Preparing A Turkey Dinner

For some reason, it looks like there is always a holiday right around the corner and with these holidays, come families and family gatherings. So it's inevitable that it's going to be your turn to cook that family feast.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or it's your first time hosting the gathering, preparing a turkey dinner for family and friends can be stressful on anyone.
Preparing your kitchen and yourself for the big day will be the key to your success.

By following a time line of up to 10 days prior to the big day you will be able to enjoy not only preparing the meal but also your company.

One week to 10 days prior

Prepare a list of everything you will need, including dinner napkins and decorations

Clean your oven thoroughly and check your appliances for problems. You will have lots of time to take care of those unexpected issues you might find

Clean out and rearrange your refrigerator, making sure there is lots of room for the turkey and all the trimmings

Mentally prepare yourself for the days to come

Three to four days prior

Purchase your turkey, keeping in mind to allow one half pound per person. Allow for more if you would like lots of leftovers

If your turkey is frozen set it in the refrigerator for defrosting (it can take up to 3 days to properly defrost a turkey in your fridge)

Go through your list and buy or get what you need for the big day

Bake dinner rolls and appetizers and set them in the freezer until the night before the dinner

Review your supplies to ensure everything you need is in your kitchen

The day before the dinner

If your turkey is frozen and you have not allowed three days for defrosting, set the turkey in a bowl or pot in the sink. Fill the pot with cold water and leave the cold water running slowly. Defrosting a turkey this way may take several hours

Iron the tablecloth and any linen needed

Include the children in the preparation by having them decorate and prepare games for your other young guests

Prepare the cranberry sauce or relish and set it in the fridge

Save time on the big day by peeling and chopping the vegetables. They can be stored in the fridge as well

Prepare and bake your desserts and appetizers

Take out and thaw any frozen items you might need

The morning of the big day

Prepare the turkey for cooking

Cook the bird on 350 ° F allowing for 20 minutes of cook time per pound of turkey

Prepare your side dishes and have them ready to cook or heat when the time is right

Set your table and wait for your guests to arrive

Sit back, relax and enjoy the meal with your family and friends

Preparing and cooking a big turkey dinner or any other large meal does not have to be stressful. Preparing your kitchen and yourself for the task will make your day a breeze, even if it is your first time.