With Thanksgiving approaching, you've still got a tad of time on your side. Use it to wrangle your guest list into place (leaving room for a few day-of tag-alongs), stock up, and keep from getting your feathers all ruffled in a last-second scramble for plates, drinks, turkey and places to sit.
If you've got a rough idea of how many meat-eating guests will be on hand, go with around one pound per person - one and a half if you'd like to ensure a stash of leftovers. A huge bird can be comically unwieldy, so consider sacrificing the Big Platter Presentation for the sake of sanity and back strain. Opt for two (or three or more if you have the oven space) smaller birds - and just remember to make sure you've got enough roasting pans, foil and other poultry paraphernalia on hand.
If even the teeniest turkey is too big for your crowd, consider paring down to parts - just a breast or a mess of drumsticks. That way, each person gets the meat style they prefer, it cooks more quickly and you're not stuck on a search for a six-legged Tom.
No matter if you're serving a mega-bird, a couple of capons or even a tiny Tofurky, we cannot possibly overstate the importance of having stock on hand. Whether you opt for chicken or vegetable, it cannot hurt to have some around to saute sides, stir into stuffing, smooth out gravy or tater lumps and add flavor to just about any dish. It comes in cans or, even better, shelf-stable boxes, and what you don't use for T-Day, you'll burn through before the year is out.
Some Buying Guidelines:
Turkey: 1 lb per person, 1 1/2 lbs if you'd like leftovers (this takes the skin, bones and giblets of a whole bird into account)
Stuffing: 3/4 cup (pre-cooked volume) per person
Mashed potatoes or other starchy vegetables: 1/3-1/2 pound of raw potatoes (or squash) per person, 1 whole sweet potato
Other vegetables: 2-4 ounces or 1/2 cup per person
Salad: 1 cup per person
Beverages: 1-2 8 oz. drinks per hour per guest
Ice: 1 lb per person
Roasting / baking dishes
Baster or basting brush
Napkins (paper or linen)
Tablecloths and placemats
Serving platters, bowls and utensils
Plates and bowls
Aprons (for additional cooks)
Oven mitts / potholders
Containers for leftovers*
Dish soap / hand soap
Oil (olive and canola)
Sugar (white and brown)
Cream / milk
Herbs (fresh and dry)
Onions, celery, carrots
Coffee / tea
Mixers (especially club soda in case of spills)
Beer / wine / spirits
*Butter tubs, plastic take-out containers, baggies, Tupperware and all manner of resealable food-safe containers are a MUST if you don't care to end up swimming in gravy and green bean casserole on into '12. Some leftovers are dandy - perhaps even more appealing than the day-of meal - but if guests are bringing dishes as well, you just might not have the storage space.
Take a tip from the best Thanksgiving hostess we've ever know, the very dear, departed Miss Ellen Robinson (we called her Mama Diva) and assign at least one or more people to container duty. Then do NOT allow guests to leave without taking something delicious with them. It's equal parts generosity and strategy.
Previously - T minus 22 – Quick, simple vegetable sides and all T minus Thanksgiving coverage
Got a Thanksgiving query or dilemma? Need techniques for roasting turkey or just looking for recipes to bust up your holiday rut? Wanna know what one of our anchors eats for T-Day? We're here to help. Post your question in the comments below and we'll do our best to assist.
looking for informations today went to a site http://www.deepfriedturkeys.net i want to try something new this year frying a turkey sounds good to me;
pass the tofurky yo!!
Dual and multi graded pressure filters, Softeners and DM Plants, Reverse osmosis plants,Boiler water treatment chemicals, Effluent and sewage Treatment plants.
Last year my girlfriend decided to buy a fresh turkey from our local farmer's market.
$88.00 just for the dead turkey. WTF!
Don't think we will be doing that again. :)
That is not a bad price for a heritage turkey. Why eat the standard, hormone filled American crap with artificially enlarged breasts. Old world heritage birds have smaller, darker breasts, and fattier more succulent dark meat. Worth the cost for me any day!
Soooo less Paris Hilton, more Rosie O'Donnell?
Meh, no thanks.
That turkey we were sold was not worth 88 fricking dollars. It was a scam and my GF fell for it.
I wasn't going to buy a turkey, but last year ended up in Publix about an hour before closing for some milk. They were pushing their fresh turkeys to any takers. Scored a 14 lb fresh (never frozen) turkey for less than $9. Think I may be low on milk again this year.
HAVING THE THANKSGIVING SPIRIT IS TRULY A BLESSING AND BEING THOUGHTFUL DURING TOUGH TIMES IS THE "TEST OF ALL TIMES." BUT THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING ONLY SHOWS UP WHEN THE HEART IS WIDE OPEN! PEACE TO ALL
You're yeling, that's the devil's doing right there.
This article has bad advice: always pick a bigger bird over several smaller birds. Why? Because the same poundage will yield more meat on the single bird (you only have one skeleton, not several, to account for).
Except you are wrong, too big of a bird and it takes to long for the dark meat to cook and the white dries out. I never buy bigger than 12lbs. I would rather have a properly cooked turkey for a little more money that a turkey that is cheaper but inedible.
Sorry that should read 15lbs.
