It has begun….I spent the day (not feeling so great…those kids and their germs!!!!)shopping for my Thanksgiving menu. There is something very pleasant about that for me. It’s a tradition….I really do enjoy the shopping. The stores are packed with other shoppers but somehow waiting in the long lines…being bumped all over the place….rude people who clearly believe they are the only people on earth preparing for a holiday this week….none of it really bothers me.
I think it’s because while I so enjoy Thanksgiving…on Friday the real show begins. You see on Friday…while the rest of the folks (here in the United States) is shopping for the those special black Friday deals I spend the day taking down all the Fall decorations that have been up since the end of September. They all get neatly packed away in their labeled boxes with snapping lids. By Friday night all the Christmas decorations are down from the attic and we will have begun to lay them all out. By Saturday we begin the process of decorating this house so heavily it looks like the elves themselves live here. We love every single minute of it. No more mulled cider….we change over to homemade egg nog and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. The music played most of the day (as per my Mother-in-law) is Christmas carols from every artist with a Christmas album. Rod Stewart has a new one out…I know that because my Mother-in-law bought it today. The usual fight over Johnny Mathis vs. Nat King Cole will be had…I will declare victory (Nat King Cole is my guy) and I will play Johnny Mathis to show I am a good sport. It’s tradition!
Before I can get to any of that….I need to make Thanksgiving dinner….
I had quite a few emails from readers asking if I would post my prep list so here it is….Oh, if you missed the menu for this year you can find it here.
Thanksgiving 2012 ~ Prep list
10am ~ Organize my recipes in order of prep
11am ~ bake the apple caramel pound cake for school (deliver at 1pm)
11am ~ Culture the cream for the butter
11:30am ~ Make the cranberry orange chutney
12:30pm ~ pick up last remaining items on my grocery list (except turkey which is picked up on Wed)
1pm ~ pick up 8 bottles of wine from Total Wine (Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir)
3:15pm ~ pick up kids
4:30 ~ Make the vanilla bean ice cream
6pm ~ make dinner
9pm ~ polish silver and iron table-cloth and napkins (kids are sleeping so this is much easier)
9:30am ~ pick up Turkey (I ordered mine from Whole Foods as usual)
10am ~ set up cooler filled with ice for the turkey (I have a huge fridge but still never have room for the turkey) The ice is kept in sealed bags so the turkey can sit in the homemade brine we like to make without getting water-logged.
10:30am ~ begin food prep
Make the bread dough for the stuffing
defrost and drain the spinach for the spinach feta puffs
Peel the pearl onions and make the parmesan cream sauce ( seal the sauce in a separate container until Thursday)
cut the carrot, celery and onions for the stuffing
Shred the cheese for the gougeres
Toast and mince the pecans for the gougeres
Make the butter
Trim the brussels sprouts
Peel and slice the potatoes (store in water with a bit of lemon)
Make the filling for the spinach puffs
8pm~ Set the table
7am ~ Bake Pumpkin pie
8:30am ~ Bake the Cranberry Tarts
10am ~ Bake the apple tart
10:45 ~ make the Parker house rolls but don’t bake (they will be bakes after the turkey is roasted and resting )
12pm ~ assemble the pearl onions in cream
Assemble the pommes Anna
1pm ~ Roast the turkey
4pm ~ finish side dishes
5:30 ~ Open 4 bottles of wine (2 white 2 red)
~ Finish baking off the hors d’ oeuvres
6pm ~ guests arrive ~ Serve hors d’ ouvres
6:30pm ~ Turkey now resting
~ Make all the sides hot and bake the rolls
7:15pm ~ Serve dinner
9:30 ~ Serve Dessert and Coffee
Clean up and a good long sleep…..tomorrow Christmas Season begins!!!!!!
I wish you all (those her in the states that is) a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I also wish you the patience and sense of humor required if you will spend your day with people who can make you crazy. I no longer have those problems…in a past life….whew! It was rough! Now, I get to spend my day cooking for people I truly enjoy and my evening eating a good meal and drinking good wine with those people. Thanksgiving indeed!