Magazine article Sunset

Thanksgiving S.O.S

Magazine article Sunset

Thanksgiving S.O.S

Article excerpt

You're the host? Don't panic. We answer the six most common questions so you can pull things off like a pro

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).

What's the secret to a smooth pumpkin pie?

Don't overbake it. When you pull the pie from the oven, the center should still jiggle slightly. If you goof, who needs to know? Dollop on some whipped cream and carry it to the table with a smile.

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°; if needed, zap the stuffing in the microwave. …

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