Get the Turkey on the Table, Step by Step


Thanksgiving Morning

Here is the real test of character. Getting the big meal prepared and on the table and
still having enough energy to enjoy it!

The example here is a dinner for 12. You probably won’t have as many side dishes. All of the recipes for the dishes are here>>>

Here we go-

The time you have to get up depends largely on the size of your turkey. I cook a 24 lb. turkey. It has to be in the oven by 9 for dinner around 4. 15 minutes per lb., plus time to sit, and carving. If you have dinner earlier, people will be hungry again.

I’m not a morning person, so I get up at 7 so I can putter and wake up. Have to have my coffee and quiet time. Do check to make sure the turkey is thawed. If not, put in a clean sink filled with cool water to finish thawing.

8 am-
_ Turn on oven. 350F.

Wash turkey inside and out. Clear water only!

Prepare stuffing.

Stuff Turkey.

Put in roasting pan. If you are using a foil pan, place a large cookie sheet under it for support. It will be easier to maneuver.

Coat turkey with melted butter. I use at least ½ lb. at this point.

Put turkey in oven uncovered. (I know, everyone else tells you to cover it first. Try it my way. You will never have dry turkey again!)

Peel potatoes. Put them in pot of water. You don’t have to cook them just yet.

Peel sweet potatoes. Put them in pot of water.

Check Turkey every half hour. Baste. Most of our ovens don’t cook evenly. You
may have to turn the turkey every so often to brown it evenly.

Wow! Its only 9:30! Take a break. Eat some breakfast.

Are the wine and pop in the fridge? No room? If you live in a colder climate, put them outside. Otherwise, move them to a cooler.

Prepare sweet potato dishes. They will reheat nicely. Don’t put the marshmallows on yet.

Put carrots in pot of water. (If you use baby carrots, you won’t have to peel and cut up.) Boil until tender. Drain. Glaze with butter and brown sugar.

Put Cranberries, olives, and so forth, into their serving dishes. Cover with saran.

Check turkey. Only when it is nicely, evenly brown do you cover it. Do a good baste. Cover roasting pan with cover, or if you are like me and use a foil pan, cover pan completely and securely with foil.

Set table. (or assign)

Wash all of the dishes that have accumulated to this point.

Take a shower. Get yourself ready, except for final clothing change.

1 hour before turkey comes out:

Make mashed potatoes.

Make green bean casserole – set aside

Make corn casserole – set aside

½ hour before turkey comes out:

Change clothes. (an apron comes in handy now)

Make Gravy.

sweet potatoes with marshmallows

If you are making the mashed sweet potato dish, reheat and top with marshmallows.

If you’ve chosen fresh green beans with almonds instead of the green bean casserole – Steam Green Beans until crisp-tender- about 15 minutes. Watch carefully and do not overcook. Take out of steamer basket and put directly in pot. Throw in about 1 tablespoon butter and toss to coat well. Toss in almonds. Cover.

The Final Dash

Take Turkey out. Set aside for at least 15 minutes before attempting to cut.

Put Green bean and corn casseroles, and rolls in oven. Put sweet potatoes in oven to brown marshmallows.

Start warming up all of the foods so they will be served hot.

Remove stuffing from turkey. Put in serving dish.

Time to start getting it on the table! Recruit help

Have someone carve turkey.

Have others put warm foods into serving bowls and bring to table.

Have others take cold items to the table. _

Have someone fill glasses.

Sit Down, Say Thanks. Let’s Eat!

You’ll have to adjust this schedule according to what you’re serving. You might want
to copy and paste this checklist into word, make any changes you need according to
what you are serving, and print it out. Then you can keep on track. Follow this recipe
for a stress free holiday dinner.

Oh, speaking of Recipes – there are plenty here!

Hey, I want to know: Was this helpful? I’d love to hear how things turned out. Got any stories you’d like to share?

Have a great holiday weekend.


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