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Old 11-18-2006, 05:39 PM   #1
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When do you start cooking?

I started cooking on Monday last week for that huge 550 person party I did on Thursday (huge success, by the way). But for my own Thanksgiving dinner, I don't need three days lead time.

I always take Wednesday off, and start cooking things on Wednesday. When my dolly was growing up, I always let her take that day off school. Traditionally, we'd spend the day cooking together. She's coming home from school on Tuesday night, so we can continue the tradition another year! This leaves Thursday for simple tasks and final baking of things. Dinner is later than usual this year, so the turkey doesn't have to go in at the crack of dawn either. I'm thinking 10:30 will be fine.

Has anyone started prepping anything yet?

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Old 11-18-2006, 06:00 PM   #2
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No ... Since we've moved back to WI, I don't do Thanksgiving for us anymore and I have to say I miss it. When we lived in OR, I would do dinner for our neighbors and friends who didn't have families to go to and it was a ton of fun. I would start the day before (after school) with desserts (always a cheese cake and pumpkin pie) and getting my sweet potatoes boiled and peeled. Thursday morning I would get up around 7:00 to start everything else. It was always a nice, quiet (but busy!) morning with a little red wine, the parade and great smells from my humble little kitchen ... hmmmm. This year, my only instruction was to bring the cranberry sauce. I don't think I'll have to get up at 7:00 to start that. But on the other hand, it will leave me more time for wine and the parade ...

I might have to hijack the holiday from my mom next year ...
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:07 PM   #3
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I started several days ago making the bread for the stuffing,one white, one wheat and one onion, last night I made the cranberry sauce, today I made several foccacia and am now working on the filling to stuff into hollowed out zucchini and onions. I do it early and freeze the breads, foccacia and the filling.Tomorrow, I pick up the turkey and rest of the things I need..Tomorrow, I make the yeast rolls and freeze them, pies and stuffing i'll do on wednesday, start the fillings for the pies and get those baked wed night. Do the anti pasto tray and cover it and make garbanzos, thursday Would rather do the pies thursday morning but have to haul all the things to my daughters house at the crack of dawn and start cooking this meal there..Friday, I hide til noon
I know I've overlooked some step in the plan and will have to back peddle to get it done..Ah welll
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:26 PM   #4
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For me, it's in the car and off to VT as soon as I can on Wednesday (usually noonish). By seven, it's some prep and all the pies until it's done, then cards and bourbon Manhattans. Roll out in the morning at six, cook the stuffing, stuff the bird, stuff it in the oven, and back to sleep until ten. If I'm lucky, I never really woke up. Then, pie for breakfast, bedlam in the kitchen until two or so (don't anyone touch my knives!), carve, and my job is done--except for the eating. I cook, others clean!
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMediger
No ... Since we've moved back to WI, I don't do Thanksgiving for us anymore and I have to say I miss it. When we lived in OR, I would do dinner for our neighbors and friends who didn't have families to go to and it was a ton of fun. I would start the day before (after school) with desserts (always a cheese cake and pumpkin pie) and getting my sweet potatoes boiled and peeled. Thursday morning I would get up around 7:00 to start everything else. It was always a nice, quiet (but busy!) morning with a little red wine, the parade and great smells from my humble little kitchen ... hmmmm. This year, my only instruction was to bring the cranberry sauce. I don't think I'll have to get up at 7:00 to start that. But on the other hand, it will leave me more time for wine and the parade ...

I might have to hijack the holiday from my mom next year ...
I understand exactly how you feel. I have already told my kids that I have to 'do' this holiday till I die. I positively love the early morning work. And the running back and forth into the living room to catch a minute of the parade between peeling potatoes!

I vote for hijacking!
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma
I started several days ago making the bread for the stuffing,one white, one wheat and one onion, last night I made the cranberry sauce, today I made several foccacia and am now working on the filling to stuff into hollowed out zucchini and onions. I do it early and freeze the breads, foccacia and the filling.Tomorrow, I pick up the turkey and rest of the things I need..Tomorrow, I make the yeast rolls and freeze them, pies and stuffing i'll do on wednesday, start the fillings for the pies and get those baked wed night. Do the anti pasto tray and cover it and make garbanzos, thursday Would rather do the pies thursday morning but have to haul all the things to my daughters house at the crack of dawn and start cooking this meal there..Friday, I hide til noon
I know I've overlooked some step in the plan and will have to back peddle to get it done..Ah welll
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Kudos to the woman who makes the bread for the stuffing! Indeed!!
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bullseye
For me, it's in the car and off to VT as soon as I can on Wednesday (usually noonish). By seven, it's some prep and all the pies until it's done, then cards and bourbon Manhattans. Roll out in the morning at six, cook the stuffing, stuff the bird, stuff it in the oven, and back to sleep until ten. If I'm lucky, I never really woke up. Then, pie for breakfast, bedlam in the kitchen until two or so (don't anyone touch my knives!), carve, and my job is done--except for the eating. I cook, others clean!
You sound alot like me! Only thing is, I never get back to bed! I was telling my boyfriend last night that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. Everything about this particular day is positively brimming with tradition.

I don't clean either.

