Are you ready for Thanksgiving and the holiday cooking season? Maybe now is a good time to check.
Preparation is key to good cooking in The Bachelor’s Kitchen. It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking for just you and a few friends, or you’re making a big family dinner. You need to be ready.
First, make sure your roasting pan is ready to go, especially if you haven’t used it since last year. You will also need a rack. If you don’t have a roasting pan and rack, never fear, you can pick up all you need at the grocery store. You will find plenty of aluminum, throw-away/recyclable roasting pans, some with racks. These work quite well. If you have a pan but no rack, you can use a “celery raft.” Just place several ribs of celery evenly across the bottom of the pan. Putting a bit of water in the bottom of the pan will also help in the cooking by adding some steam to keep the turkey moist.
You’ll want to check your other kitchen cookware, like pots, pans, casseroles and serving dishes. Figure out what you’ll need for each dish on your menu. Also, determine what needs to go into the oven and for how long at what temperature. This will help your timing enormously.
If you’re making gravy, and you really should, you will find a cheap fat separator very useful. Remember to use a liquid measuring cup for liquid ingredients and measuring cups for dry ingredients. If you’re missing any of these things, you can pick them up at the store now before the big cooking day arrives.
Sharp knives are safer than dull ones. Make sure yours are ready. If you can take them to a professional sharpener, do so. If you have a sharpening stone at home, take some time to tone up all your cutlery. Avoid electric or cheap sharpening devices. They can ruin the edge and then you will have to find a professional to make your knives good again.
If you are baking pies, you will want to be sure a few extra tools that will help a lot. Pie weights helps keep a crust that is baked before filling from bubbling up which could lead to a sloppy, soggy crust. Another useful item is a pie crust shield. These are silicone rings that protect the outside edge of the crust from overcooking and becoming burned.
If you don’t already have a food thermometer, get one. You should already be using one. But don’t make your Thanksgiving memorable for the wrong reason. Temperature is the only good way to make sure your bird is ready to eat.
Finally, make sure you plenty of plastic storage containers. These are not only great for leftovers, but you might want to send food home with your guests. You can pick up inexpensive containers in the grocery store, so you don’t have to worry about losing your containers.
Planning ahead had make for a fun, enjoyable holiday feast.