Brine it and no matter how big the bird is, it never dries out. I've done it that way for 14 years :)
Brining is important. I bought a 22 lb. bird for 3 people. I cook for two days for Thanksgiving and not again for a week! Turkey, turkey, and more turkey. I even fill up an extra roasting pan with stuffing. Oyster stuffing.
LOL with the 6 legged turkey –
MY MOM USED TO COOK ONE AT THANKSGIVING !!!!!!!!! (Between our house and the neighbor's house full of kids, we'd need 6 turkey legs – so every year my Mom would pin the extra legs on the sides of the turkey. JUST before serving, my Dad would go through a whole speech about how he and the neighbor kids' Dad (John) had hunted and hunted in the woods until they found a 6 legged turkey.
We were sooooo gullible back in the early 60's – LOL – yes, we bought that line!!!
Hahaha! Thanks for sharing!
One of the few pleasures of being a parent is being able to mess with this like this. LoL
Quit being a cheapskate and buy ad space somewhere.
.... yeah .... gone now sucka!
I heart you guys! And I am not sucking up here! I REEEALLY do!!
NOM! NOM! NOM! NOM!
AHHHH! I AM A CANNIBAL!!
Disgusting! Leave the turkey alone! Your girth will not see a dent, trust me!
I think you forgot the "m" in the middle of your username.
If I were a woman, silly! I am actually a male turkey!
that makes you a gobbler.
Sorry... but that Turkey had it coming...
Only a pound-and-a-half per person? OK, we do like leftovers, but still... I think there will only be nine of us this year at our daughter's house, since two of our children and their families won't be able to make the trip east; this means that we will only cook two 20-lb. turkeys instead of three or four. One will essentially disappear at the meal, along with the stuffing from both of them, while the breasts and thighs of the other will be sliced for sandwiches; the remaining meat will be chopped for use in soup made from the bones of both of them.
Yeah, I agree those portions seem tiny. Only 3/4c of my favorite part (stuffing) per person? We're a family of thin people and that just seems ridiculously little for the biggest pig-out day of the year!
I have two college aged boys..... I get aluminum left over pans with lids and divide up the left overs for them to take home with them.... They LOVE having home cooked food for a few days afterward. Keeps me from having stacks of tupperware in my fridge. I keep the bones and make soup. Eating lite afterwards is a must for me.
I feel like that turkey is saying "OH SH*T".....
I only eat turkey once a year. Sorry birdie.
WE MUST SLAUGHTER THE TURKEYS BEFORE THEY REVOLT AND SEIZE CONTROL OF OUR TACTICAL NUKES!
DEEP FRY THEM ALL!! LET THE FOWL SORT 'EM OUT!!
"They're *turkeys*, you dolt. ...They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are *not* organized."
Love that movie
We're done for, we're done-diddly done for, we're done-diddly-doodily, done diddly-doodily, done diddly-doodly, done diddly-doodily!
we do that anyways, i am still so sick of turkey
Lets leave the turkey alone for the holiday. They don't deserve to be butchered for other's celebration.
They are delicious, therefore they deserve it.
Agreed...we are delicious and serve a far greater purpose feeding people. What else do we do??
Eat. Breed. Sh!t. Maaaaybe evolve into something that flies – eventually. Then get eaten by something in the wild.
So why not cut out the middleman and feed some of us (slightly more) tame creatures at Thanksgiving?
"Humans are masters of self destruction."
Aturkey – Oooo! Oooo! I know!
The answer is POOP!
Od'd on the 'spresso this morning? :D
I raise my own turkeys. They are well fed, get to run around a very large, secure paddock, and have a good life. They are quickly dispatched a few days before they are to be brined. I have no qualms about eating what I have raised, be it chickens, turkeys or lamb.
I started raising turkeys a couple years ago, too, and this year will supply 15 turkeys to family and friends. We kept two to eat and eight for breeding stock. They enjoy a good life and we enjoy a tasty turkey.
Enjoy your nasty tofu. As for me, I was genetically hardwired as a Homo Sapiens to crave meat, and I do not intend to deny myself my own human nature for a feast celebration.
If God didn't mean for us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
True true! I’ve done everything the Bible says — even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!
almost choked on my lunch, that's too funny :)
This is not intended as a criticism of your choice to eat animals; however, the justification you used would also advocate human cannibalism which, for many reasons including but definitely not limited to health risks, is not acceptable in most cultures.
The First Lady doesn't ever take a bad photo . She is just gorgeous in the above photograph .
To me the photo looks like Bachmann when she was caught deep throating that corn dog.
To me it looks like any Republican/Teabagger with their mouth open, which means they are lying.
Watch Fox and be damned for all eternity!
Well, good message, minus the creepy looking link.
this was meant to be a reply to the spam comment.
Lets also remember those less fortunate as we prepare our holiday meals...here are a couple good ideas to help these people... http://godusessinners.blogspot.com/2011/10/holiday-meal-challenge-help-needy.html
Knock it off with the spam already.
Hi diddly ho neighbor! Can't wait for Thanksgiving either, except I suggest subsituting your jalepenos with something else, they're the devil's pepper you know!?
Spam. Spam. Spam. This person posts on all the food-related articles and always baits you with a "well, I won't tell you the name... but go here to see it." Enough already. Find another way to sell your book.
Not spam, repent!
The last time I repented, pigs flew and Mary blushed.
Spam spam Spam spam
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