Last Updated on October 13, 2021
The BIG DAY is coming soon. For me, this is the biggest day of the year. Why?
1. It’s right after my son’s birthday, some years only ONE day after
2. It’s right before or on Spane’s Dad’s birthday
3. It’s the first of the holidays where family and friends get together
4. It’s right before Advent
5. It’s the day that everyone expects to have really good food
I thought I would share my methods of keeping myself from going insane. After all, you don’t want to look like her!
11 days before the BIG DAY – Sunday
1. Stuff that can be frozen: Prepare, put into containers, freeze it, then microwave it on the Big Day. This would also be the time to make unbaked fruit pies, and freeze them also.
7 days before the BIG DAY – Thursday night
1. If you have a frozen turkey, put the turkey in the coldest part of the refrigerator so he or she can start to slowly defrost
6 days before the BIG DAY – Friday night
1. Art projects – if you want to make special decorations, or want your children to help make them, this would be a good time to start. You and your kids can have all weekend to do this.
5 days before the BIG DAY – Saturday
1. Make roll-out cookie dough. Cut cookies out, sprinkle with sugar if wanted, then layer on wax paper sheets and put in the refrigerator, making sure not to put them under the bird.
4 days before the BIG DAY – Sunday
1. Prepare the brine for the turkey
2. Put the turkey in the brine
3 days before the BIG DAY – Monday night
1. Wash dishes, serve ware, flatware, etc. by hand then dry it and put it away. That way, you won’t go nuts when trying to set the table. Also make sure the tablecloth, napkins, runner, etc., are all clean and ready to go.
2. Turn the turkey over in the brine
3. Last-minute grocery list check. Double-check that you really have all the ingredients you need that are NOT on your list. Add extras of things you might use a lot of, like butter.
2 days before the BIG DAY – Tuesday Night
1. Go to the market and purchase all the things on the list you made the night before.
2. If you have a fresh turkey, put her or him in brine. This would also be when you would do a dry brine.
3. Prepare anything that can be refrigerated that will stay for at least two days, salad dressing, anything you are planning on marinating, cheese balls, or herb butter.
The day before the BIG DAY – Wednesday Night
1. Buy fresh flowers if you want them on your table.
2. Make cranberry sauce and chill it. Prepare refrigerated dinner rolls, and chill them. Make garlic almonds or candied nuts if you need them in any recipes. Cut up bread for croûtons if you are going to need those for salad. Cut up vegetables for a vegetable tray, and make any dip you plan to serve with it – you can put the vegetables on the tray, just cover and chill it.
3. Vacuum and dust. Clean the bathroom(s).
4. Set the table for tomorrow’s dinner. Tell your family not to sit at the table after you have set it.
5. Clean the kitchen thoroughly, including washing the floor. You won’t have time for it tomorrow, and if you are careful, you can keep it clean. After all, you have already done a lot of the cooking.
6. Put white wine in the refrigerator to chill.
7. Sit down with your favorite libation, put your feet up and rest for a while before going to bed. Try to go to bed early so you will be rested on THE BIG DAY.
Keep watching this blog for Part 2 – THE BIG DAY!
- 1 cup Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Brown sugar
- ½ cup Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
- 1 teaspoon Ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
- 2 quarts Water
- 1 quart Ice cubes
- 1 quart Water
- Combine all ingredients EXCEPT ice and last quart of water in a very large bowl that will hold a gallon of liquid. Stir well. Transfer to a 4-quart saucepan and bring just to a rolling boil. Immediately turn off heat. Return to original bowl and add ice and remaining water. Stir to thoroughly chill.
- Place cleaned turkey in large, clean garbage bag. Carefully add brine to bag, seal and put in the refrigerator. After 6 hours, turn the bird over and continue to refrigerate until ready to cook.
- ½ loaf of bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- ⅓ stick butter
- Cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, and add the garlic. Let the garlic sweat a little in the butter, then add the bread.
- Stir constantly until the bread starts to brown and crisp.
- Serve immediately with salad, or store in an air-tight container for later use.