I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving, and a very safe and uneventful drive to Vermont.
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:18 PM   #8
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as an expat running a household & running a business, thanksgiving is shunted to the closest sunday. in essence, it's just a glorified sunday dinner. also, i do a roast chicken instead of a turkey, for the following reasons: neither my wife, daughter or i are big eaters (we get 3 meals off of a regular sized, stuffed, roast chicken); i have a large oven, for japan that is. a regular sized turkey will fit in, but only just barely, and too many hot and cold spots develop; there are small turkeys available that are about the size of a chicken (or even smaller!), but at about $40 a pop as opposed to $10 for a chicken, i pass.

my typical regimen is: 1 apple & 1 pumpkin (kabocha) pie done in the morning; half a dozen pints or so of cranberry sauce canned late morning or noonish, stuffing prepped except for addition of milk & egg early afternoon; boston brown bread midafternoon. other than that, it's just a salad and a few vegetables as usual.

while there's something on from fairly early, it's not hectic. i've got plenty of time to sit down and read for a while here & there throughout the day. also, since pumpkin pie is my daughter's favorite, the last couple of years i've been letting her make it on her own. my one slight regret is that, while i've still got several quarts of mincemeat i put up a couple of years ago, no one else will touch the stuff. since it's hard to justify having 1 pie per person, i usually forgo.

since i make up pie crust mix by the kilo bag of flour, i've almost always got enough mix in the freezer for a couple of pies, and sometimes i've still got a jar or two of cranberry sauce left from the previous batch. i may or may not prep the dry ingredients for the boston brown bread the day before.

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Old 11-18-2006, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma
... making the bread for the stuffing,one white, one wheat and one onion, ...
I usually made a loaf for stuffing as well but never thought of making onion bread - what a GREAT idea! Can you really taste it or is it nice and subtle? Next year when I take over the holiday again, I'll have to keep that in mind.

The way I see it, VeraBlue, my mom can keep Christmas (since there is no good parade to sip wine to while I cook) so would she really miss Thanksgiving?
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:34 PM   #10
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I'd like to start early. Monday or Tuesday would be ideal for getting a head start. dh doesn't get paid until Wed! So I will be doing all the shopping that morning. I'll get started as soon as I get home in the afternoon. I need to sit down and come up with an efficient plan. I'll do crans, the broc rice casserole, brine the turkey, and the choc kahlua mousse. I might make the broth if I have enough time. Thursday, I'll start cooking when I get up or soon after I have my first cup of tea.
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:41 PM   #11
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Outside of baking a couple of loaves for us this week (10 other big loaves for family, that I delivered Thursday), I won't do more than chop onions, celery and bell peppers on Wednesday night to prepare for the huge batch of gumbo for Thursday. I might make the deviled eggs Wednesday night too, just depends how I feel. When I make a big traditional dinner, I usually bake my own white, whole wheat and cornbread like Kadesma does; just can't beat the taste and smiles you get for doing it that way!!!!
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:19 PM   #12
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.... don't tell any one but I'm really looking forward to not cooking a thing this holiday.
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:27 PM   #13
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Starting tomorrow I'll do a little each day. Tomorrow is the pie crusts - then park them in the freezer, Monday the cranberry chutney, Tues. final shopping, etc. etc.
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:32 PM   #14
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Since it's just the two of us this year, I wont be making anything in advance. Anything that needs to be chopped, baked, etc. will be done on T-day while I watch the Macy's parade.

Maybe I missed something pdswife...why arent you cooking this holiday? Oh wait, your probably one of the lucky ones that is traveling to someone elses house !
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philso
my one slight regret is that, while i've still got several quarts of mincemeat i put up a couple of years ago, no one else will touch the stuff. since it's hard to justify having 1 pie per person, i usually forgo.


My mom never gets mincemeat pie for the same reason. I'll bet she'd be happy to take some off your hands!
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:32 PM   #16
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I started a couple of weeks ago when I dried all my bread cubes in my food dehydrator. Last Thursday I braised my turkey necks and made the turkey stock base for my gravy. I also chopped all my stuffing veggies and have them in the freezer.

Today I'm going to make the dough for my potato rolls and make my cranberry chutney. The chutney is always better if it ages for a couple of days. Tomorrow I'll make the base for my pumpkin pie and bake the potato rolls. Tuesday I'll bake my pie shell and finish the pie, then cut up the celery and carrots sticks.

Wednesday I'll make my sweet potato-banana casserole, peel my russets for mashed and make the pineapple-lime-cream cheese molded salad. The only thing left for Thursday will be stuffing and baking the bird. Small one for us this year. Only 15 pounds. Largest one I have ever cooked was 33 pounds, but that was when all 5 of our children were still at home and eating like food vacuums.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:38 PM   #17
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Sometimes I think half the fun of Thanksgiving is all this make-ahead activity. You know, the journey vs. the destination and all that.

We're going to be freezing at the parade this year (be sure to look for us and wave), so no prep work for me. But my folks will be arriving the day after we get home after visiting sis down in VA Beach for Thanksgiving, so we will cook up a storm then and I can unload some more limoncello on Dad.
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:00 PM   #18
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I'll start the day before. On Wedneday, I'll make the pecan pie, the butternut squash dish, the cranberry sauce. I'll also put the turkey into the brine.

Thursday the turkey goes into the oven, I make the pilaf and heat up the squash and make the creamed onions. Then comes the gravy.

I'd like to eat later in the day so there's time for a cocktail before we eat. (Yeah, I know, there's always time for a cocktail, but you know what I mean)
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:56 PM   #19
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I've got all the stuff downstairs to make the lemon creme mold and start the boston creme pie.....but I cannot seem to motivate myself today!
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:15 PM   #20
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I start my cooking on Wednesday morning....
and try to have it complete by 2pm...
this year its just me my hubby and kids, so I can linger some what :)
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