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turkeybag.jpgOne year, I forgot to remove the bag of giblets from inside of the turkey. We laughed and took a picture of the bag of giblets cooked inside the turkey. Yes, the turkey was safe to eat. The stress of cooking a big meal on a big day for a lot of people always inspires memorable stories. Like the time my college roommate cooked her turkey on the “self-clean” setting of the oven. She laughed and ordered pizza.

Every day this month, customers call and ask “Can I freeze….” Freezing changes the texture of foods and most foods are not as good when defrosted — especially mashed potatoes. If you are short of time in preparing the meal, I suggest shortening the menu. The most important dishes are turkey, gravy, dressing, cranberry, and pie. Extra appetizers or a first course can be eliminated for the sake of the cook’s sanity.

Don’t carve the turkey as soon as it comes out of the oven. The meat needs to rest. When hot meat is cut, all the juices flow all over the cutting board; it’s better to let the juices retract into the meat. A turkey will stay plenty hot for an hour. I let my bird rest for at least 30 minutes before carving, which gives me time to make gravy and mash the potatoes.

Don’t overwhip the heavy cream. Softly whipped cream is creamy, not greasy. It is very easy to overwhip cream in a stand mixer which turns the cream into butter. I like to whip by hand with a balloon whisk so I don’t lose control of the cream.

Don’t eat too fast. It’s very disappointing to the cook who has spent two days cooking to have the whole meal over in 15 minutes. Slow down and savor every bite.

Happy Cooking for Thanksgiving — the most delicious meal of the year!