Thanksgiving Cooking Tips 

It’s not long to go now till Thanksgiving that special time of year where we sit down with friends and family, tuck into a fat juicy turkey and celebrate.

Well that’s the plan, anyway.  Unfortunately, while this may be the experience of most of us it probably doesn’t extend to the thankless task of the burdened cook!

Sound familiar? Bet it does.

Anyway, this Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be thankless,. With a bit of forward planning you really can enjoy the holiday season. It may mean a bit of work with your double oven if you’re lucky enough to have one of course but you really can get through it unscathed and unstressed.

We’ve split this article into three; one week to go, one day to go; and the day itself so read on and get planning a Thanksgiving to remember.

1 week to go!

With one week to go until the big day, those of us who are organized will have it all planned out. However, most of us probably haven’t even thought about what we’re going to buy let alone cook!

With one week to go, there’s plenty you should be doing:

· Decide on your guest list and get final numbers. You need to know how many you’re going to be cooking for, after all.

· Decide on your final menu. You need to know what you’re going to be cooking don’t you? Plus depending on your guest list you may need to tailor           it to suit (if you have a vegetarian in the gang).

· Calculate how much drink you’re going to need. If you have a guest list of 20, say, then 3 bottles of wine “aint gonna cut it now, is it? You need to               decide on whether you’re going to be providing the plonk, or if you can ask your guests to bring a bottle.

· Get prepared early by washing those tablecloths, polishing the silver or giving those place-mats a wipe down.

· Shop for products that won’t go off think onions, potatoes, squash, carrots, parsnips and turnips

· Clean down all the equipment you’re going to need on the big day think turkey platter, serving dishes, serving spoons and things.

1 day to go!

Getting closer,

With less than 24 hours to go, it’s the things you do now which will define how your Thanksgiving goes.

· Your first task should be to delegate tasks. You could ask the kids to take coats and serve drinks, replace ashtrays, serve snacks etc. The less you have to worry about, the better.

· Get the kids to set the table now that should be something they can definitely do.

· Go to the store and buy all the foods that will go off, like salad. You may also need to swing by the store and pick up that fat turkey.

· You may need to set up a bar so wipe down the wine glasses and get the napkins out.

· Peel all the vegetables. This is probably the most tedious task ever so delegate it. If you can’t, then set the radio on and away you go. Store them in pots and pans of salted water overnight if necessary.

· But perhaps the biggest, most important tip of the 1-day to go timeframe, is to make sure the turkey is fully thawed out before you go to bed for the night.


So. It’s arrived. The big day is here. Time to shine:

· Once you get up, you won’t have to worry about setting a table, preparing the bar or peeling the vegetables. They’ll all be done. So get cracking with sorting the stuffing.

· Stick the turkey in the oven. This is going to take time, so get ready by taking a shower and getting prepared for your guests.

· Open the wines and let them breathe you don’t want to be fussing about with corkscrews now, do you?

· Take the butter out of the fridge and let them soften hard butter is a nightmare.

· Check the turkey. You may need to raise the temperature if it’s not cooking properly, or lower it to avoid it getting burnt. Your turkey is your masterpiece,

· Once your turkey is done, bring it out to rest for 20 minutes before you carve it. Instant carving will lead to shredded meat a turkey which has had some time to settle will be both moist and juicy.

· Stick the plates in to warm up, and take your vegetables off the boil.

· Delegate a task for plating up and serving,.

· Welcome your guests and take their coats (see point above), make sure their coats are taken (see point above)

· And enjoy the meal!

And then, once all is done, make sure you don’t lift a finger clearing away plates or washing up. You did the hard work, the planning and the cooking so let the others clear up the mess!

Sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine and toast a Thanksgiving to remember.


Helene Rodriques

Helene Rodriques is a chef who cares about health she is agraduate of Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts, specializing in healthy foods. She is a teacher, lecturer & consultant on Wholefoods cooking Her kitchen provides traditional family cooking, tips to learn how to cook as well as new twists on recipes to make them healthier. RodriquesThanksgivingThanksgivingThanksgiving Cooking Tips  It's not long to go now till Thanksgiving that special time of year where we sit down with friends and family, tuck into a fat juicy turkey and celebrate. Well that's the plan, anyway.  Unfortunately, while this may be the...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids