Thursday, November 19, 2009

Le Plan

So with T-minus one week until 20 people descend upon my home for a hectic but fun afternoon of food and family, here is the run-down. I love me some list-making. And party-throwing. AND I have the day before T-Day for extra prep...

1. Turkey. This will be pre-cut by the lovely gents at Butcher Boy. The wings and legs will get roasted on their own because I am lazy and that is easy. The breast will get stuffed with rosemary, half an onion and half a lemon. Under the skin it will get butter with garlic, more rosemary and sage from the yard. On top it will get bacon, as is traditional in Matt's family (mostly so they can fight over the bacon later). This will minimize basting and general opening of the ovens so everything will cook reasonably fast.

2. Rolls. From House Of Bread. They don't mess around and I can pre-order and just pick them up the day before.

3. Cranberry Sauce. Probably will get made the day before. Mostly cranberries, possibly with some sort of citrus, some dried fruit and/or a moderate amount of sugar. If I was hard-core I'd do this but I am probably too lazy.4. Stuffing. Brother-in-law's got it covered. I'm not a fan so it's best if somebody else does this. He has mentioned, variously, pancetta and cornbread. I don't know if they will both be in the same recipe.

5. Yams. Love 'em. Could eat 'em until I turn orange. Mother-in-law makes them regularly so she gets to bring 'em. No sweet stuff, just baked. Luuuuuurve.

6. Salad. Mom's got it covered. Thus, more room in the fridge for me.

7. Roasted veggies. My aunt has brought these in the past so she's on the hook for 'em again.

8. Green beans. I will probably do these right after the turkey goes in the oven, I figure I can stick them in the warm oven to reheat after the turkey comes out. I now have lots of options for these, based on that last post. Thanks, everybody!

9. Mashed potatoes. Brother-in-law is also on the hook for these. He likes to cook and has the shortest distance to travel of anybody. So my sister just has to help him carry it all in.

10. Appetizers. People will be showing up any time after about noon, I am guessing. With beer. So for those who came early to beat the traffic, there will be crackers with a couple different cheeses, toasted veggie tapenade (yay for Trader Joe! also spell check wants to replace tapenade with tapeworm. no thanks, spell check) those little mozzarella balls, olives, possibly sliced salami if I go for the gusto, and cut up vegetables and some white bean dip something like this for the healthy snackers. Also, spiced nuts (haven't decided what kind yet but these are hard to screw up. Pecans maybe? Or almonds). This requires almost no actual cooking-type work so I am all over it.

11. Pies. People are bringing variously, apple, pecan and peach pies or other desserts. My plan is to cover the pumpkin dept. as it is my favorite. I am torn between this and this. The first one has been a success in the past but the second one looks sooo goooood. *insert drool here* I may make both just to cause trouble. Because we really need six desserts.12. Miscellany. Whipped cream will get made after dinner so it doesn't take up too much space in the fridge. Gravy will be a pain in the ass. I will probably make turkey stock this weekend for a head start. Veggies will get cut up by the visiting cousins who get here Wednesday. They also get to clean the green beans. I can do all the cooking but if I have some sous-chefs sleeping on my futon by golly they will be slicing and dicing for me. And probably ironing linens and setting tables as well. Drinkers get to bring beer and wine, I will provide a variety of nonalcoholic options.

So: Weekend before: Make stock for gravy, clean house (ha). Attempt to make space in fridge. Roast spiced nuts.

Day Before: pick up rolls, make cranberry, pies and white bean dip. Iron linens (?!) Put together "guest bedroom" for sous-chefs. Make sous-chefs iron linens?

Day Of: Stick turkey in oven, deal with green beans (possibly do in a.m. and reheat?), set tables, put out appetizers and make gravy. Once turkey comes out, put in sides that need heating up. Doesn't sound so bad, does it?

Now what have I forgotten?

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