Thanksgiving Lessons Learned

As promise, I am sharing here the lessons I learned by having a “Potluck” -“Shortcuts” kind of Thanksgiving.

Making the Menu, and knowing who was making what went well. I made a schedule of my own assignments and use of the oven to warm up meals by the hour on Thanksgiving Day.

We picked up the “Fresh Turkey” at Whole Foods on Monday, it was easy. Came home and put it in an ice cooler with three bags of ice.

My mom started her “Carrot Salad” on Tuesday, and I prep the 5 cans of “French Style Green Beans”, and saved the aioli dressing for the last moment.

Spatchock Turkey RawOn Wednesday, my husband helped me to spat chock the turkey [16 Pounds] I could not have been able to do it myself, it was too heavy and too bulky, not to mention slippery.

We seasoned it with a dry brine, and put it in a sheet pan in the refrigerator to dry out the skin, and absorb the seasonings.

On Thursday, I made the “Stovetop” stuffing with breakfast sausage, onions, celery, carrots, peppers, and raisins, and heat it on a sheet pan to get some crispy bits on it. At 2 pm we put the turkey in the oven at 450° for 30 minutes, and 1.5 hours at 350°.

While the turkey was in the oven, I set the tables, the side dishes, the desserts, and clean up.

Spatchock TurkeyThe turkey was ready at 4 pm, and at that time, took it out of the oven, covered loosely with foil, and turn on the Instant Pot with 1 cup of pineapple juice, and 1 cup of brown sugar on high for 10 minutes.

I had bought two huge pies from Sam’s Club, a pecan, and a sweet potato pie that look delicious.Also, I purchased Pimento Cheese and the Artichoke and Jalapeño Pepper Dips from Sam’s Club, and I am serving them with Celery and mini Peppers.

Around 5 pm everybody came baring delicious gifts of:   “Mashed Potatoes”,  “Baked Macaroni & Cheese” and “Cranberry Sauce”, “Cheese biscuit rolls” and a baked brie with apricots.

We had Whip topping for the pies and Ice Cream. Variety of Ciders, coffee. We gave thanks, ate delicious food, had good chats, and overall, we had a fabulous time! I will definitely do it again.

What I have learned, and how I will do things different next year.

Next year:

  • I will shred the carrots in a box shredder rather that the food processor.
  • I wil cut up the “spatchock” turkey and roast the breasts on a separate sheet pan, also,
  • I will remove the rack, and roast the turkey touching the sheet pan with a bit of stock on the bottom.
  • I will have the dishes from the “Potluck” brought on a smaller size dishes that would not take too much room on the counter.
  • And lastly, I will carve the turkey ahead of the time set for dinner, and warm it in the oven on a sheet pan with a bit of stock, together with the dressing, and the ham.

That’s all folks! things turned out great! We had a great time, everyone was proud of their contributions, and we spent a fun time together! 

I hope this Journal will help my family and friends in future Thanksgiving Prep list. 


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