After serving up a delicious pre-Thanksgiving meal this past Saturday, I can say with complete honesty that it was not without its faults. As with all cooking experience, there was some improvising, and there was also a bit of a failure but it was not a let down in the slightest. In the end I had a great meal with people that I love and I can now live to share a few cooking tips that will help keep your Thanksgiving stress-free (or at least less stressful!).
1. Read the instructions – I will openly admit that I am the first to put something into the pan without having read full instructions beforehand, and learn quickly that it may not have been the smartest way to go about preparing a dish. A slight misinterpretation of instructions can change a consistency or taste of a dish. That being said, make sure that you read the full set of instructions before delving into the cooking process.
2. Double-check your supplies – It is very easy to head over to your nearest supermarket with the belief that you will somehow remember the 25 ingredients in your dish, but I think you should think twice. Having a list written on paper, on your phone, in an application like cookingplanit is a great way to stay organized and not end up in the “I’m missing (insert missing ingredient)” woes.
3. Pay attention to timing – While preparing the many side dishes that accompany the bird to the table, I quickly learned that there are only so many racks in an oven. Not everything is cooked at 325*, and so you must make sure to allow yourself the opportunity for success in scheduling cooking times.
4. Allow time to thaw – While making one of my sides that involved frozen corn, the directions stated that I should make sure the corn was thawed before adding it to the dish and placing in the oven. Because I assumed that a small chunk of frozen corn wouldn’t effect the dish too much, I attempted to cook it as directed. After multiple oven checks, the dish finally came out of the oven with a mediocre consistency. Make sure that you pay attention to those small details and don’t get everything out of the freezer and expect it to be prepared.
5. Prepare ahead of time to help ease work – Pre-chopping and measuring ingredients the night before or before you begin cooking may be a great way for you to minimize the amount of work that is actually done during the time of cooking. Having some of the steps completed early allowed for more mingling time and less time on my feet!
I hope that you have a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday full of delicious food and fantastic family and friends!
Think we missed something? Tweet us @austinfoodstyle to share your Thanksgiving cooking tips!