Thanksgiving Cooking Tips to Help Your Food Preparation

Do you need some useful Thanksgiving cooking tips and pointers?

Everyone wants their Thanksgiving to be perfect. We plan, we shop, we decorate, and plan some more; and we are devastated when things go wrong.

There, of course, are no guarantees all will always run smoothly, but over the years, women have come up with some pretty clever Thanksgiving cooking tips to help keep everything on track, starting with taking the bird out of the freezer in time for it to be thawed when it's time to start cooking!

Centerpieces on the dinner table should always be kept low so that guests can converse easily, with few annoying obstructions. And though the majority of the people that entertain today love candles, this is true of them as well. The height can be tall and thin or short and squatty to maintain comfort for people to talk unobstructed, but never at eye level.

People like eating Thanksgiving at home - about 40%, while another 51% will visit others' homes, simply because of the security and intimacy of a home. So plan on eating in for this holiday meal and invite someone over to join you.

Here's a Thanksgiving cooking tip - when figuring out how much turkey to serve your family and friends, think approximately 1 1/2 lbs. per person; this can be stored about 2 days in the coldest part of the refrigerator when fresh and uncooked. Buy your turkey up to 2 months ahead of time and freeze for a good tasting meal

An important Thanksgiving cooking tip - once turkey has been cooked, get it eaten up within 2 to 3 days, unless you opt to freeze, but then only about a month or so. To keep your cooked turkey moist, freeze it in a portion of broth.

If cranberries are one of the traditions in your home, make your own this year - fresh sauce, chutney or relish have the same tangy flavor but is so much better. And it is not hard to make: Cook 24 ounces of cranberries in 2 inches of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of sugar, mixing well.

Here are some Thanksgiving cooking tips - when Thanksgiving begins to approach, begin saving leftover pieces of bread for the dressing, by storing them in zip lock bags in the freezer. Potatoes can be peeled and cut up and kept in the refrigerator in water a day ahead of time, and many desserts, cookies and salads can be made several days ahead of time.

The dressing can be started by cutting up bread, onions, celery, garlic and cranberries or other fruit or nuts, if using, ahead of time and stored in an air tight bowl along with any herbs or spices that are going to be used. Add liquid and mix just before the turkey is ready to be stuffed.

Items such as dinner rolls can be mixed, formed and stored in the refrigerator until the turkey is taken out of the oven. Put a pot of water on the stove top and cook corn on the cob and bake rolls while preparing the gravy. All should be put on the table at the same time.

We hope these simple Thanksgiving cooking tips will help make your food preparation process a more efficient and enjoyable one.

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