Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

How sensible is it to practice for Thanksgiving?

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TootsNYC:
I think I'm going to get to host the family holiday again this year. Last year I undercooked the turkey and didn't make gravy.

Big mistake!

I've been thinking that maybe I should try both again before the big day.

But how silly is that? Should I just try to make gravy, or find a make-ahead gravy so I have it as backup?

Or would roasting a small chicken help me at all? It seems like it wouldn't.

I've never worried about roasts before--my experience with them is that there's not that much technique to it, except for not overcooking it. They've always come out fine.

But the turkey was weirder--and I had more conflicting advice, and chose the wrong one. Plus I didn't know how much it weighed bcs the butcher didn't tell me and I didn't realize until I was home and had no way to measure it.


And, any general tips for how to handle the big meal, multiple stuff, etc., would be welcome. I've already realized that I need to prep all the plates, platters, linens, etc., at least 2 days before so it's not in the way.

And of course, some foods can be done a day or more ahead.

GlitterIsMyDrug:
I wouldn't think a dress rehearsal would be a bad idea at all. Though a large turkey twice would be costly.

I know the year my mom and I hosted we did as much the night before as humanly possible. Including things like chopping veggies and making some dishes before hand. So day of we warmed up a lot of stuff, and cooked the turkey. Mom handled the bird so I'm unhelpful there. I just lifted it out of the oven. We really did it so we could spend more time socializing with our guests and less time slaving away over the food.

DavidH:
I like turkey and it's not particularly expensive, so I don't see a reason not to practice before hand.  You just need to plan the leftovers.  Knowing the oven, and having a good thermometer is a great help. The pop up ones in certain turkeys are not that reliable. 

MorgnsGrl:
I don't see anything wrong with practicing. Maybe in advance you should come up with half a dozen recipes, including a good soup, you can make with all that turkey! And obviously you can freeze some of it for future use.

GlitterIsMyDrug:

--- Quote from: DavidH on November 01, 2013, 03:58:52 PM ---I like turkey and it's not particularly expensive, so I don't see a reason not to practice before hand.  You just need to plan the leftovers.  Knowing the oven, and having a good thermometer is a great help. The pop up ones in certain turkeys are not that reliable.

--- End quote ---

The first year my mom did a thanksgiving dinner (I was 5-ish), the pop-up never popped-up! The bird was well done. Of course I was five, so I covered it in gravy and thought it was great!

Mom owns a meat thermometer now.

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