Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Timing Your Thanksgiving Meal

  There is no arguing that Thanksgiving is a big meal.  There are lots of things to make and they take time.  How can I work things out where things are all ready at the same time?

1.  Plan what you will eat.

2.  Figure out how long it takes to make each item.

3.  Set a schedule for your Thanksgiving meal so things are ready at the same time.

We will start with the first step in this post.  As stated earlier, the first step is to plan what you are going to eat.

Meat:  Turkey, Ham, Roast, etc.

Side dishes:  Mashed Potatoes, Funeral Potatoes, Stuffing, Green bean Casserole, Jello, Salad, etc.

Bread:  Homemade rolls, bread, store bought rolls, etc.

Dessert:  Pie - what kind?   How many?  If not pie, then what dessert do you want?

Take time to quickly figure out what you will be serving.  Don't take more than 5 minutes on this.  It should be pretty easy to figure out.  Copy recipes if needed for the meal.  

Once you have figured out WHAT you want to eat, the next step is to figure out how long each dish takes to make.  Not only do you need to consider the time to cook, but the time to prepare before or after cooking.  Do this for every dish you plan on making.


Turkey:  4 hours (depends on weight) + 20 minutes to make the stuffing + 30 minutes to stuff for a total of 4 hours and 50 minutes

Mashed Potatoes:  15 minutes to peel potatoes + 30 minutes to cook + 15 minutes to mash/whip for a total of 1 hour

Green Bean Casserole:  10 minutes to prepare + 20 minutes to cook for a total of 30 minutes

Gravy:  20 minutes

Rolls: 15 minutes to prepare + 1 1/2 hours to rise + 15 minutes to bake for a total of 2 hours

Pies  Frozen Pumpkin:  1 hour to cook 

Pie:  Homemade Banana Cream:  10 minutes to prepare crust + 15 minutes to cook crust + 20 minutes to cook filling + 30 minutes to cook filling + 10 minutes to cut bananas and put pie together for a total of 1 hour and 25 minutes

Salad:  Buy a bag salad - 5 minutes

Once you have this information, you can schedule everything so they are done at the same time.  

Let's say that you want to eat at 4:00 pm.  You start there and go backwards depending on how long it takes to make.

4:00:  Eat

3:55:  Put together bagged salad. (5 minutes)

3:40:  Gravy (20 minutes)

3:30:  Green Bean Casserole (30 minutes)

3:00:  Put Pie in Oven, Start Mashed Potatoes. (1 hours each)

2:45:  Preheat oven for pie

2:35:  Start Banana Cream Pie. (1 hour 25 minutes)

2:00:  Start Rolls. (2 hours)

11:10:  Start Turkey and Stuffing for the inside. (4 hours 50 minutes)

There you have it!  But, one problem.  If you are cooking multiple items, they may need to be cooked at different temperatures.  So what do you do?  After years of doing everything on the day, and all the work in the kitchen, we finally started making the pies and rolls the day before.  Yes, rolls hot from the oven are best, but the decreased stress and time on the day of was so worth the trade off.  

This is just an example to get you started thinking on what you want to do.  Remember time to preheat the oven or carve the turkey or let it cool beforehand or whatever else depending on how your family does Thanksgiving.  

Have a great day from all of us at Spendwise Moms!

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