Nov 26 2014

Thanksgiving Disasters and Quick Fixes

Thanksgiving is just one day away. I know what you’re thinking, where did the time go? Regardless, it is nearly here and it’s best to be prepared for the festivities as much as you can be. You’ve done the food shopping, spent hours cleaning, have a headcount for all of the invited (and uninvited) guests. But what if something goes wrong? What if something unforeseeable happens at the worst possible moment leaving you scrambling to get back on track last minute?

Here’s a list of disasters that may befall you on Turkey Day, but don’t worry, after reading this, regardless of what happens, your Thanksgiving is going to be spectacular.

Where’s the roasting pan?

Thanksgiving morning is here and you’ve been so focused on planning about a million different things for the past few weeks that you overlooked one minor thing – a roasting pan. Bad news is most stores that would sell one are closed today. Don’t panic it’ll be okay. Good news is most grocery stores will be open until the early afternoon on Thanksgiving. Go to their kitchen aisle and get an aluminum-roasting pan. If the aluminum pan isn’t big enough for your turkey then simply take foil wrap and lay it on the rack in your oven to help catch any drippings. The last thing you want today is turkey fat hitting your oven and smoking up your kitchen. That’s not a fun day.

Raw turkey

Your guests have arrived and you’ve mapped out how long the turkey should cook for and at long last the oven timer has gone off, but wait….the turkey is still raw. Remember, turkey is only fully cooked when the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees. First things first – take a deep breath. This undercooked bird isn’t going to ruin your day. Cover the whole turkey with foil. This will help prevent the skin from overcooking before the meat. Now turn your oven as high as 475°F. Check the inside temperature of the turkey in fifteen minute increments. This method won’t take too long to reach the correct temperature. Dinner will be slightly delayed, but not ruined.

There’s just too much food.

You may get to a point while preparing your Thanksgiving feast that you realize you don’t have enough oven space to cook everything in unison. Some dishes may end up cooling down before some are fully prepared. What gets priority? Do you have a slow cooker? If you’re making mashed potatoes (I hope you are) make them early on. Put your slow cooker on the warm setting and leave it be. Your mashed potatoes will stay warm for hours freeing up valuable oven space.

 Yay the turkey is still frozen

Once again, it’s Thanksgiving morning and you’re about to prepare your meal and you notice the turkey is still frozen. What to do? Normally it takes about five hours in a refrigerator per pound for a turkey to thaw. Here’s a little trick to speed up the process when suffering a time crunch. Put your turkey in the sink, or bathtub if space is limited, and fill it with cold water. Drain and refill the water every thirty minutes. The turkey will thaw at a rate of a pound every thirty minutes. Much quicker than normal and yet again dinner may be delayed, but it isn’t ruined.

We hope these last minute tips will help should the unexpected occur in the kitchen come Thanksgiving Day. As important as the meal may be the real important thing to consider and appreciate is being with friends and family. That’s where all those fond memories come from after all, not some perfectly cooked turkey, although a nice meal certainly would only further aid in the enjoyment of the festivities. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!