Turkey Day! It's almost here! My very favorite holiday EVER! Well, not including my birthday, which while not a national holiday, is certainly a day worth noting.
So! We! Are! Hosting! I've hosted three or four times, but not for a few years now. We're having 10 adults and three children, including Nelson and our boys. About half family and half friends. A good crowd, but not huge.
There are Things to Do to prepare for Thanksgiving and associated company. The first thing to do is prepare the menu. Done. We are traditionalists in the Oscarelli household, and I also don't believe in overcooking. I try to take it easy on myself, so I also always say "yes" if a guest offers to bring something along. Here's what we are having:
Veggies, cheese, and crackers (provided by a guest)
These mashed potatoes, though I don't bake them (I've made them before and they are delish.)
Stuffing (or dressing if you prefer), my mom's recipe
Candied sweet potatoes (I don't do marshmallows on top of mine.)
Fresh green bean casserole
Rolls (provided by a guest)
Homemade cranberry sauce (and some canned for my Mom)
Green salad (provided by a guest)
Apple pie (provided by a guest)
Pecan pie (provided by a guest)
We like also like our Thanksgiving startchy.
I'll put together the corn pudding and the green bean casserole on Wednesday, and I'll do the cranberry sauce then as well. Wednesday will also be the day I make the candied sweet potatoes pumpkin pie. I'll also prepare the stuffing, because I stuff the bird (I know, I know. I keep some out for the kids and those not willing to take a culinary gamble.) and it has to be cool before you cram it into the turkey's behind.
On Turkey Day, I'll get up early, stuff the bird, and toss her in the oven. I got a 16 and 1/2 pound bird so it should take around 4-ish hours to cook, so I'll put it in around 9:00AM. I cook the turkey with a digital thermometer inserted in it, so I can monitor the the internal temp and I baste every 45 minutes or so. I don't do anything fancy to the bird; I butter it, salt it, stuff it, roast it.
When the turkey is done, I'll put the ham in for about an hour to heat through an I'll start the mashed potatoes. When the ham is heated through, I'll put the corn pudding, green beans, and extra stuffing in to cook and at the very end I'll nuke the sweet potatoes so I can serve them warm, and my sister will make the gravy while Nelson carves the turkey. We should eat by three, if all goes according to plan.
So that's dinner. There's also house prep, which we've already begun. I've already washed all our curtains and re-hung most of them. I also went through and de-toyed our living room a bit in preparation for Christmas, and so we have a little more space in our living room. I need to do more of that, maybe tonight. Tonight, I'll also wash our chair covers, Nelson will finish up some touch up painting , and hopefully we will hang some photos that have been sitting in frames begging to be put on the wall for over a year now.
I've been a cleaning fool. I scoured the kitchen this morning; will do the dusting tomorrow; Nelson will clean the bathroom and wash the walls (crayon/markers) on Wednesday (he took off) while I cook; we'll do a final vacuum of the floors on Thursday morning. Oh, and I really need to get a white curtain for downstairs hallway, but I don't know when that's going to happen. Wednesday morning?
On top of all this, I've promised Oscar we'll do a special craft tomorrow, and I've set up a playgroup for 10AM. And then there's regular housework, dishes, laundry, three meals a day M-W.
I am dangerously tempted, DANGEROUSLY TEMPTED, to get a few newer photos printed out, put into frames, and hung on the walls before Thursday. Our most recent printed and framed photos are from Mother's Day a year ago. Abysmal, I know. And, we have some really good photos from this spring and fall that I really want to have done. But, I'm trying to rein it in because there is a lot to do and I don't want to make things difficult for myself. I mean, of course I really DO want to make things difficult for myself because that's just who I am, but I am resisting! Encourage me to resist!
Alright, chickens, what's cooking? Tell me, tell me, tell me!