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Preparing thanksgiving menu how to create the perfect one

Preparing Thanksgiving Menu — How To Create The Perfect One

Everyone is home for the holidays. Or are they? Will the kids make it? What about unexpected guests? Here is the first hurdle in preparing for Thanksgiving. It is not so much a meal as a running feast. Old friends who were just passing through ring up and drop by at the last moment. The kids bring friends home. Guests you had counted on get snowed up or stuck in a fog bound airport.
You need snacks at a moment’s notice. You need hot food. You need cold food. There must be early morning breakfasts for those who are going out to play football and mid morning brunches for when they come back. There are late lunches to leave the morning free and early lunches to leave a clear afternoon. There are afternoon snacks to eat in front of the television. There are nibbles with drinks for visitors. There are late suppers when the fog bound travellers finally make it over your threshold.
Oh, and there’s the Thanksgiving dinner. Pride of place in this holiday season of eating must still go to the great feast itself. The turkey and all the rest of the festive fare must look, smell and taste so appetizing in the midst of this plenty that every guest will feel they have participated in a special day.
The first thing is to plan ahead. Make a shopping list and a menu. Plan what meals and snacks you will need for the whole holiday. Make sure you have food on hand for the unexpected guest. The essence of Thanksgiving is hospitality.
In any holiday season the food we most often run short of is the simplest food. Make sure you have enough of the basics in the house so you can rustle up a quick meal. Check that you have bread and milk, eggs and flour, pasta and rice. A little tin of anchovies and some garlic will make a wonderful pasta dish in a hurry if someone turns up unexpectedly.
Cooked meats and delicatessen items are essential for snacks as well starters. You can even make a whole dinner out of ready prepared foods from the delicatessen with the addition of perhaps one simple cooked course.
The Thanksgiving meal itself should be planned in advance. Think about the menu and design it around your guests. You may have children to cater for, or vegetarians. Are there old family favorites that can never be left off the Thanksgiving menu? Even if you have cooked a Thanksgiving dinner twenty times it is always worth planning the menu.
Make a timetable so that you know when to put the turkey in the oven and when it will be done. If you have limited oven space it is essential to plan cooking times so that you can make a range of dishes. Stuffings and accompaniments can be cooked ahead of time and reheated before serving. Fresh vegetables are best cooked just before serving.
Timing is everything in preparing a Thanksgiving meal. Your aim is to bring it all together at the same time. If you are not used to cooking big meals with several courses then a timetable is essential.
Do not think of your timetable as a rigid masterplan. You should see it as a guide to what you do on the day. If you have friends and family round they will probably want to help in the kitchen. That is all part of the season. If you are an experienced cook they may seem more of a hindrance than a help. But this is Thanksgiving. If you have your timetable stuck up on the fridge you can pick out a job that is suited to your helper’s skills.
Children can mix and blend. Their attention span may be limited. This is not an efficient way of cooking. But they are creating memories, your’s and their’s, as much as food.
Even the least skilled helper can certainly keep your glass filled with wine and regale you with conversation while you cook. The cook should not be engaged in a lonely battle with the turkey at Thanksgiving.

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