Magazine article Sunset

Thanksgiving S.O.S.: You're the Host? Don't Panic. We Answer the Six Most Common Questions So You Can Pull Things off like a Pro

Magazine article Sunset

Thanksgiving S.O.S.: You're the Host? Don't Panic. We Answer the Six Most Common Questions So You Can Pull Things off like a Pro

Article excerpt

How do I get everything ready to serve at once?

Make a plan. A day or two ahead, sketch out a countdown chart, noting how long each dish takes, what can be made ahead, and what has to be accomplished simultaneously. Sure, the family may call you compulsive, but the chart will be a lifesaver when the kitchen gets crazy. Also, enlist helpers for the crunch times. Only one oven? Grill the bird (see page 74 for our foolproof method).

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How can I make fluffy mashed potatoes?

For bliss by the spoonful, start with starchy russets or Yukon Golds (waxy potatoes will clump). Boil peeled chunks, then drain, return to the pan, and let them dry out over very low heat as you stir (they'll start falling apart). Mash them by hand or in a stand mixer until smooth, then stir in hot milk or cream.

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If I cook the stuffing inside the turkey, will it kill me?

Although the USDA recommends baking stuffing separately for optimum food safety, you can cook it in the bird if you pay close attention to temperature. Loosely fill the turkey with room-temperature (not hot) stuffing and cook immediately. Once the turkey is done, scoop out the stuffing right away and check its temperature in several spots to make sure it's at least 165[degrees]; if needed, zap the stuffing in the microwave. …

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