Originally authored in 2009, the below advice is still relevant today. Our best wishes to you for a great holiday.
Thanksgiving always opens up with numerous calls and emails from folks fretting about their cookware and their cooking. Having the family table enlarged during the holidays is key stresser for many cooks. Will there be enough food to go around? Will this strange recipe that I cook only once every year work out? Will the turkey be done?
Our advice is to relax. (And I remind myself of that when I start feeling the pressure grow). Start far enough ahead that you won’t have to have everything be done at exactly the same moment. A turkey benefits by resting for 30 minutes under a foil tent before carving. There’s no law that says that sweet potato casserole can’t be cooked three days ahead, stored in the fridge, and then warmed up on a holiday morning.
I always run a sink full of hot soapy water and try to wash up as I cook. That way it isn’t a mound of pans and pots to clean up at the conclusion of the meal. Thanksgiving, I loaded the food processor parts, pots and pans into the dishwasher and did a mid-morning load. Made the time after our meal much calmer.
We also set the table about two days before the holiday, which gave us plenty of time to repair the hole that mysteriously appeared on the good linen tablecloth between last Christmas and this Thanksgiving.