Happy Thanksgiving millennials! I’m turning 25 this year (I’m a Thanksgiving baby) so I figured it was time to really understand how to make a Thanksgiving dinner. My parents are pretty expert at this (they owned a restaurant for 22 years), so I followed them around to learn how they put on a delicious Thanksgiving without a hitch. I put together a few tips to make it really simple and stress-free.
Prep the Night Before
To Make your Thanksgiving much, much easier, simply cut and wash your veggies beforehand (this can be the night before, the day before). Here we’ve chopped up our celery and onion for the stuffing, cut the ends of our green beans, and cut up our butternut squash. Disclaimer: the only thing you can’t cut the night before is your potatoes because they’ll turn brown (you can however leave them in water if you’d like). Once you’ve chopped and prepped, put your veggies in large ziplock bags, shown below, and pop them into your fridge. That way, when you wake up the next morning, you can put them in your pan and they’re ready to go!
Use the Recipes on the Back of the Packaging
To make things really easy for yourself, don’t go searching for hours on Pinterest for the most beautiful/complicated recipes. You have easy, fool-proof (and delicious) recipes right on the back of your packages! We use Libby’s Pumpkin and Pepperidge Farm Cubed Stuffing, for example.
Turkey Rule of Thumb
A pound per person, plus leftovers. For reference, we’re having six people for dinner this year (including me), and we have a 20-pound turkey. We’ll typically use the leftover turkey for things like turkey croquettes, turkey-vegetable soup and open-faced hot turkey sandwiches. To prep the turkey: open it up, rinse the turkey, place pads of butter underneath the skin and a little more on top, and put salt + pepper inside and out (*tip: pre-mix your salt and pepper so you don’t cross-contaminate your shakers when you’re constantly juggling the bird and your salt and pepper). Roast as specified on the label of the turkey for number of pounds vs temperature.
Simple Table Settings
Combine classic and useful. We’ve pulled our family heirloom dinner plates with simple cloth napkins and a matching tablecloth. In the centerpiece lies warm-colored candlesticks and pinecones.
And that’s it! What are your Thanksgiving must-do’s? Let me know in the comments.