Thursday, I have your number.

Thanksgiving is only a day away and I am all caught up. I finished the pie crust this morning. There is some tidying and one more big trip to the store for the more perishable things like parsley, chives and celery. ( Imagine having bought celery on Sunday only to have it droopy by Thursday just because you couldn’t wait?!) My plan for Thursday has shaped up nicely.  The aim is to sit down at 6 PM, which is late enough not to feel geriatric and early enough so that the kids don’t start wigging out. This is the plan:

Thanksgiving Day Schedule

8:00 AM – Peel apples, and cook them down for pie filling (Joy of Cooking Method 2 – from 1997 edition) Remove pie crust from refrigerator so it will be just pliable enough to roll out. Do this about half way through peeling the apples.

8:30 AM – Roll out pie crust. Fill and bake the pie.

9:00 AM – Pare the carrots, trim then blanch the green beans, brown the almonds slowly  in butter, wash and finely chop parsley to be set aside for garnishing.

10:00AM – Set table. The linens are already ironed – whew! Put the cranberry sauce in appropriate serving bowls and put in the fridge.

10:30 AM – Put sparkling water, apple juice and champagne in cooler outside.

12:00 PM – Start the stuffing/dressing – chop and saute all vegetables and sausage and stir it all together – this should take about an hour.

12:30 PM – Preheat oven.

1:00 PM – Stuff and start the turkey. Refrigerate remaining dressing in an oven-to-table pan, wrapped in plastic wrap.

1:30 PM – Baste the turkey now and every half hour until it’s time for dinner

1:30-4:00 PM – Put your feet up except for the basting part. Now is the time for Monopoly, a puzzle, the football game or a walk with the dog.

4:00-5:00 PM – Peel and cut the potatoes and put them in a large pot covered with cold water.  Start the red cabbage at 4:30. It takes 1 1/2 hours to cook down. Pace yourself – the next hour will be intense!

5:00-6:00 PM:

  • Start the potatoes.
  • The turkey is ready to come out of the oven at around 5:15 PM. When the turkey comes out of the oven, pop the dressing in.
  • Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and set it on a large cutting board with a gutter to catch the juices. Cover with foil.
  • Make the gravy.
  • Start the carrots.
  • 5:45 PM – The potatoes will be done. Pull the dressing from the oven. and cover with foil.
  • Turn the oven off and put all the platters and serving dishes into it – so they warm in the residual heat.
  • Mash the potatoes and put them in a double boiler over low heat with a lid on top.
  • In a large heavy saute pan, heat the beans in olive oil and butter and season with lemon rind, salt and pepper. Toss in the almonds.
  • Finish the carrots.
  •  As you are doing the vegetables, ask someone to carve the turkey. I have Martin all lined up.
  • While the turkey is being carved, put the carrots, beans, and cabbage in the warm serving dishes, the potatoes in a hot bowl. Put the gravy in the gravy boat.
  • Set everything out on the table and call everyone to dinner.
It’s a little weird to write this without a set menu and recipes, so here is what I happen to be serving:
  • My neighbor is bringing an appetizer and I will serve the Cranberry Shrub cocktail with it
  • Turkey ( I bought a Heritage Bird and brined it.)
  • Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, Pecans and Dried Sour Cherries
  • Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Maple Glazed Carrots
  • Haricot Vert with Brown Butter Almonds and Lemon Zest
  • Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
  • Orange Cranberry Sauce
  • Apple Pie and whipped cream
  • My aunt is also bringing a dessert

And that is that. I just hope I remember to take a picture.

5 responses to “Thursday, I have your number.

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