It isn't a joyous occasion if the cook is fried when the turkey hits the table. So here's a concept: Make the whole shebang in one calm day, with plenty of time to shower and sip a (much-needed) glass of wine.
Your one-day Thanksgiving plan:
What to do when. (Full recipes are here.)
Don't hit snooze! Have coffee and cereal, do some stretches, crack your knuckles, and begin.
Make pumpkin pie dough.
Cut bread into cubes for stuffing. Toast bread and pecans for salad in oven. Cook cranberry apricot sauce and put in a serving bowl; refrigerate. Take out two sticks of butter to soften.
Remove bread and pecans from oven. Roll out pie dough and fit into pie dish. Use remaining dough to cut out squares for pie edge. (Or say to heck with it and skip the squares - it's just an idea.)
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Boil water for Brussels sprouts. Make stuffing and put in a baking dish; cover and refrigerate.
Prebake pie crust. While crust is in oven, blanch Brussels sprouts and cook bacon. Refrigerate sprouts and reserve bacon drippings in skillet. 10 a.m. Make salad dressing; toss with sliced pears. Refrigerate.
Make pie filling, pour in crust, bake.
Prepare roast turkey through step 2. Make giblet broth.
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Take pie out of oven. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Place turkey in oven. Wash yams. Tell your hubby how thankful you'll be after he washes everything in the sink.
Almost halftime! It's early, but consider having a celebratory nip. (You don't need that whole bottle of Madeira for the gravy... and shouldn't you taste it just to make sure it's okay anyway?)
Strain giblet broth. Baste turkey; rotate roasting pan a half turn. Place foil tent back over turkey and return to oven. Make crème fraîche whipped cream for pie; cover and chill.
Baste turkey, tent it, and rotate pan as before. Ask your husband to set up the bar. Tell the kids their rooms and the den had better be clean in an hour, or else.
Set the table.
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Baste, tent, and rotate pan again.
Have you had lunch yet? Do you want to pass out and cause such a commotion that everyone forgets the turkey, which burns like a vampire at the beach, and it's forever known as the "Thanksgiving Disaster of 2010"? Sit down and eat a sandwich.
Baste, rotate. Remove foil (save for when turkey's resting). Prep the rest of the salad and refrigerate. Make maple-ginger butter.
Baste, rotate. Take stuffing out of the fridge.
Yell, "Honey, can you get the kids dressed?" as you sprint to the bathroom (quick, lock the door!) and jump in the shower.
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Take turkey out. Set drippings aside for gravy. Put yams and stuffing in oven. A glass of wine is in order now.
Make rich pan gravy. Finish making Brussels sprouts.
Add juices from turkey platter to gravy. Take stuffing out of oven; toss salad.
Remove yams from oven. Get everything on the table and hand the carving knife to the resident expert. Exhale. Eat!
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.