Thanksgiving means serving several kinds of food to your family and friends. However, preparing food would not be an easy task. While you are cooking a large bird – the turkey – you will also need to prepare the other side dishes. It can be exhausting and it can drive you crazy. The pressure that your family and friends will arrive anytime soon could make you feel like you are cramming for an upcoming exam.
Here are the things that you need to prepare ahead of time for Thanksgiving:
- Cocktail Drinks
Thanksgiving would not be complete without a few drinks to enjoy after dinner. Picture yourself catching up with family and friends with a delicious drink in hand.
You can either infuse a drink with warm winter spices or you can create a simple syrup. However, if you want to be extra this Thanksgiving, you can put cinnamon cloves or sticks in a bottle of aged rum or bourbon.
- Pie Crust
There are different ways that you can prepare pies ahead of time. You can freeze a whole unbaked pie or freeze your pie crust right in the pie dish.
The good thing about freezing the pie crust is it will not be tough and soggy when you bake it. You can also prepare a streusel topping and freeze it.
- Salad Dressing
It is quite obvious that you cannot make a salad ahead of time. However, you can prepare its dressing in advance. You can candy or toast nuts and cut bread and freeze it. Make sure that you do not add fresh ingredients like herbs and garlic. Those should be added at the last minute.
- Homemade Rolls
Homemade rolls are like special treats on the Thanksgiving table. Luckily, you can prepare this ahead of time as well.
You can either bake your dinner rolls and freeze them or you can just freeze them unbaked. The rolls will still taste delicious and fresh as you made it on the same day as Thanksgiving day.
- Squash, Sweet Potato, or Pumpkin Purees
Squash, sweet potato and pumpkin do not freeze well, but when they are made into a puree, it could be possible. It means that you do not need to coat them with fat like what you do with regular potatoes.
All that you should do is to cook those vegetables, blend them, put them in containers or freezer bags. After that, you can put them in the freezer. On Thanksgiving Day, you can defrost the puree and rewarm it like mashed potatoes.
- Turkey Gravy
Thanksgiving would not be complete without the gravy for the turkey. You need to make sure that there would be enough gravy for everyone. You can create it ahead of time and freeze it. On Thanksgiving, you can reheat it over low heat. Make sure that you whisk it to make sure that it will have a smooth texture.
You cannot cook the turkey ahead of time, which is very obvious. But you can prepare other tasks. Make sure that you have already decided how you are going to cook the turkey. If you plan on dry brining your turkey, you can do it three days before Thanksgiving.
Since turkey is the most famous Thanksgiving food, you should learn other ways on how to cook turkeys. One of the most favorite ways to prepare a turkey is to deep fry it. Check here for tips for choosing the best turkey deep fryer.