Thanksgiving Dinner

Hazel's Hot Dish Recipe of the Week

Check out the recipes from the last few weeks as they will make your Thanksgiving dinner complete! They can be found in the CMT Hot Dish Recipe Archive. All that’s missing is the turkey.

Baking a turkey is simple. Follow the package directions, but cook 30 minutes longer than it says. Prick the turkey with a fork at the thick hip for doneness. If the juice runs red, put it back into the oven for 30 minutes. If juices run clear, it’s ready. I wash the turkey the night before. Oil and salt turkey. I use butter, too.

Here are some tips as you plan your Thanksgiving dinner. It makes things lots easier.

1. Write down your menu now.

Dates in parenthesis will help you find the recipe in the CMT Hot Dish Recipe Archives.

Turkey
Dressing (July 19)
Giblet gravy (July 26)
Green beans (Aug. 9)
Mashed potatoes (Aug. 16)
Sweet potatoes (Aug. 23)
Hazel’s chutney (Aug. 2)
Pumpkin bread (Nov. 1)
Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie (Nov. 8)
Rolls (store bought!)
Iced tea and/or coffee

Check each dish for ingredients. Write them on your grocery list. Decide what you can prepare in advance. For instance, I always buy a fresh turkey. Have it all washed and ready the night before to put into the oven. I know I will need oil, butter and salt to start the turkey.

2. Begin shopping.

Start buying canned items like pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk and seasonings for the pie. For the cranberry sauce for chutney, get the whole cranberry sauce, pineapple and pecans.

3. The day before Thanksgiving

Boil, peel and prepare sweet potatoes. Refrigerate until morning.

Prepare pumpkin pies. Refrigerate.

Prepare pumpkin bread. Cool and tightly wrap.

Make cornbread for dressing. Cool and crumble.

Toast loaf bread for dressing. Cut into inch squares. Store both breads in a tightly wrapped container.

Boil and peel eggs for dressing and giblet gravy. Refrigerate.

Wash and string green beans. Store in fridge in plastic bag until Thursday.

Saute celery and onion in butter. Refrigerate.

Make iced tea. Refrigerate.

Cook giblets. Refrigerate.

Set the table.

4. Thanksgiving Day

Start turkey baking early.

Allow sweet potatoes to sit out an hour. If they seem “stiff,” place in microwave for a couple of minutes. Add a little more milk and beat until smooth. Put marshmallows over potatoes. Place in oven for 15 minutes after turkey cooks.

Cook green beans. Check often.

Mix chutney. Refrigerate.

Start mixing dressing while marshmallows brown.

If you’re eating at noon, have the dressing done by 11 a.m. Take dressing from oven. Slide in rolls.

Peel potatoes around 11 a.m. Slice thin and cook.

Get giblet gravy going.

When turkey is cool enough to handle, take each slice and dip it in the broth, but don’t tell anybody why your turkey is better than theirs. Wrap up the sliced turkey to keep it moist.

Whip potatoes with mixer while food is being placed on table. Hand your food list to someone and have them check off each item as they put it out.

Have a side table for pies, tea and coffee.

Keep the giblet gravy warm.

The above is my Thanksgiving menu. I might chop up a Waldorf salad and probably make some mac and cheese for those precious grandkids.

Here’s wishing you and yours Happy Thanksgiving.

In God’s love,

Hazel Smith