We’re heading to Cheboygan for Thanksgiving again this year and just like last time, I’m bringing dinner with me. Since my husband has to work all day on Wednesday, we aren’t planning to leave until late Wednesday night. Needless to say, come Thursday morning I’ll be tired, crabby, and in no mood to wake up at the crack of dawn to peel potatoes and snip green beans for our Thanksgiving feast. Luckily, there are plenty of things I can prep the day before. Leaving less for me to do on the big day.
Mashed Potatoes – Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. Making good tasting mashed potatoes can be time consuming – especially when it comes to peeling and chopping them. This is why I always get them ready in advance. The night before Thanksgiving I peel the potatoes, chop them and toss them in a bowl of cold, salted water. I keep them in the fridge until the next day, when I’m ready to cook them.
Sweet Potatoes – If you use canned sweet potatoes, then you don’t have to worry about doing any prep work. However, if you’re like me and prefer freshly prepared sweet potatoes, then you have a little bit of work to do. The night before, you can peel and quarter the sweet potatoes. You can also prepare the topping,
Stuffing – Again, if you’re using boxed stuffing, the prep work is done for you. If you’re making homemade stuffing, you’re in luck. You can prepare your stuffing completely the evening before. If you do this, use less liquid than required by the recipe. Add the rest of the liquid just before putting your stuffing in the oven.
Cranberries – Since cranberries are typically served cold, preparing them the day before is perfect.
Green Beans – Wash and snip your green beans. Dry them with a clean kitchen towel and store them in a plastic Ziploc bag.
Turkey – I make homemade gravy, to make the gravy more flavorful, I line my roasting pan with carrots, celery and onions. The roasted vegetables, combined with the turkey drippings, makes a very flavorful gravy. The night before, I chop the vegetables and get them ready for the roasting pan. That way, the next morning all I need to do is toss the veggies in the roasting pan, put the turkey on top and toss it in the oven.
By doing so much of the prep work the night before, Thanksgiving day is a lot less stressful. This takes a big load off of my shoulders (and my mind) and lets me enjoy the day so much more.