Whip cream for pies later
11:30am Assemble the pumpkin pie and put in the fridge to cook later
12:30pm Assemble Green Bean Casserole and Dressing
12:45pm Top Potatoes with respective toppings
12:55pm Set up coffee maker with 1 hr delay
1:04pm Take Ham out of downstairs oven to rest, tent with foil
1:05pm Put Turkey in downstairs oven to crisp skin
1:08pm Put Green Bean Casserole, Dressing and both Potatoes in the upstairs oven
1:15pm Assemble Biscuits
1:35pm Take Turkey out of downstairs oven to rest, tent with foil
1:39pm Put Biscuits in the oven downstairs
1:40pm Get two pots boiling for Corn and Noodles
1:43pm Make the Gravy
1:45pm Boil Egg Noodles on the stove
1:45pm Boil Corn on the stove
1:48pm Pull the Green Bean Casserole, Dressing and both Potatoes out of the oven
1:49pm Put Cider on stovetop to heat
1:50pm Half the Dressing and drizzle half with Turkey broth from the pan
1:55pm Toss the Egg Noodles with 2 Tbsp Turkey Fat leftover from making the gravy
1:56pm Stick Pumpkin Pie in the upstairs oven
2:40pm Stick Apple Pie and Pecan pie in the oven to warm up for 5-10 min

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