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Thanksgiving Dinner

Guests are asked to arrive at around noon. Movie presentation: ''Skyfall.''

The Feast

Schedule: Thanksgiving 2016

Saturday evening: Prepare Wayside sausage. Begin thawing turkey.

Tuesday evening: Brine turkey. Purchase: Bread for garlic bread, fresh thyme, red onion, green beans.

Wednesday morning: Bake apple pie. Prepare Wayside bread stuffing.

Wednesday evening:


7:30 AM: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop open butternut squash, remove innards, place into skillet, brush with oil. Cover skillet with lid.

8:00 AM: Place butternut squash into oven, roast 1 hour at 350 degrees.

9:00 AM: Uncover lid, roast squash another 30 minutes. Prepare fixings for green salad. Chop celery, cucumber, red onion, mushrooms. Put in bowl, keep bowl in refrigerator.

9:30 AM: Remove squash from oven, let cool. When cool, cover squash with plastic wrap, place on table to reheat for dinner. Peel and cut 1 onion into quarters. Scrub 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery, remove ends, cut in half for flavoring the turkey. Peel 1 onion and add cloves.

10:00 AM: Remove top rack from oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove turkey from brine and prepare for roasting: rise and dry turkey, then coat with melted butter as per Roast Turkey Wayside Inn. Stuff turkey with Wayside bread stuffing. When the oven reaches 325 degrees, add turkey to #14 cast iron pan, fill with basting mixture, and rest turkey on rack.

10:30 AM: Place Wayside stuffing into an oven-safe dish, then keep in the refrigerator to heat later. Place gate-marked #7 skillet into convection oven. Turn on convection oven to 400 degrees F. (Make sure the gloves are removed from the top of the convection oven.) Prepare cornbread mix.

10:55 AM: Add corn oil to skillet in convection oven, heat for five minutes.

11:00 AM: Turkey in the oven! Bake cornbread in convection oven for 35 minutes. Set separate alarm for 3:15 PM (as a reminder): "Remove apple pie from convection oven."

11:15 AM: Prepare Cranberry Sauce. When finished, add sauce to glass bowl, cool in refrigerator.

11:30 AM: Baste turkey. Fill pot and heat salted water, to boil water for pasta.

Greet guests!

12:00 noon: Baste turkey. Boil pasta, drain, mix with oil and seasoning (not the green salad fixings in the refrigerator) and toss. Cool bowl in refrigerator for salad.

12:30: Baste turkey. Add rack to convection oven. Turn on convection oven to 450 degrees F. Wash off potatoes for boiling.

12:45: Grease two #7 and #6 size cast iron pans. Open whomp dough and place biscuits in the same two skillets.

1:00 PM: Baste turkey. Place skillets with biscuits into convection oven, and bake them at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Fill pot for boiling potatoes, and heat to boiling. Remove biscuits from convection oven, place on trivets to let them cool. Turn off convection oven.

1:15: Boil potatoes for 60 minutes.

1:30: Baste turkey. Remove biscuits from skillets, place on a microwave safe dish, and cover with a paper towel to let them sit. Place pots on stovetop to heat water for boiling the vegetables: 1 for peas and carrots, 1 for green beans, 1 for corn on the cob.

1:55 PM: Begin boiling corn on the cob with butter.

2:00 PM: Turn on convection oven, set to 350 degrees F.

2:10 PM: Steam peas and carrots with butter. Steam green beans with butter.

2:15 PM: Instruct guests to prepare garlic bread: slice bread, prepare garlic butter. Arrange garlic bread on cast iron fajita heating plates. Drain and mash potatoes with cream, butter, pepper, and basil. Cover pot to keep warm.

2:30 PM: Place fajita plates with garlic bread into convection oven. Turkey out of the oven. Add racks to oven. Turn oven down to 250 degrees F. Place dish of stuffing, and skillet with butternut squash into oven to heat up. Prepare gravy.

2:45 PM: Remove garlic bread from convection oven, and cover with foil until serving. Prepare green salad with salad fixings from refrigerator, and serve.

2:50 PM: Remove butternut squash from oven, top with butter and cinnamon, and serve. Warm pasta salad in microwave (5 minutes on setting 7), and serve. Drain peas and carrots, corn on the cob, and green beans; add to serving bowls with butter, and serve. Lower convection oven to 200 degrees F. Place apple pie in convection oven, to heat it for dessert. Serve mashed potatoes.

2:55 PM: Warm biscuits in microwave and serve. Serve cranberry sauce from refrigerator. Remove stuffing, turn off oven, and serve. Uncover garlic bread and serve.

3:00 PM: Place turkey onto serving platter. Serve turkey and gravy. Feast!

3:15 PM: Remove apple pie from convection oven, set aside for dessert.

Turkey Dinner

Cleaning Up

November 27, 2014: And now…the cleaning up. No point in putting it off, so I got down to it and took care of it all before going to bed tonight. I've found a simple routine for cleaning up that appears to help and shorten the time:

Take care of all leftovers first. Throw some away (as little as possible), freeze others, put a little in the fridge, and give as much as possible to neighbors, friends, family, co-workers…:)

Separate the dirty stuff into big piles, and start washing! I attack it in this order:

And then we can sit back, crack open a cool one, and say IT'S DONE!