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Cooking thanksgiving dinner (like christmas dinner) for 16 people

(15 Posts)
Canyouforgiveher Wed 12-Nov-14 22:48:40

I'm cooking thanksgiving dinner for 16 people this month. I'd love some advice from people who have cooked for this kind of number. Especially in terms of what I can cook ahead of time. (we do have chafing dishes so keeping things hot is not too difficult but I only have one oven).

Turkey, gravy, mashed potato are essential for the meal to qualify as thanksgiving dinner. sweet potato being brought by guest as is cranberry sauce. Guests will also bring desserts.

So am thinking of doing a ham the night before and a salmon that morning to serve cold (have one non meat eater)

I will have all the potatoes peeled the night before and veg prepped

I will make the stuffing the night before to cook on the day.

Can I do anything else in advance? Thinking of doing a cauliflower cheese and that can be done to oven stage in the morning.

Any tips welcome!

EldonAve Thu 13-Nov-14 18:55:28

Macaroni cheese?

agoodbook Thu 13-Nov-14 21:56:57

You seem to have it well covered.
You can of course make gravy and freeze if you are pushed for space/time ( mind you I tend to make it with the meat juices so can't) And the salmon can be cooked the day before if you are doing a whole one?
One big tip. I actually write out a timetable ( the only time I do!) and pin it up
Good Luck smile

AmericasTorturedBrow Sat 15-Nov-14 00:27:29

You must have green bean casserole and you can make it in advance (steam green beans or open a tin and stir through cream of mushroom soup) then microwave before stirring crispy onions through it just before serving

Canyouforgiveher Sat 15-Nov-14 01:35:05

thanks everyone. will cook the salmon the day before so.

Americas I'm not american - well I am but didnt grow up here - so think mushroom soup and crispy onions with green beans are the work of the devil - although I'm sure my children would love them smile Won't be putting the marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes either smile

NotTheKitchenAgainPlease Sat 15-Nov-14 02:17:13

Creamed corn?

AnnieOnAMapleLeaf Sat 15-Nov-14 02:43:57

You must have roasted sprouts! It's not thanksgiving without sprouts!

I would second the suggestion to write out a timeline. I can't manage a full Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without one.

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 15-Nov-14 03:18:12

And something with jello.
Blee.

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 15-Nov-14 03:22:02

We have already had thanksgiving, and I now know two families that swear by their turkey fryers. They free up the oven for the veggies etc, and give the rednecks dudes something to gather round outside with beer.

If you buy into all that, and aren't too busy playing pumpkin tic tac toe a la Martha Stewart, that is...

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 15-Nov-14 03:33:23

I'm a tragically Martha Stewart kinda gal, so what about www.marthastewart.com/1042054/first-time-thanksgiving-timeline scamming her timeline?

Don't forget to click on the links to get your table Just Right wink

AlpacaMyBags Sat 15-Nov-14 03:46:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 15-Nov-14 04:03:31

Beware turkey frying.

PetShopGirl Sat 15-Nov-14 08:00:32

I would do the mashed potatoes the day before, to heat up again on the day. Cauliflower cheese also a good idea up to final bung in the oven stage. Could also get gravy mainly done the day before using giblets and some spare veg, and then add meat juices from the pan once the turkey's cooked.

Lovetheleaves Sat 15-Nov-14 08:05:33

The turkey will rest for an hour easily so oven free for roast potatoes/veg etc

Canyouforgiveher Sat 15-Nov-14 16:26:04

Thanks again. The martha stewart timeline is very helpful (whole website is actually) -think all your advice about timelines is the way to go.

We won't be turkey frying! We will, however, use the Mark Bittman recipe for spatchcocked turkey. Apart from the sheer pleasure of being able to say "oh we spatchcocked the turkey", it cuts way down on the cooking time- way down- with no loss of flavour.

Think I will get my mashed potatoes from whole foods (because I won't eat them so don't care so much).

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