I need some help and ideas

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
I need some help and ideas
21
Thu, 11-17-2011 - 11:41am

Hi, My name is Trish. I usually hang out over in the parenting area, but I'm hoping you can help me with some ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking. We've always gone to my mother-in-law's house but she moved into a much smaller place this year so we're going to be having 15 - 20 people at our house for the holidays now. I'm nervous about doing all the work since I don't have a huge kitchen. Can you tell me what kind of stuff I can do ahead of time? Or any other tips or ideas or short cuts? I'd really appreciate the advice. My co-worker said her sister used to grill their turkey on the grill so she'd have more room in the oven. I don't think I'm that adventurous, but I'll take any ideas I can get right now!!

Thank you!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Thu, 11-17-2011 - 1:07pm
Welcome to the board! I know the ladies here will have some great ideas for you.

Are you part of the Get Organized for the Holidays Challenge? If not, you can find today's tips here~ (Be sure to sign up too!)

http://www.ivillage.com/challenges/getorganized/assignments?nlcid=gt|11-17-2011|

There were some good tips for preparing that might help you - like buying turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, so it takes less room and cooking time. Another member just posted in this folder about getting two small turkeys instead of one big one.

One thing we do is to make our mashed potatoes in the crock pot, so that I have more room on the stove. You can cook the potatoes the night before, then use the crock pot to warm them up, add in your milk, butter, etc. and mash them right there.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Thu, 11-17-2011 - 1:17pm
I know Karen will have great ideas!

I always chop anything that needs it the day before, and have the pies ready, etc. I also make broccoli salad, and pre-measure the ingredients, put in zip top bags and store in the fridge until it's needed. I also make the dressing and just put it all together at the last minute.

I am wondering about the potatoes. Maybe I can cook them the day before, stash in the fridge, and ehat them up and mash just before dinner. That would be a time saver.

~Misty~


 


Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2002
Thu, 11-17-2011 - 4:28pm

Yes our Kroni

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Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Thu, 11-17-2011 - 10:42pm

Hi Trish!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2000
Fri, 11-18-2011 - 12:59am
Are you doing all the cooking at your place? Is anyone bringing anything? Pies can be done ahead of time, for sure. Crock pots are definitely a big help for keeping things warm for serving, potatoes, corn, stuffing, veggies are all candidates for crocking.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 11-18-2011 - 11:43am

Hi k_roni, I've heard a lot about you! LOL! I'm making all of the really typical things that our family members seem to like. We are the furthest things possible from chefs, so you might cringe reading this, but we make turkey, of course, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes (my mom always put marshmellows on top, but I'm breaking the family of that habit!), green bean casserole, corn, stuffing, salad, and store-bought rolls and bread. I still have to go to the store again this weekend, so I'm contemplating something else to add for color. Maybe a broccoli dish?

My aunt is bringing her homemade cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies and my mom is bringing a pecan pie and some other dessert. I might pick up another frozen pie too just in case. I am not a baker and don't think I have the time for it anyway.

I saw you said not to make the potatoes ahead of time. Does that go for the sweet potatoes too? I think I can put the green bean casserole together the night before and just add the onions on top before it goes in the oven. Will the stuffing get too mushy if I make it the night before and let it sit?

Thanks for all the help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 11-18-2011 - 11:50am
Hi jaielyn, Yeah I'm doing most of it, but I have family bringing the desserts, so that will be helpful.

I do have a few big crock pots. I think I could make the potatoes and stuffing and put them in the two big crock pots to stay warm so I can then use the oven for something else. Having that darn turkey in there makes it hard to cook anything else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2001
Fri, 11-18-2011 - 1:54pm
Your turkey can stay warm for a couple of hours if you cover it with foil. Totally covered, and then get a heavy bath towel or beach towel and cover the the foil covered turkey. All of those layers will keep that turkey nice and warm for a while, then carve it. Doing that would give you your oven back for an hour or 2 right before the meal. You'd just have to get up a little earlier, lol!
When I make the big dinner, I peel, and cut the potatoes, then put them in the pan I am going to use, cover them in water, and stick them in the fridge the day before. So when you are ready to cook your mashed potatoes, just take the pan out, and cook. You could easily do that with the sweet potatoes too. You should be good to put the green been casserole together the night before too. Good luck with your meal. Sounds likee it will be a nice big meal.

christinaaug26.jpg picture by freakytiki2

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Fri, 11-18-2011 - 2:39pm

Thanks momtodylan, that is a really good idea. My son is an early riser, so I'm always up early too. It wouldn't be a big deal at all to put the turkey in earlier than planned.

I was thinking of using a cooler to keep a few of the side dishes warm as I cooked them. But maybe I can do the turkey early and put it in the cooler instead. Either way, it's sounding much more "do-able" now!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2001
Fri, 11-18-2011 - 4:52pm
Thanks for posting this question Trish. I've learned a few thing, and am now planning on cooking the turkey early, and getting the potatoes cut and in the fridge in the morning! =)

~Misty~


 


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