Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year.

We're pretty casual, simple people, so I'm not worried about fancy foods or decorations or centerpieces or hors d'oeuvres.

I am worried about getting everything done at approximately the same time.

We're having a turkey roll, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, wax beans, rolls...I think that's it for the cooked things.

Any hints?


Amanda Stehlik said...

Mashed potatoes will stay warm for quite a while in a heavy bowl on on the stove. I always have those done when I get the turkey out. You can make your gravy while your turkey rests...or while your husband carves it (that is what we do...no ceremonial carving at the table). You can bake your rolls while you make the gravy...just have them ready to go when you take the turkey out. I always bake the stuffing inside the bird so I don't have to worry about fitting another dish in the oven. If you run out of oven space, call in some reinforcements and have a family member bring something. By the time you sit down to eat, you'll be exhausted and everything in your kitchen will be dirty, but it's so worth it!!! I love thanksgiving food!

Jenny said...

I was going to say the same thing about the potatoes - you can do them early and leave them on the stove until the last minute. Our family usually boils the potatoes and leaves them that way until the last minute, then we whip them into mashed potatoes. You could do the stuffing in the microwave, from a box, or like Amanda said put it in with the turkey. Wax beans could be ready early and simmer on the stove, too, unless you are worried about them getting too soft and then you might want to wait. So really, you are left with just the rolls that you might want to coordinate to get done at the same time as the turkey. Either let them bake while the turkey is carved or during the last few minutes the turkey is cooking if there is room in the oven. Like Amanda said, you can make the gravy while the turkey rests and is carved (not sure what you do with a turkey roll?), especially if you're planning on using the drippings.

I pictured my sweet Grandma doing all these things as I described them to you... When we repeated her steps at my house the first year she was gone it was like a dance (clumsy as it might have been compared to hers), honoring her years of serving us. That sounds sappy, and maybe no one else present saw it that way, but that's how I picture it when I think back on it now.

easton's momma said...

I always use a roaster to do my turkey instead of the oven. One, it frees up the oven for other things, and two, you can put it in another room and it's out of the way and not heating up the kitchen. Plus, my roaster has the 3 warming trays, so once the turkey is done, I fill the bottom with water and put in the trays and can keep other things warm, like the potatos, veggies, and the cut up turkey. If you don't have a roaster and would like to borrow mine, I'd be happy to bring it in to town and send it home with Susan (if she's still in town, that is.) It actually works really well. We use it for our annual Christmas party when we usually feed about 40 people. Good luck! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm hopeless at getting things done at the same time. Let us know how it goes.

In the Mix said...

I'd say turkey roll and stuffing in the oven at the same time. It may take a little longer if they're both working at the same time but you can allow for that. While they're cooking you can do your potatoes on the stove. They stay warm in a bowl covered on the back of the stove but you can always warm them up in the microwave in a pinch. In the name of simplicity I'd buy a jar of gravy and warm it when you have a chance. That's one less thing you have to worry about. I'd have the rolls ready to go in when you take your turkey roll and stuffing out. Those need to rest anyway so they can rest while the rolls bake. In the meantime you can do your beans on the stove top and voila you're done! You're going to do great!!

betsyann said...

Thanks everybody! I'm taking notes from your comments, taking courage from your confidence, and taking a deep breath.

Janie--don't worry about the roaster, but thanks!

The Gray Roach said...

Again with potatoes. I put mine in the crock pot, pour in about 1/2 cup milk in the bottom, put in the potatoes, don't stir, at the last minute, stir with the milk, they'll taste fresh and creamy. I got that tip from Food TV.
What is a turkey roll?

betsyann said...

We've been calling it a turkey roll, but when I picked it up from Dad this evening I looked at it--it's called a turkey roast. It's turkey, with no bones or anything. White and dark meat rolled together or something. Easy cheater turkey. Mom was so excited last year when she found it.