Thanksgiving is the supreme feast of the year, but it is also one of the most hectic. Between the turkey, sides, desserts and breads, there’s a lot of food preparation that has to happen. All at once, so that everything is ready to head into our big mouths at the same time while remaining warm; only the most skilled can master this fragile dance. Until, hacks came along that is.
Cooking hacks have now made it possible for the sorriest of us to peel butternut squash with hulk-like strength. They have educated on how to slice through a box of cherry tomatoes with one flick of the wrist. They are making Thanksgiving dinner so much easier for all of us. Now, let’s see if your Thanksgiving can go off without a hitch.
1. Insert a modest amount baking powder for fluffier mashed potatoes.
2. Keep your mashed potatoes warm in a slow cooker. You’ll have an extra burner for making that good gravy.
3. Don’t squander time washing and peeling potatoes, let your dishwasher wash the potatoes for you — and peel them when they come out clean. OR, boil them with the skin on and give them a dunk in cold water once cooked. This will shock the skins loose and make peeling a light wind.
4. Leisurely cook the turkey overnight. OF course, you can. And yes, this will make your Thanksgiving feel considerably easier. Stick the bird in the oven the evening before and wake up to a nearly completed Thanksgiving feast.
5. Use chicken broth to save a dehydrated turkey (Sounds bad). If you’ve overcooked your turkey — and this is more ordinary than you think — pour a little warm chicken broth on top of the slices to add flavor and warmth.
6. Make your pie dough way in advance and freeze it. It’s one less thing you have to do around the big day. Or, you could just buy one already made. We will never know it.
7. What the heck is a pie weight anyway? Use beans for pie weights. Not many of us bake pies on the usual, so we don’t have things like pie weights and shields on hand. Luckily, there’s something you can do about that. Use dried beans or rice in place of pie weights and fashion yourself a pie shield out of aluminum foil.
8. Prepare your gravy ahead of time. Get the pattern? There are numerous recipes out there to show you how. That way you don’t have to stress about the gravy when you and everyone is ready to sit down and feast.
9. Keep your gravy warm with a thermos. Just another simple way to take the last-minute work out of gravy.
10. Chop your veggies ahead of time. Store the chopped onions, celery and carrots — already portioned for each recipe — in clearly labeled containers in the fridge or freezer.
11. Use the garlic-peeling shortcut. Saveur showed us how to peel a whole head of garlic in just 10 seconds. This is an essential trick to know on Thanksgiving.
12. Use your cooler. It works as a second fridge. Everything that doesn’t fit in the refrigerator — which is a lot on Thanksgiving — goes in the cooler. It’s so simple, yet so genius.
13. Put the cookbooks away. If you’re following recipes this Thanksgiving, print them out and tape them to your cabinets. It’ll free up the much-needed counter space that cookbooks or computers take up. We suggest filling that space with snacks for the cook: you.
14. Use a spoon or other kitchen utensils to get creative with your pie crust.
15. Get more juice out of your lemons by putting them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
Happy Thanksgiving! Make sure to give this a share before you go.