‘Tis The Season For Turkey!
There is nothing quite like putting on your pants with the elastic waist and sitting down on Christmas Day to a home cooked turkey dinner complete with all the gravy, cranberries and apple pie that you can eat.
I can almost taste it now.
As amazing as this experience is, there is one small downside to this yummy tradition, someone has to cook it. For years, your mom slaved for hours cooking a meal fit for kings… and now she’s passed the tradition on to you.
Now that you’re all grown up, it’s time to take the reigns and give back by cooking this full course meal yourself. Christmas is the time of giving, after all.
But don’t panic just yet. I’m here to save you from making a fool of yourself and ruining the most sacred meal of the year. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to impress everyone at the dinner table.
One Week Prior
- Prepare a list of everything you’ll need. And yes, you are responsible for providing cutlery, plates and napkins.
- Clean your fridge and oven. No one wants a burnt chunk of pizza in their yams.
- Make room in the fridge for the turkey and all the other dishes you’ll need to store in there. Don’t forget the liquor, it’s going to be a long week.
Three To Four Days Prior
- Purchase your turkey. The rule is ½ lb per person; add more if you want to have leftover turkey sandwiches.
- If the turkey is frozen, get it in the fridge now so it defrosts or you’ll be sorry later.
- Start purchasing the items on your list that you made a few days ago… remember?
- Make sure you have all the cooking utensils you’ll need (like a roaster). Call mom if you need some help on this one.
The Day Before The Dinner
- You can start preparing dishes such as cranberries and pickles and set them in the fridge so they’re ready to go.
- Chop and peel any vegetables you’ll be cooking. This is a huge time saver.
- Bake your desserts (or just go out a buy them, I won’t tell).
- Take out and thaw anything that’s frozen.
The Morning Of The Big Day
- Get that bird in the oven! Cook it on 350, allowing 20 minutes per pound.
- Get your side dishes ready to be cooked when the time is ready.
- Set the table. Hint: knife on the right, fork on the left.
- Pour yourself a tall drink, sit back and relax. All that’s left is to throw the veggies on the stove when the turkey is almost done. Viola!
It’s surprising that a turkey dinner takes almost a week’s worth of preparation when you can eat it all in about 7 minutes flat. But the truth is, it’s a lot of work and if you’ve been elected Christmas chef, you better make sure you plan it out and do it right.
If you try to wing it, well, let’s just say it’s not a pretty site when angry family members with empty stomachs get a hold of your presents.