In the beginning of our marriage we did a fair bit of eating Thanksgiving dinner at parents' houses and bringing along a pie or some rolls.
As the years rolled on, though, I nervously began to plan and execute Thanksgiving dinners at my own home. I made my share of blunders and oversights, and I would like to share with you some things I have learned that I believe are essential in planning and serving Thanksgiving dinner.
- If the turkey is frozen, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge a full week before the big day. I am not kidding! Those things take forever to defrost and you will be sorry on the morning of Thanksgiving if you do not heed this advice. All your hungry guests will be sorry too, because they will be eating tuna fish sandwiches while the frozen turkey stubbornly refuses to finish roasting in a timely manner.
- The night before Thanksgiving dinner, brine the turkey. That means putting it in an ice chest with 2 cups salt, 1 cup brown sugar and just covered with water and plenty of ice. This will ensure the bird is flavorful and juicy!
- Plan out your menu and prepare as much as possible ahead of time. The day of the event, you'll want to be focused on making sure the turkey is done, but not overcooked, (internal temp. reaches 161) and having fresh, hot rolls.
- Use the nice dishes! This is the day they have been sitting in the cabinet, rubbing their little plate-y hands together waiting for!
- Make sure to have plenty of ice. Nothing stikes a panic like forgetting you used every bit of the ice in the ice maker last night to brine the turkey, and now having nothing to put in the glasses for the iced tea.
- Make sure the dishwasher is empty so you will have a quick(er) cleanup after dinner.
- Enjoy the day! It likely won't be perfect. Few days are. Don't dwell on what went awry, but on being thankful for your blessings.
- See one of my most popular posts, "The Most Delicious Turkey Ever"  for my secret to moist, delicious turkey every time.