Sunday, November 22, 2009

Big Day Countdown

The BIG DAY is almost here. I've been so giddy and preoccupied with what to cook that I haven't even thought about what to write.

Luckily, I have Mark Bittman. Author of a few of my favorite books, including a book that every chef should have in their library, How To Cook Everything, he also writes for the New York Times. His "101" features have become somewhat famous, and are always on the list of the "most emailed" articles on the day they are published. Most recently, 101 Head Starts On The Day offers readers 101 simple recipes to complete in advance of the BIG DAY, before the bird takes over your oven.

While it's true that preparing the sides dishes ahead of time will ultimately make your life easier, there are other things that can come up that may need your attention. Like any big event (or like the Boy Scouts) you should always be prepared. Here are 10 other things to think about now that will make your life easier come the BIG DAY:

1.) Check your meat thermometer. Make sure it works properly. The bird is the main event, no matter how many sides you make ahead of time. An overdone or underdone bird will add unnecessary stress to you, the chef.
2.) If you're like me and you use your gigantic roasting pan once a year, wash it. It's probably a tad dusty.
3.) Do you have a gravy separator? You still have time to get one. You'll be glad you did.
4.) Do you have a potato ricer? You still have time to get one. You'll be glad you did.
5.) Get your knives sharpened. Do it now.
6.) Iron your cloth napkins for your guests. Class things up a bit. Last year I forgot about this detail until I was setting the table and the guests were arriving. Whoops.
7.) There are football games on Thursday. Set your fantasy lineup on Wednesday.
8.) Are you brining your turkey? Do you have a large, clean bucket? You can't use the same one that you currently use to mop the floor. Well, I guess you can, but do you want to?
9.) Have you ordered a turkey yet? Do you need to? Now would be the time.
10.) Do something relaxing. Take a bubble bath. Read a book in bed. Don't stress about the BIG DAY; everything will be delicious and everyone will be happy.

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