(Originally posted Nov 28, 2015)
Now that we’ve made it through another incredible Thanksgiving, I thought I would tell you the secret to a successful (and stress-free) cooking experience. The key is preparation. Cooking for Thanksgiving is a marathon, not a sprint & the more you can complete before the actual day, the better off you’ll be!
Now, Nonnie and I normally split the cooking duties, so I’m typically responsible for…
Sweet Potato Casserole
In previous years I’ve also thrown in…
So for example, if I were making mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, creamed corn and deviled eggs, my timeline may look something like this.
Sunday before Thanksgiving
- Go shopping. This will ensure you get all the groceries you need and can avoid some of the holiday rush.
- Also, if you’re making deviled eggs, buy them now (or even before.) Fresh eggs will not peel, so do yourself a huge favor & buy your eggs early.
Tuesday before Thanksgiving
- Peel your potatoes. Chop them, place them in a pot of water & stick them in the fridge. This probably goes without saying, but keep the Russet potatoes & sweet potatoes separated.
Day before Thanksgiving
- This is a BIG DAY for Thanksgiving preparation. Take your potatoes out of the fridge. Drain the water and follow the recipes from there.
- Once your mashed potatoes are complete, put them in the fridge.
- For the sweet potato casserole, follow the recipe, but stop at the point where you add the topping and bake. (We’ll do that tomorrow.) Cover the casserole dish with foil and refrigerate.
- Complete the creamed corn recipe, cover in foil and refrigerate.
- Complete the deviled eggs, cover and refrigerate.
THE BIG DAY – Thanksgiving
- We normally eat lunch at noon, so in that case, I would put the casserole dishes in the oven about an hour and a half before you need to leave. I throw them in there while it preheats and when it reaches 350 degrees I pull the sweet potatoes, add the topping and then bake per the recipe. (I know the baking temps vary between the corn and sweet pots, but I just put it on 350 degrees and check the corn until it’s warmed through.
- While the oven is preheating, remove the prepared russet potatoes from the fridge and transfer them to a buttered crockpot on the “low” setting. Set the timer for about an hour & a half. Continue stirring, checking the temperature and finally adjusting the seasoning. You may need to add additional butter, salt & pepper once everything heats up.
- Make a checklist before you leave the house & make sure you have all your sides and anything else you to serve them.