My family loves a proper Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings: turkey, ham, tofurkey (for me, duh), stuffing, potatoes & gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato, green beans casserole, lots of roasted veggies, pickles, olives, & tons of pies.. ok, more like one pie, a pumpkin pie.
When my Grandma was around, she would prepare everything with just a little help from my aunt and Grandfather. She made the best baked sweet potatoes and roasted turkey (I wasn't always vegan). We would get up bright and early and watch the Macy's Day parade in New York on the big screen TV while the turkey was roasting away in the oven. With the sweet aromas of dinner in the air, she'd always get so giddy over the giant floats, especially her favorite, the Charlie Brown characters. I favored seeing Santa on his sled floating down the parade, but what little kid doesn't?
After the parade, the kids would play around while the adults finished preparing the dinner. Oh, who am I kidding? We were not playing around; we were setting the table and helping with the last little bits of preparation, even though we protested.
Right around two in the afternoon, we'd finally sit down to a table piled high with the best foods around and dig in. I don't know about you, but I was always one to overeat. My Grandfather is the only person in my family I've never seen eat more than one small plate of food at Thanksgiving, and I just don't know how he resists. But over the years I've found some tricks that help me stay in line. You can read my 5 tops tips here if you're keen. Anyway, back to this topic.
After my Grandma left us, we've had to fend for our selves. The baked sweet potatoes have never been the same, but we've kept the other traditions with one little addition: A guide to keeping us organized and on top of our game Thanksgiving day. My guide starts the day before Thanksgiving reminding us, and hopefully you, to get preparations done beforehand and to save us a lot of time and headaches the day of.
I like to prep most dishes the day before, and if it can be cooked and reheated, then it's happening. We handmake our stuffing with freshly chopped bread that sits out to dry for hours. We chop and cook our veggies, and plate and cover them, so they're ready to be popped on the table the next day. I whip together my family's favorite vegan pumpkin pie filling and leave it in the fridge overnight to be baked the day of. My grandfather preps the turkey, so it only needs to be shoved in the oven in the early morning Thanksgiving day.
This guide, with a detailed schedule, has saved us many headaches. My Grandpa is a stickler about time, and when I say dinner is going to be ready at 2, it better be ready ten minutes before. Having a timeline to prepare each dish has yet to fail me, and my grandfather hasn't had the opportunity to get bent out of shape. We deserve an award for getting it on the table with no screw-ups (knock-on-wood).
I decided to share with you my personal guide. You can edit this to fit your family's needs and impress your in-laws with a perfectly timed and prepared dinner. It's a cause for celebration.
You can download the guide here. Detailed Recipies are linked below.
I'm trying this vegan 'turkey'