Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let it Begin - Thanksgiving Prep Day 1

Anyone that hosts Thanksgiving dinner or lunch knows you start prepping well before this week with inviting family and friends, buying groceries, getting tables and chairs, and etc. but today I really start. Yesterday my son had his Thanksgiving feast at school, so over the weekend I made and shredded the turkey for about 60 preschoolers. I can tell you that without a doubt that was the easiest turkey I've ever made and probably the juiciest. I actually did it in one of the turkey cooking bags, not only did it turn out better than ever, it was so simple. My plans for Thursday have now changed and I will now be making both turkeys in bags without stuffing them.

Not happy she wasn't
 being held. 
Anyway, back to today…I teased my son by putting on a starch white apron (forgot I even had until I was pulling out roasters from the garage) and telling him he could help but he would need to say "yes, chef" when I asked him to do anything. He laughed and laughed and told me that I'm not a chef, I don't have a job so he doesn't have to call me that, then the laughing continued.

Each year it's been a tradition for him to help with the cranberry sauce and now that he's five he can do much more with me just supervising. When I started having Thanksgiving at our house, I wanted him to be able to help, cranberry sauce was one of the easier things to do and he gets to tell everyone that he made it!


Cranberry Sauce
1 pkg. cranberries (not frozen)
2 McIntosh apples
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. apple juice

Rinse cranberries (remove any with blemishes)

Peel, core, and dice apples. (When my son was younger, he used a butter knife to cut apples.)

In a saucepan, bring sugar, water, and apple juice to a boil. Add the berries and apples. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes or until berries start to pop. (Little kids love hearing the pops.)

Cover and place in refrigerator. Serve cold.


I also made the pie dough today so it had plenty of time to chill and also because I want to do as much ahead of time as possible. My plan is to make mini pumpkin pies and mini apple pies.


Simple Pie Dough
2 1/2 c. Crisco shortening
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
6 - 8 c. flour

Mix shortening, baking soda, salt, and milk. Then add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out or chill. (Makes about 7 crusts.)


Oh and I forgot to mention, another special bonus with using the bags for the turkeys, I can use both of my roasters and my oven can be used all of Thursday morning for stuffing, pasta spirals and cheese, and keeping anything and everything warm - especially the buttermilk mashed potatoes with mixed herbs and cheddar. Yes, it's a new recipe, and yes, it's probably not always the best idea to try new recipes for 25 people but I'm doing it anyway. My house, my craziness. :)

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