Last Minute Tips for Thanksgiving Cooking Slips
You have a perfect Thanksgiving menu and every ingredient ready for the big day. What can possibly go wrong? Turns out, lots of things: from yucky lumps in your gravy to a crack in the very center of your pumpkin pie! Stop the panic right now! Follow these quick and easy tips on how to save your dinner and nip the Thanksgiving disaster in the bud!
Turkey can be a troublemaker!
Wrap turkey in plastic wrap and put it into your sink under cold water running in a thin thread. Plug the sink to let the water cover the turkey; drain and refill every 30 minutes – the time required for 1 pound of frozen turkey to thaw. NB! Never defrost a turkey at room temperature or under warm water – it promotes growth of bacteria.
Flip the turkey breast side down and continue cooking. Before serving, remove burnt skin and ½ inch of meat below it or cut the turkey into serving-size slices and serve on individual plates with lots of gravy on top.
Slice up your turkey, add chicken or turkey broth and heat in a covered dish in the oven. Use the dried meat for salads or soups.
Gravy knows how to give you a pain in the neck!
Strain it though a fine-mesh sieve into a new pan and reheat.
In a small bowl, stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 to 4 tablespoons of cold water. Stir well, add more water, if needed, to make a thin slurry. Add it to your gravy while whisking constantly and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer till thickened.
First of all, don’t blame yourself! You got distracted by all the things you have to do in time. Serve packaged gravy you’ve stashed for an emergency like this or ladle the burnt gravy carefully into another pan, do your best not to disturb the bottom part. Reheat and serve.
Stuffing can cause setbacks!
Transfer stuffing into an oven-proof bowl, add warm broth or melted butter (start with just a little and add more till all the ingredients are moist). Cover with aluminum foil and heat in the oven. Be careful: too much liquid will give you a soggy stuffing. If this happens, use our tip for
Mix in more breadcrumbs or spread the stuffing on a lined baking sheet and heat it in the oven till it dries out just enough.
No one likes their potatoes gluey or lumpy!
Transfer potatoes into a baking pan or casserole dish, top with pieces of butter and sprinkle generously with shredded cheddar. Bake to make potato casserole. OR form potato patties, freeze for a few minutes and fry till browned.
Spoon the potatoes back into the saucepan, add a little hot milk and softened butter (adjust to the amount of potatoes). Keep on mashing till smooth. Use a potato ricer to make your mashed potatoes fluffier.
Marshmallow can pose a fire hazard!
Marshmallows burn easily, and they may even catch fire if the sweet potato casserole is placed too close to the broiler element. Turn off the oven, put out the fire by blowing on it, open the windows to let the nasty smell out. When the casserole is cool enough to handle, remove burnt marshmallows, replace with new ones and repeat the broiling process, but place the casserole dish lower and keep an eye on it. If you don’t have any more marshmallows, top the casserole with brown sugar topping.
Baking a pie can be tricky!
Soggy Pie Crust
If you have not pre-baked your pie crust, the filling may turn it mushy. Scoop the filling into dessert bowls and serve as individual desserts topped with whipped cream.
Burnt Pie Crust
Remove the burnt parts of the crust, cover the cut-outs with whipped cream and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.
Pie Dough Won’t Roll Out
If your dough is falling apart, it must lack water. Knead in enough water to get the dough wet, sprinkle with flour and let stand for 15 minutes to incorporate the extra liquid.
Cracked Pumpkin Pie or Cheesecake
Warm up a flat metal spatula, press it down on the crack and move gently to spread the filling and close the crack. If the crack is too deep, camouflage it with lots of whipped cream or dessert sauce.