2020 has been a year like no other and for a lot of you this year you have been tasked with hosting your first Thanksgiving, which by the way is seven days away, but don’t hit that panic button just yet. I’ve put together a few Do’s and Don’ts to help get you through your big day.
First and this is a BIG ONE! If you buy a frozen turkey, you will need to allow it to thaw out and I’m serious about this one. I cannot stress this enough, as I’ve had friends calling me Thanksgiving day shocked that they put a frozen bird in the oven and pulling it out after 3 hours only to find out the poor thing is frozen solid inside. So thaw your bird out! Now depending on the size of your bird, for every 5 pounds, it should thaw out in your refrigerator for a day. In my case this year I bought an 18 pound turkey which I will began thawing out in my refrigerator starting on Saturday.
Second NEVER NEVER stuff your turkey. Growing up my parents would always put stuffing inside the turkey to cook along with it. It wasn’t until I lived alone and was getting ready to host my first Thanksgiving and found out after doing a little research that stuffing your turkey is a really terrible idea. Here why, as your bird cooks its juices will soak into the stuffing which makes getting the stuffing to a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria and be safe to eat means you have to overcook your turkey. We all know no one likes a dry overcooked turkey so its better to prepare your stuffing separately and according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it’s the safest way to do it.
Finally, delegate drinks and desserts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and have your guests bring drinks and desserts so that you can focus your attention and oven on the main feast. However, if you want to attempt making desserts for your first Thanksgiving you can always prepare them the day before and warm them up day of that way you are not doing a million things day of. Also don’t forget the coffee since your guest will be ready for a nap after the delicious meal you cook up for them.