While the holiday season is meant for relaxation and quality family gatherings, most of the time, for many, it results in stress. Instead of running yourself crazy, doing nothing but cooking and sweating over the hot stove on Thanksgiving day, here’s how you can prep dishes ahead of time. These tips will allow you to have rich conversation with family, take a nap or two, and enjoy the most special time of year!
Pre-Roasting Turkey Hacks
The turkey entrée is usually the biggest stressor, as it’s the main event of the meal. It also has delicate preparation instructions. If you plan to brine or dry brine the turkey, did you know that can be done one to three days out? Or, if you are roasting the turkey in butter, the butter can be prepared days in advance, then stored in a container in the fridge. On the other hand, if you plan to make the butter combination months in advance, it can be frozen for up to three months.
Those Mashed Potatoes
What’s the holidays without a large serving of mashed potatoes and gravy? A week or two before, go ahead and prepare them and store in a casserole dish, then freeze. About two days out from Thanksgiving, put them in the fridge so they can start to thaw. And remember, don’t skimp out on the butter or cream, as it’s the best part and it will keep just fine in the freezer!
Pumpkins & Sweet Potatoes
Any master of the kitchen knows chunky vegetables don’t freeze well, but they know purées do. To make your pumpkin or sweet potato casserole simpler, go ahead and blend up the ingredients. Store and freeze, and defrost and warm to add to your recipe whenever you are ready.
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You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a basket of warm, buttered bread. If you believe in baking these treats homemade, the good news is, bread freezes wonderfully. Prepare them, but don’t bake them until the day of the meal, as they don’t freeze as well after baked. They will be just as scrumptious as if you had made them on Thanksgiving day!