Thanksgiving Planning Makes for a Low Stress Holiday!

Thanksgiving is around the corner and now is the time to take 5 minutes and jot down a to-do list for the couple of days leading up to the holiday.  Professionals call it ‘mise en place’.  It’s the preparing and organizing you do before you cook and serve a meal.  A little effort hear and you will find yourself more relaxed and having more fun on Thanksgiving day.  For starters, try to do as much preparation as you can the night or day before.  Even two or three days ahead works great for some items like the cranberry relish, salad dressings, and soups.  I try to take the tasks that are traditionally done right before the meal is served and figure out how to do them early.  For instance you can boil, dry, and rice your potatoes the day before and finish them into mashed potatoes with hot cream and butter the next day.  You can even take your turkey neck and roast it to then make a stock and gravy the day before, then just add some pan drippings a bam, you have a great gravy.  Brining your turkey the evening before delivers a moist flavorful breast.  While pies and cakes are easily done the day before. Salad greens can be washed and stored with wet towels on them in the fridge.  Shrimp can be poached and chilled for appetizers and the cocktail sauce can be made.  Other appetizers such as artichoke spinach dip and marinaded goat cheese can be prepared and just heated the next day.  There are endless ideas here, so think up a few.  I hope everyone has a great Holiday.  Good Cooking, Good Eating, Good Company!  Johnny