1. Make a plan. Take a few minutes to jot down the zillion things you need to do during the next 36 hours or so. Look at your recipes and devise a schedule for cooking. Compile a list of last-minute things to buy.
2. Buy, beg or borrow containers for leftovers. The best containers are the plastic stackable ones, and they should be inexpensive because you’ll probably send some home with guests.
3. Thaw the turkey. If you’ve bought a frozen bird and it’s still hard as a rock, you’d better move into full thaw mode. The quickest method is to submerge the turkey in a sink of cold water. The catch is you have to change the water every 30 minutes. If you’re stuck with a frozen turkey, follow the sink-soak method as long as you can, then stash the bird in the fridge overnight. If the turkey’s still frozen Thursday morning, it’s time for another swim in the sink.
4. Find fine wine. Consider: Gewurtztraminer, riesling, chardonnay and the all-American white zinfandel. If you prefer red, try pinot noir, a mellow merlot or fresh and fruity beaujolais nouveau.
5. Buy plenty of butter and chicken stock. You will need butter for side dishes, including mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts and candied yams, and gobs of desserts. Chicken stock is essential for moistening stuffing and making gravy. Unsalted butter and low-sodium chicken stock are best.
6. Set the table. Do this Wednesday night or first thing Thursday. If nothing else, count dishes, silverware and serving pieces. Maybe you need to map out a seating arrangement, so that Aunt Sally isn’t near Cousin Bob, who made a disparaging remark about her haircut last year.
7. Recruit a turkey carver. You’ll probably be too busy and distracted to carve the turkey, so ask someone dependable who isn’t prone to injuries to do it for you. Remember that a turkey is easier to carve after it has rested at least 15 minutes out of the oven.
8. Cook turkey to proper temperature. Using an instant-read meat thermometer means you don’t have to worry about overcooking or undercooking the main course. When done, the breast should register 170 degrees and the inside of the thigh should be 180 degrees. How do you know when to take your turkey’s temperature? Roasting at 325 degrees, a turkey takes 10 to 12 minutes per pound to cook if not stuffed, or 12 to 15 minutes per pound if stuffed. Do the math.
9. Plop the cranberry sauce from the can. While many have been won over by fancy sauces made with oranges, nuts and fresh cranberries, others will eat nothing but the plain sauce from the can. To extricate sauce in one perfect piece, punch a hole or two in the bottom of the can after cutting off the top. Shake gently over a plate until you hear a slight gurgling sound, and the sauce should slide out easily.
10. Designate a dishwasher. You’ve worked far too hard to pick up a dirty dish. So when someone innocently asks, “Is there anything I can do?” Quickly say yes, and hand them a sponge.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, info@ScottsdaleRealEstateTeam.com or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.