With T-Day approaching and fast approaching, you are probably in one of the two camps. The one who eagerly awaits the party with hardly any drool. Or the person who is breathing heavily in a paper bag while you worry about your lack of oven and stove, while you also complain about the lack of multiples of you to get all the preparatory work done.
Don't be afraid, group 2. We at Food Hacks, cook ourselves at home, empathize with your situation. Fortunately, there are many ways to minimize the chance of an anxiety attack this Thanksgiving that we use ourselves every year. And if all else fails, break the drink (and cook with it).
. Mashed potatoes
Yes, the joy of carbohydrate lovers; you can't have a real Thanksgiving party without mashed potatoes! But this simple staple takes a lot of work, because anyone who has had to mash enough potatoes for 20-30 people can confirm that (yes, I mean).
I wasted a lot of time peeling potatoes in the traditional one but there is a much faster way to peel potatoes that only takes a minute. If you have a clean, unused toilet brush (emphasis on unused ) and a drill, then you can kiss that thin peeler goodbye.
If you don't make enough mashed potatoes to feed you whole extended family, I recommend following this smooth video from CHOW:
Once your potatoes are peeled, they must be pureed. We recommend using a potato rider for extra downy taters if you have one (and if you don't have one, you can find one here). And finally, use the trick to make mashed potatoes airy without adding extra butter or milk.
If you like potatoes but you get bored with the same old side dish of mashed potatoes, Hasselback potatoes, crispy roasted potatoes and child-friendly tater tots are equally tasty substitutes.
Stuffing is just as important as the turkey – and some claim it is more important because the taste is often used to improve every bite of the big bird.
Because stuffing is actually a savory bread pudding, it also benefits from stiffer bread that retains its shape even though it is infused with broth. This makes stuffing a great way to use bread that has become old – and this includes old bagels.
Although I love traditional stuffing and can eat it every day of the week, you may be looking for different ways to enjoy stuffing; don't worry, there are hacks for that.
I love me a moist, sweet crumb of cornbread freshly baked on the skillet. Not everyone is a fan of sweet corn bread. In fact, there is a bit of a debate that should be considered as real cornbread. But in my book, sweet trumps are savory every day. (I think I am a Yankee, which would not be wrong since I grew up in Delaware.)
Although I will admit that the box mix is a decent cornbread, there is no reason not to make your own mix in advance and bake it fresh for the party. Better yet, add creamy corn to your home-made mix and watch the compliments pile up during dinner.
4. Cranberry Sauce
I've never been this & # 39; n fan of cranberry; this is probably because I grew up with canned cranberry jelly and not real cranberry sauce. Although I have made peace with my mother for the years when I had no cranberry sauce, I vowed never to follow in her footsteps. Well, when it comes to cranberry sauce, that is.
Fortunately, making cranberry sauce is super easy – so simple even that the directions for making cranberry sauce are often mentioned on the fresh bag of cranberries you pick up at the supermarket. (For the lazy: 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 12 oz. Cranberries. Boil, stir, enjoy.)
If you want to add a little spice to the regular recipe, we have a method that uses port wine in the sauce for extra depth of taste. Or you might be tired of the same old boring recipes – in which case this cranberry-chutney recipe suits you.
5. Green Bean Casserole
It is now fairly well known that the ubiquitous green bean casserole was invented in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company to promote the use of its cream with mushroom soup. The campaign was so successful that nowadays it's hard to imagine sitting at the table on Thanksgiving without seeing this fried dish with onion.
Although the use of the canned soup is classic, I prefer to make the casserole yourself: with home-made soup, home-made onions and fresh green beans (more particularly of the haricot vert variety). If you choose to do the same, make sure you blanch your green beans before adding them to the casserole – both to maintain their bright green color and to shorten the overall time in the oven.
Regarding soup, you can follow a series of video tutorials that will guide you through the making of a mushroom cream at home. And finally – but certainly not the least – the fried onion must be at at point . That is why I use this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, which is not only easy to follow, but also deliciously sinful.
6. The Turkey
We have arrived at the highlight of the show, the main star of Thanksgiving: the turkey itself! Turkey can make or break your entire meal, and it is essential to know the common mistakes that most people make not to make them themselves.
My favorite method of preparing a turkey is to pickle or immerse the raw bird in a saline solution. The best part of pickling, without a doubt, is that you should not baste the turkey continuously while roasting!
Deep-frying the turkey whole has also become popular in recent years, and this preparation also produces juicy, flavorful meat. However, keep in mind that frying is accompanied by its own precautions: make sure you know how to extinguish a fat fire before you fry a bird at home.
And don't forget to turn things into one while as prepping turkey can get boring and chore the same way every year.
Turkey Bonus Tip: Casserole
For a traditionally roasted bird, nothing beats a good old-fashioned roasting rack. By keeping the turkey out of the pan, you ensure an even cooking and crispier skin, and the juices from the pan collect without being re-absorbed when the bird is held up by the rack.
Don't worry if you've failed to pick up a specialized roasting rack before the stores were closed and panicked. You can make an aluminum grid from aluminum foil and still get a uniform roast on your turkey. (You may also want to see what else you can do with aluminum foil – it's quite versatile.)
7. Pumpkin Pie
This dessert is the highlight of the spread for me, and I always make sure that I have room in my stomach for a slice (or two) at the end of my greedy food.
The pie crust is probably the part of this dish that requires the most attention – and is often intimidating to new bakers. View our guide on what makes or breaks a cake base to help you master the basics. And if you have vodka lying around (who doesn't?), Then you might want to try this vodka pie base.
Regarding the pumpkin, the big question is whether or not you want to use fresh pumpkin or canned vegetables (which you should always keep in your pantry, both for cake and other) reasons)). If you decide that you want to go one step further and refill the pumpkin completely, I recommend using a sugar pumpkin instead of the usual jack-o & # 39; lantern pumpkins and a higher sugar content instead. has.
However, if the pumpkin pie starts to become a trite at your dessert buffet, or if you have little time, these two-ingredient pumpkin brownies are an excellent, uncomplicated replacement.
Food Coma Ahoy!  Thanksgiving can be stressful in the hours before dinner, but don't forget to enjoy it when everyone is gathered at the table. Even if your pie crust burns a little or your potatoes are a little faint, the most crucial part of the vacation is spending quality time with the people you care most about – filling your face with cheerful surrender.